The foraging ecology of the gray rat snake (Elaphe obsoleta spiloides). II. Influence of habitat structural complexity when searching for arboreal avian prey

in Amphibia-Reptilia
Restricted Access
Get Access to Full Text
Rent on DeepDyve

Have an Access Token?



Enter your access token to activate and access content online.

Please login and go to your personal user account to enter your access token.



Help

Have Institutional Access?



Access content through your institution. Any other coaching guidance?



Connect

Abstract

A predator's behavior and success when foraging can be compromised by a variety of environmental factors. We examined the effect of variation in habitat structural complexity on the predatory success of the semiarboreal gray rat snake (Elaphe obsoleta spiloides) foraging for arboreal bird nest contents. Individual snakes searched for nests in enclosures containing one of five levels of vegetation density that reflected the range of structural complexity measured at a field site where predator and prey species are common. Subjects were most proficient at locating prey in enclosures having low levels of structural complexity, and experienced decreased predatory success in barren or highly-complex habitats. Ten behaviors comprised over 95% of the trial durations, and four of these occurred more often than the other six regardless of variation in structural complexity within the enclosure. We suggest that low levels of structural complexity offer snakes concealment from predation while not obscuring their view of provisioning activity at the nest.

Amphibia-Reptilia

Publication of the Societas Europaea Herpetologica

Sections

Information

Content Metrics

Content Metrics

All Time Past Year Past 30 Days
Abstract Views 7 7 4
Full Text Views 4 4 4
PDF Downloads 0 0 0
EPUB Downloads 0 0 0