Meeting Abstract

30.4  Thursday, Jan. 5  Energetics of reproduction in the oviparous squamate, Lamprophis fuliginosus JACKSON, Alexander/G.S*; HICKS, James/W.; University of California, Irvine; University of California, Irvine

The goal of this study was to quantitatively determine whether or not gravidity poses a significant energetic fitness cost on the oviparous squamate, Lamprophis fuliginosus. We chose L. fuliginosus due to several life history traits, including high fecundity, lack of a hibernation period, tractability in the laboratory setting, and large clutch sizes relative to total body mass. To encompass multiple possible energetic fitness costs associated with gravidity, we also examined peak oxygen consumption during exercise and during a large meal (20% body mass). We asked whether the costs of exercise and digestion were affected by gravidity, and if so, by what degree? Our results indicate that this particular species incurs little to no additional energetic cost for being gravid, and that neither digestion or exercise are affected in terms of peak oxygen consumption. At least in this species, the energetics associated with gravidity are most likely not associated with a potential fitness cost during rest, digestion, or exhaustive exercise. Therefore we conclude that further research on different aspects of the physiology of reproduction is required if one seeks to discover where in its life history, reproduction might be influencing the fitness of this species. Funding was provided by NSF grant IOS 0922756 to JWH.