Endocrinology of oviposition in the tuatara (Sphenodon punctatus)-II. Plasma arginine vasotocin concentrations during natural nesting

Louis J. Guillette, Catherine R. Propper, Auson Cree, Robert M. Doresl

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

9 Scopus citations


1. 1. Plasma concentrations of the neurohypophysial arginine vasotocin (AVT) were measured during three stages of natural nesting [nest digging (N = 16), oviposition (N = 6), nest guarding (N = 6)] in the rare New Zealand reptile, the tuatara (Sphenodon punctatus). 2. 2. Nest digging females (X ± 1 SE: 134.9 ± 15.0 pg/ml) exhibited elevated but significantly lower concentrations of plasma AVT compared to those observed during oviposition (216.0 ± 28.1 pg/ml). Nest guarding females (54.6 ± 29.8 pg/μl) had plasma AVT concentrations significantly lower than other stages. 3. 3. These data are similar to those reporting elevated plasma AVT concentrations during oviposition in sea turtles but tuatara exhibit significantly lower plasma AVT values (10-fold difference). Plasma AVT concentrations reported for tuatara and birds are comparable.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)819-822
Number of pages4
JournalComparative Biochemistry and Physiology -- Part A: Physiology
Issue number4
StatePublished - 1991


ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physiology

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