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Measurements on Near Term Corucia Fetus
Brian L. Schnirel and Sherri Lee Jones
Leeway Corucia Research Center (LCRC)
Blenheim, South Carolina, 29516
Measurements on a stillborn Corucia fetus (Common Solomon Monkey Skink - Corucia zebrata
zebrata (underlined) were undertaken to gain a perspective of development of this unique and
endangered Scincidae species.
Corucia zebrata (underlined), a large herbivorous Scincidid lizard capable of viviparous
matrotrophy, occasionally produces miscarrages. The reason for these miscarrages could be natural,
for on the one hand, no one has properly researched Corucia zebrata (underlined) in it's natural
habitat. However, many zoos, research institutions, and private individuals have had 100% success
rate with this species. This is not only true of births, but also of 100%
Fecundity (Fecundity with Corucia established at one year-based on a 7.5
month gestation and allowance time for breeding between birth and next
mating). If captive aspects of possible miscarrage causes are to be
addressed, the questions of whether environmental or genetic factors play
a role are a topic for further research.
Measurements on stillborn Corucia young may, in some way, help address those questions or, at the
very least, give a perspective of the development process of this livebearing species.
A near term stillborn fetus, with placenta and umbilical cord intact, was studied and measured.
(Father - LCRC/Czz/31, Mother - LCRC/Czz/34). This individual was near full term, approximately
age 6.5 -7 months out of a 7.5 month gestation period.
Umbilical Cord and Placental Sack (completely intact):
Fetal Weight (minus Umbilical Cord and Placental Sack):
SVL (Snout To Vent Length):
LOA (Length Overall):
The placental attachment, as indicated, shows a substantional proportion of weight in the Corucia
pregnancy (approximately 37% of total weight).
Corucia zebrata (underlined), in the latter stages of fetal development, seems to indicate that this
species develops faster in growth in the tail region than in the torso or SVL. Further measurements
in this area with stillborn young can strengthen this assessment. This is based on an average of 39
newborn neonates (Schnirel-Jones, 2006). Measurements are: SVL = 135 mm, LOA = 289 mm
(Common Solomon Monkey Skink - Corucia zebrata zebrata (underlined). SVL = 170 mm, LOA =
370 mm ( North Solomon Monkey Skink - Corucia zebrata alfredschmidti (underlined). Also, a
stillborn North solomon Monkey Skink - Corucia zebrata alfredschmidti (underlined), also showed the
shortened tail as this was also a stillborn not at full development (Father - LCRC/Cza/6, Mother -
LCRC/CZA/3). The Common Solomon Monkey Skink - Corucia zebrata zebrata (underlined), shows
from the data above, a 10 mm increase in the SVL and a 34 mm increase in the LOA in the latter
stages of pregnancy. This would seem to indicate that the tail length accelerates quicker in growth
towards the end of the gestation period.
Coburn, John; 1985. Prehensile tailed skinks. T.F.H. Publications Inc. Neptune City,
New Jersey. 64 pages
DeVosjoli, Phillippe; 1993. The general care and maintainence of prehensile skinks. Advanced
Vivarium Systems Inc. Lakeside, California, U.S.A. 57 pages.
Hausechild; Gabner; 1999. Corucia zebrata (underlined): DEr Wickleschwanz skink. Natur and
Tier, Munster, Germany 79 pages.
Jones, Sherri L.;
Schnirel, Brian L.; 2006. Subspecies comparison of the Genus: Corucia. Polyphemos,
Volume 4, Issue 1, May, Florence, South Carolina, U.S.A. pp. 1-25.
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