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Posted by Tom Lott on January 24, 2003 at 19:25:14:
In Reply to: Visually sexing WDB's posted by meretseger on January 21, 2003 at 09:56:22:
I try to collect data from fresh DORs I encounter here in South Texas; I recorded number of tail rings on fewer than half of the specimens I have dissected (so there was no uncertainty about the sex).
Of the data on 16 specimens I have handy here on the computer, 11 were males, 5 females (all from South Texas "brush country").
Males: range: 4-6
Females: range: 4-5
Two females had 5 tail rings, 3 males had 5 rings
One male had 4 rings
To me this character shows too much overlap to be of much use in definitely establishing the sex of an animal. When I have a captive that I absolutely can't sex visually, I usually wait for a shed and count the number of subcaudals; with atrox, this is much more reliable. Based on your counts, I would also say that there appears to be some geographical variation to consider as well.