Health parameters and ecomorphology of the Berthold’s bush anole (Polychrus gutturosus) in Costa Rica: preliminary data

Randall Arguedas, Marco D. Barquero, Lizbeth Ovares, Rodolfo Vargas, Viviana P. Arguedas

The measurement of morphometric and physiological data such as temperature, biochemical and hematological parameters can serve as a valuable tool for evaluating and monitoring the health of wild reptile populations. The Berthold´s bush anole is an arboreal and diurnal lizard distributed from Honduras to Ecuador. This species is rarely seen though there is an important lack of information about this species. The lizards are located at night when they are sleep in the shrubs or trees, then distance skin temperature are measured while they are resting. Immediately the animals are capture by hand and cloacal temperature is measured. Temperatures are going to be used to correlate them with muscular enzimes (AST and CK). After that they are weighted, a blood sample is taken from the ventral coccygeal or the jugular vein. Later a physical examination and then standard morphometric measurements are performed. Finally a pit tag is placed in the left inguinal area. At this moment we have processed 24 individuals (12 males and 12 females), but hte total expected sample is 35 individuals. The blood is taken in heparin tubes, and smears are done inmediately. Hematology is done manually using Natt and Herrick solution (1/200) for RBC, WBC and TBC. Biochemistry is perfomed on an automated equipment (Cobas c111  Roche). Preliminary results from hematological values are Htc 32.33(±4.85)%, RBC 0.97 (±0.21)*106uL, WBC 20.03(±6.05)*103uL. Lymphocytes were the most common leucocyte 15.06(±4.62)*106uL, followed by heterophils 2.51(±1.27)*106uL, monocytes 1.75 (±1.16)*106uL, eosinophils 0.66(±0.69)*106uL and basophils 0.09(±0.13)*106uL. Intraerythrocytic hemoparasites were found in seven individuals. Biochemistry results were Total protein 7.51(±0.75) g/dL, Albumin 1.66 (±0.63) g/dL, AST 41.34 (±28.73) U/L, CK 1623,15(±1604.06) U/L, Ca 3.43(±1.31) mmol/L Glucose 208.79 (±30.68) mg/dL. Without an understanding of typical species-specific variation in physiological parameters, researchers are unable to identify potential effects of disease or other changing environmental conditions.

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