Chastity belts in gartersnakes : the functional significance of mating plugs

@inproceedings{Shine2000ChastityBI,
  title={Chastity belts in gartersnakes : the functional significance of mating plugs},
  author={Richard Shine and Mats H. M. Olsson and Robert T. Mason},
  year={2000}
}
Male red-sided gartersnakes (Thamnophis sirtalis parietalis) deposit a thick gelatinous plug that occludes the female cloaca after copulation. Previous workers have interpreted the plug as a sexually-selected adaptation to (1) physically prevent re-mating by the female, and/or (2) provide pheromonal cues to discourage courtship by rival males or to decrease receptivity by females. Our data support the former hypothesis, but not the latter. Plugs serve as effective physical barriers to… CONTINUE READING

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