1. Education

Discuss in my forum

Regina Bailey

Boa Constrictor Reproduces Without Sex

By November 3, 2010

Follow me on:

A boa constrictor has exhibited both asexual and sexual reproduction. Her sexually produced snake (left) is shown beside one of the asexually produced females (right). Credit: Sharon Moore

For the first time, parthenogenesis has been observed in boa constrictors. Parthenogenesis is a form of asexual reproduction in which an egg develops into an individual without being fertilized. The female boa constrictor studied by North Carolina State University researchers has had babies through both asexual and sexual reproduction. The baby boas that were produced asexually however were all female and bore the same color mutation as their mom. Their sex chromosome makeup was also different from the sexually produced snakes. The asexually produced babies had WW chromosomes while the other snakes either had ZZ chromosomes (male) or ZW chromosomes (female).

The researchers don't believe that this type of rare birth is due to changes in the environment. According to researcher Dr. Warren Booth, "Reproducing both ways could be an evolutionary 'get-out-of-jail-free card' for snakes. If suitable males are absent, why waste those expensive eggs when you have the potential to put out some half-clones of yourself? Then, when a suitable mate is available, revert back to sexual reproduction." The female boa that produced her young asexually did so in spite of the fact that there were plenty of male suitors available.

Learn more about this study:


December 11, 2010 at 2:55 am
(1) shikhi says:

animals work in weird ways..nevertheless,interesting

December 26, 2010 at 10:59 pm
(2) wheng says:

thanks for the post. ive learned new things

December 17, 2011 at 10:10 pm
(3) low cost seo services says:

I just could not depart your website before suggesting that I actually enjoyed the usual info a person supply for your guests? Is gonna be back incessantly to check out new posts

December 2, 2013 at 7:09 am
(4) http://clarinet-club.com/Userinfo.php?uid=188457 says:

I feel that is one of the such a lot significant info for me.
And i’m glad reading your article. However wanna statement on
some common things, The website style is great, the articles is in point of fact excellent : D.
Just right activity, cheers

January 18, 2014 at 10:36 am
(5) Wilbur Pye says:

Hello just wanted to give you a quick heads up. The words in your post seem to be running off the screen in Chrome. I’m not sure if this is a formatting issue or something to do with internet browser compatibility but I figured I’d post to let you know. The layout look great though! Hope you get the issue fixed soon. Cheers

Leave a Comment

Line and paragraph breaks are automatic. Some HTML allowed: <a href="" title="">, <b>, <i>, <strike>

©2014 About.com. All rights reserved.