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Type: Artigo de periódico
Title: Old habits die hard: Mouse handling by a pitviper species on a rodent-free island
Author: Marques, OAV
Sazima, I
Abstract: The golden lancehead (Bothrops insularis) is endemic to Queimada Grande Island off the coast of southeastern Brazil. This pitviper feeds mainly on migratory birds, whereas mainland pitvipers in the genus Bothrops usually feed on rodents. Rodents are regarded as a dangerous prey type, and the habitual handling of rodents by pitvipers include its immediate release after the initial bite. However, bird prey is usually held within jaws after the initial bite. Presently there are no rodents in Queimada Grande Island, which is thought to have isolated from the mainland 11 000 yr ago. We staged encounters between B. insularis and house mice in the field to evaluate how the snake will behave when introduced to a supposedly unknown prey type. Mice were readily accepted as prey and the predatory behaviour of B. insularis was similar to that displayed by mainland pitvipers (strike-release). Although B. insularis has several morphological and ecological particularities that likely developed during its isolation on an island (some of these related to a specialized diet and/or arboreal habits), the handling behaviour of potentially dangerous prey such as rodents was retained - an indication of phylogenetic conservatism.
Subject: Bothrops insularis
bird prey
rodent prey
feeding behaviour
Queimada Grande Island
southeastern Brazil
Country: Holanda
Editor: Brill Academic Publishers
Citation: Amphibia-reptilia. Brill Academic Publishers, v. 30, n. 3, n. 435, n. 438, 2009.
Rights: aberto
Date Issue: 2009
Appears in Collections:Unicamp - Artigos e Outros Documentos

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