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Morphology and diet of two sympatric colubrid snakes, Chironius flavolineatus and Chironius quadricarinatus (Serpentes: Colubridae)

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The morphometry and diet of two sympatric species of Chironius (C. flavolineatus and C. quadricarinatus) from Brazilian Cerrado are described. The two snake species differ in external morphology, as Chironius flavolineatus was the largest species (body, tail and eyes) whereas C. quadricarinatus the heaviest. Each species also showed marked sexual size dimorphism. In terms of dietary ecology, both species feed exclusively on frogs with a heavy preference for hylids and may have tendency to eat small items, as noticed in other colubrine species. These two snake species showed a brownish colour pattern and exhibited no ontogenetic variation, suggesting that juveniles and adults use similar substrates. Chironius flavolineatus and C. quadricarinatus present a semi-arboreal habit, with active foraging behaviour, feeding in the ground most of time. Chironius flavolineatus uses higher vegetation for resting and, based on morphological results, seems to be more arboreal than C. quadricarinatus.

Affiliations: 1: Departamento de Vertebrados, Museu Nacional, Universidade Federal do Rio de Janeiro, Quinta da Boa Vista, s/n, São Cristóvão, 20940-040 Rio de Janeiro, RJ, Brasil, Fellow of Conselho Nacional de Desenvolvimento Científico e Tecnológico (CNPq);, Email: robertarich@gmail.com; 2: Departamento de Vertebrados, Museu Nacional, Universidade Federal do Rio de Janeiro, Quinta da Boa Vista, s/n, São Cristóvão, 20940-040 Rio de Janeiro, RJ, Brasil, Fellow of Conselho Nacional de Desenvolvimento Científico e Tecnológico (CNPq); 3: Laboratório de Herpetologia, Instituto Butantan. Av. Vital Brasil, 1500, Butantan, 05503-900 São Paulo, SP, Brasil, Fellow of Conselho Nacional de Desenvolvimento Científico e Tecnológico (CNPq)

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/content/journals/10.1163/156853808784125027
2008-05-01
2016-12-06

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