: In this study, we investigated the use of wireless ultrasonography as an imaging system to study the reproductive ecology of the asp viper (Vipera aspis), a viviparous snake found in southwestern Europe. Female vipers were captured during the summer and immediately scanned to obtain an estimate of the number of embryos. Ultrasound imaging was performed with a pocket-sized wireless ultrasound probe interfaced with a tablet with a dedicated app. Vipers were then released at the exact capture site after collecting data on body size and weight. We validate wireless ultrasonography as a non-destructive, effective tool for ultrasonic investigations in the field. Wireless probes are light and compact, which facilitates carriage in rugged terrain. Moreover, the absence of cables simplifies the maneuvers to be made on a small, potentially dangerous snake. Importantly, ultrasound scans can be performed at the capture site, thus minimizing restraint time and handling of gravid females.

Use of a wireless ultrasound probe as a portable, noninvasive method for studying reproductive biology in the asp viper, Vipera aspis

Sassoè-Pognetto, Marco
First
;
Roatta, Silvestro
Last
2022-01-01

Abstract

: In this study, we investigated the use of wireless ultrasonography as an imaging system to study the reproductive ecology of the asp viper (Vipera aspis), a viviparous snake found in southwestern Europe. Female vipers were captured during the summer and immediately scanned to obtain an estimate of the number of embryos. Ultrasound imaging was performed with a pocket-sized wireless ultrasound probe interfaced with a tablet with a dedicated app. Vipers were then released at the exact capture site after collecting data on body size and weight. We validate wireless ultrasonography as a non-destructive, effective tool for ultrasonic investigations in the field. Wireless probes are light and compact, which facilitates carriage in rugged terrain. Moreover, the absence of cables simplifies the maneuvers to be made on a small, potentially dangerous snake. Importantly, ultrasound scans can be performed at the capture site, thus minimizing restraint time and handling of gravid females.
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Vipera; snake reproduction; viviparity; wireless ultrasonography
Sassoè-Pognetto, Marco; Acierno, Sonia; Roatta, Silvestro
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/2318/1862679
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