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Presentasi Ilmiah oleh Dr. Akira Mori

Dr. Akira Mori, Herpetolog dari Universitas Kyoto Jepang, mempresentasikan “The nuchal gland system: Snakes that use prey toxins for their own defense” pada tanggal 1 November 2015 , Jam 9 pagi di ruang seminar Zoologi, LIPI – Cibinong

Berikut adalah Abstrak dari presentasi Dr. Akira Mori :

Many animals have been known to feed on toxic food and store the toxins in their body for their own defense. In vertebrates, poison frogs in Central and South America, which reuse toxins of ants and mites, are well known examples of the sequestration of prey toxins. A Japanese natricine snake, Rhabdophis tigrinus, is a very unique reptile in that it feeds on poisonous toads and stores their toxins in unusual defensive organs called nuchal glands. The nuchal glands consist of a series of paired organs embedded under the skin of the neck region. These glands contain bufadienolides, a group of cardiotonic steroids, which are sequestered from the skin toxins of toads. To use these toxic chemicals effectively to deter predation, the snake performs peculiar antipredator displays, such as neck arch and neck butting. Eighteen Asian snake species possess similar organs, which are collectively called as nucho-dorsal glands. According to classical taxonomy based on morphological characters, the nucho-dorsal glands are observed in three nominal genera, Rhabdophis, Macropisthodon, and Balanophis. In Indonesia, five species of Rhabdophis and two species of Macropisthodon are distrtibuted, but the nuchal gland system of these species has been poorly investigated. In my talk, I will overview the unusual defensive mechanism of R. tigrinus and present recent findings on the phylogenetic evolution of the nuchal gland system. I then provide several topics for the collaboration research with Indonesian researchers to explore the nuchal gland system of snakes living in Indonesia.