Jianfang GAO,Yin YIN,Yanfu QU,et al.Identifying Intraspecific Variation in Venom Yield of Chinese Cobra (Naja atra) from Ten Populations in Mainland China[J].Asian Herpetological Research(AHR),2019,10(1):32-40.[doi:10.16373/j.cnki.ahr.180041]
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Identifying Intraspecific Variation in Venom Yield of Chinese Cobra (Naja atra) from Ten Populations in Mainland China
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Asian Herpetological Research[ISSN:2095-0357/CN:51-1735/Q]

2019 VoI.10 No.1
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Identifying Intraspecific Variation in Venom Yield of Chinese Cobra (Naja atra) from Ten Populations in Mainland China
Jianfang GAO1* Yin YIN1 Yanfu QU2 Jin WANG2 Longhui LIN1 Hongliang LU1 and Xiang JI2
1 Hangzhou Key Laboratory for Animal Adaptation and Evolution, College of Life and Environmental Sciences, Hangzhou Normal University, Hangzhou 310036, Zhejiang, China
2 Jiangsu Key Laboratory for Biodiversity and Biotechnology, College of Life Sciences, Nanjing Normal University, Nanjing 210046, Jiangsu, China
Naja atra venom yield intraspecific variation snakebite
Detailed information on venom yield is helpful in preparing antivenoms and treating snakebites, but such information is lacking for many species of venomous snakes. The Chinese cobra (Naja atra) is a large sized, venomous snake commonly found in southeastern China, where it causes a heavy burden of snakebites. To examine the effects of various factors (morphology, sex, age, season, and geographical origin) on the venom yield in this snake, we collected venom samples of 446 individuals (426 adults and 20 neonates) from 10 populations of N. atra over an eight-year period. We used two variables, lyophilized venom mass (venom yield) and solid content of venom (% solids), to quantify the venom yield. We used linear regression analysis to check if venom yield was related to morphological factors, one-way ANOVA and one-way ANCOVA to detect the sexual, ontogenetic, and geographic variation in venom yield, and repeated-measures ANOVA to examine seasonal shifts in venom yield. Our results indicate that venom yield of N. atra is positively related to the morphological traits examined, with male snakes expelling more venom than females. Venom yield in N. atra was age-related, with elder snakes always expelling more venom than younger ones. Geographic variation in venom yield was also observed, while seasonal variation was not. The solid content of venom was lower in males than in females, but this was not related to morphology, season, age, or geography. Our findings suggest that venom yield in N. atra is influenced by multiple factors, as well as by the interactions among these factors.


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Last Update: 2019-03-25