Assessment of Reproductive Frequency in the European Pond Turtle (Emys orbicularis) Using Manual Palpation, Ultrasonography, and Radiography

M. A. L. Zuffi, S. Citi, M. Giusti, A. Teti


Assessment of reproductive status in female European pond turtles has been investigated with three different methods. The comparative analysis of the obtained results revealed that all three methods are important in determining female reproductive status. Degree of efficiency is however different among them. Manual palpation is the easiest to perform but lacks of precision regarding determination of clutch and egg size; radiography is the most efficient in determining clutch and egg size but it is applicable only when egg shells are calcified; ultrasonography is almost certainly the most precise technique to understand if females are reproductive, while it can not have a complete insight over all the oviductal or follicular eggs. We strongly recommend the use of both three methods when studying reproductive plasticity and frequency in fresh water turtles.


palpation; ultrasonography; radiography; reproduction; Emys orbicularis

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