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Alimentación de Coluber hippocrepis en el SE de la península Ibérica

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The food habits of 214 specimens of C. hippocrepis were analyzed throughout the year in an extensive area (44000 km2). This species mainly fed on vertebrates, especially mammals and reptiles which constituted more than 92% of its prey; other items included birds and invertebrates. Mammals represented more than 70% of the total prey mass. There was an ontogenetic shift in prey type; small snakes fed almost exclusively on small lizards, large snakes on rodents, although this change was gradual. There was not an ontogenetic shift in the percentage of snakes with gut contents, number of prey types or food diversity. C. hippocrepis captured relatively small prey. Most of them were taken head first, and those taken tail first were significantly smaller. We discuss the type of prey and the ontogenetic food shift in relation to the habits of this species in the south of Iberian Pcninsula.

Affiliations: 1: Departamento de Biología Animal, Universidad de Granada, 18071 Granada, Spain


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