Title of Oral/Poster Presentation

Scent trailing behavior as a contributor to conspecific mating in Thamnophis elegans and Thamnophis sirtalis

Presenter Information

Eleanor WatsonFollow

Class

Article

Graduation Year

2019

College

College of Science

Department

Biology Department

Faculty Mentor

Susannah French

Presentation Type

Poster Presentation

Abstract

In garter snakes, including Thamnophis sirtalis and Thamnophis elegans, successful mating is dependent, in part, on the ability of males to follow scent trails left by females. This project will investigate how scent trailing behavior influences the ability of male snakes to find a female mate of the same species. Behavior studies will be conducted by presenting male snakes with scents of females of the same species, and with scents from females of a different species. We will observe which scent the males follow. Male snakes’ preference will be measured by the number of tongue flicks and seconds spent at each scent. We hypothesize that cyclic changes in hormone levels of these snakes contribute to the laying of species-specific trails by females, and the following of conspecific female trails by males.

Location

South Atrium

Start Date

4-13-2017 1:30 PM

End Date

4-13-2017 2:45 PM

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Apr 13th, 1:30 PM Apr 13th, 2:45 PM

Scent trailing behavior as a contributor to conspecific mating in Thamnophis elegans and Thamnophis sirtalis

South Atrium

In garter snakes, including Thamnophis sirtalis and Thamnophis elegans, successful mating is dependent, in part, on the ability of males to follow scent trails left by females. This project will investigate how scent trailing behavior influences the ability of male snakes to find a female mate of the same species. Behavior studies will be conducted by presenting male snakes with scents of females of the same species, and with scents from females of a different species. We will observe which scent the males follow. Male snakes’ preference will be measured by the number of tongue flicks and seconds spent at each scent. We hypothesize that cyclic changes in hormone levels of these snakes contribute to the laying of species-specific trails by females, and the following of conspecific female trails by males.