Ano 2009 - Volume 29, Número 10

Determinação ultrassonográfica e radiográfica do desenvolvimento de ovos de jurarás em cativeiro, 29(10):841-846

ABSTRACT.- Costa F.B., Alves F.R., Costa A.P., Barros A.C.E, Guerra P.C., Sousa A.L. & Oliveira A.S. 2009. Ultrasonographic and radiographic determination of egg development of jurarás (Kinosternon scorpioides) in captivity. Pesquisa Veterinária Brasileira 29(10):841-846. Departamento das Clínicas, Universidade Estadual do Maranhão, Cidade Universitária Paulo VI, Tirirical, Cx. Postal 9, São Luís, MA 65055-310, Brazil. E-mail:

Kinosternon scorpioides (Linnaeus, 1766), with its common name of jurará, is a quite variable species of turtles, and many different names have been applied to populations throughout its range. Currently, however, four subspecies are considered valid as K. scorpioides arises from southern Panama over most of northern South America and is found in Ecuador, northern Peru, southern Bolivia, northern Argentina, eastern Guyana and Brazil. Thus, an ultrasonographic and radiographic study was performed in order to describe the morphology and development of eggs of 20 female jurará mud turtles K. scorpioides, from September 2005 to August 2006. In the first month, the ovarian cycle was characterized by absence of vitellogenic follicles, atresic follicles or oviduct eggs. From October 2005 to March 2006 on, ultrasonographic scanning allowed to establish the growing vitellogenic follicles. Vitellogenic follicles were observed with spherical to ovoid shapes, with a surrounding echogenic yolk, a nonechogenic albumin layer, and a high echogenic shell. The oviduct eggs were identified by radiography just 180 days after beginning the experiment, when the shell became enough mineralized to impress the radiographic film. This experiment allowed to obtain by means of the 7.5 MHz linear probe images with adequate resolution and penetration for visualization of follicles. Successive ultrasonographic examinations of 20 K. scorpioides females allowed to access initial stages of vitellogenic follicles and oviduct eggs, and radiographic examination revealed to be an easy technique to assess oviduct eggs and to allow evaluation of egg development in jurarás, from 6 months on.
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