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Ecology of Philodryas nattereri in the Brazilian semi-arid region

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We describe, through hypothesis testing and observations on life-history traits, the ecology of the snake Philodryas nattereri in a semi-arid region in north-east Brazil, where it is widespread and occurs at high abundance. We document sexual dimorphism in snout–vent length and relative tail length. The species is diurnal and semi-arboreal, and most active during the warmest periods of the day. It is active year-round, with peaks of activity during periods of maximum precipitation and temperature. Adults feed on a variety of prey types, whereas juveniles are lizard specialists. The reproductive season extends over at least nine months of the year. We conclude that, due to its high abundance, foraging skills and fecundity, P. nattereri is a major predator in the Brazilian semi-arid region.
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Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: July 1, 2011

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