The British Herpetological Society

The Herpetological Journal is the Society's prestigious quarterly scientific journal. Articles are listed in Biological Abstracts, Current Awareness in Biological Sciences,Current Contents, Science Citation Index, and Zoological Record.

The 2017/18  impact factor of the Herpetological Journal is 1.268

  pdfBHS Ethics Policy

Download Access:

  • The latest 20 issues can be downloaded when logged in with a Herpetological Journal subscription membership.
  • Individual articles can be purchased for download.
  • Older issues and occasional Open Access articles are available for public download

pdf 06. Ecology of the colubrid snake Pseudablabes agassizii in south-eastern South America

1009 downloads

Open Access

pp. 37-45
Authors: Marques, Otavio A. V.; Sawaya, Ricardo J.; Stender-Oliveira, Fernanda & Franca, Frederico G. R.

Abstract: The colubrid Pseudablabes agassizii is a small philodryadine snake distributed in open areas in south-eastern South America. We provide information on morphology, habitat use, diel activity, diet, feeding behaviour, reproduction, and seasonal activity of this species, based on dissection of 146 specimens combined with field and captive observations. Pseudablabes agassizii is smaller than any other species in the Philodryadini. Females attain larger body size than males. Sexual dimorphism was also recorded for stoutness and tail length, but not for head length. Apparently, P. agassizii forages during the day, mainly for resting spiders in subterranean and other day-time retreats. Lycosid and other araneomorph spiders were the staple food item, but mygalomorph spiders, scorpions, and orthopteran insects were also eaten. Large spiders were subdued by venom injection, whereas smaller ones were usually swallowed alive. Ingestion of lizards is infrequent and probably represents a vestigial trait. Absence of sexual dimorphism in relative head length may be related to ingestion of small prey. The reproductive cycle of females seems to be highly seasonal with vitellogenesis occurring from the onset to the middle of the rainy season, when females are more active. Recruitment of newborns takes place at the end of the rainy season. Males show increase in testes volume in the second half of the rainy season, and mating probably occurs at the end of rainy season, when adult males are more active. At least in south-eastern Brazil, P. agassizii is a habitat specialist, sensitive to habitat alteration, and thus is an indicator species of environmental quality. Due to the rapid destruction of its main habitat, the Cerrado, the conservation status of this snake should be regarded as threatened.

Keywords: FEEDING, ACTIVITY, MORPHOLOGY, REPRODUCTION, PHILODRYADINI

Submissions:

For further information and submission guidelines please see our Journal Instructions to Authors

 

 

NOTE: as of January 2017, all new editions of the HJ are ONLY available online via the BHS website. The BHS no longer has a commercial hosting agreement with Ingenta  -  although editions prior to end 2016 remain accessible on Ingenta .  Those editions are of course also accessible on the BHS website for subscribers with an active and valid membership.  Should you experience any difficulty accessing HJ editions via the website or have any queries in this regard, please contact