Study of Sperm Reproductive Parameters in Mature Zanjani Viper

Document Type : Original Article


1 Department of Basic Science, Islamic Azad University, Damghan Branch, Damghan, Iran

2 Department of Venomous Animals and Antivenin Production, Vaccine and Serum Research Institute, Karaj, Iran


Zanjani viper (Vipera albicornuta) is an endemic venomous snake in East Azerbai- jan Province, Iran which is medically important due to its application for antivenin production in the laboratory. We need to produce this snake in captivity. This study was conducted to charac- terize mature male Zanjani viper and to evaluate its sperm reproductive parameters.
Materials and Methods
This applied- descriptive study was conducted on twenty Zan- jani viper samples collected from Ag Dag Mountain in East Azarbaijan Province, Iran, between September and October 2010. After the snakes were anesthetized and sacrificed humanly, their morphometric specifications and sperm reproductive parameters, including concentration, motility, vitality, morphology, and survival time, were measured.
Morphometric specifications and evaluation of sperms of the snake showed the following information: Zanjani male viper, body length of 73.65 ± 4.35 cm, tail length of 5.465 ± 0.48 cm, and mature snakes with testicular volumes of 0.61 ± 0.81 ml (right) and of 0.46 ± 0.17 ml (left). Our findings revealed average sperm concen- tration of 0.47 ± 0.1 ×106ml-1, motility of 49 -55 %, vitality of 46.11 ± 9.63 %, normal morphology of 61.71 ± 5.3%, and survival time of 6 ± 2 hours at the laboratory tem- perature. Statistical analyses were performed using Student’s t test for comparison of two values, and one-way ANOVA was applied where three values were compared.
Results suggest that mature Zanjani male viper with mature sperms in its vas deferens is present in late summer and early autumn seasons in Bostanabad County, Iran.