Behavioral Ecology and Sociobiology

, Volume 16, Issue 3, pp 257–261 | Cite as

Mating in the red-sided garter snake, Thamnophis sirtalis parietalis: differential effects on male and female sexual behavior

  • Joan M. Whittier
  • Robert T. Mason
  • David Crews


Female red-sided garter snakes, Thamnophis sirtalis parietalis, become unattractive to most males after mating in the field and in the laboratory. Male red-sided garter snakes vary in their latencies to court attractive females following copulation, with courtship resuming in minutes to hours. Unsuccessful males in mating balls disperse from mating pairs, but are not residually inhibited from courting attractive females. These patterns of behavior indicate that males have evolved mechanisms to maximize opportunities for copulation with several females, while females mate only once per season.


Sexual Behavior Differential Effect Garter Snake Attractive Female Female Sexual Behavior 
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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 1985

Authors and Affiliations

  • Joan M. Whittier
    • 1
  • Robert T. Mason
    • 1
  • David Crews
    • 1
  1. 1.Institute of Reproductive Biology, Department of ZoologyUniversity of TexasAustinUSA

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