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Cycles annuels de la testostéronémie et de la thyroxinémie chez Vipera berus L. (Reptilia: Viperidae) en relation avec le cycle sexuel et l'hivernage

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Blood samples were taken in Vipera berus during a five year period. Changes in plasma thyroxine and testosterone levels were examined. Plasma testosterone levels show a marked profile. Highest levels are observed a few weeks after the emergence of hibernation from the end of March till the end of April. These values coincide with the mating period and spring spermiogenesis. Plasma thyroxine levels show also seasonal variations. Low values are observed in winter. Plasma thyroxine levels increase in spring and reach a maximal concentration shortly after the peak of plasma testosterone. A secondary peak is observed at the end of summer.

Affiliations: 1: Centre d'Études Biologiques des Animaux Sauvages, Villiers-en-Bois, 79360-Beauvoir-s-Niort, France


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