Title

A Field Observation on the Feeding Behavior of Crotalus viridis lutosus

Document Type

Tech Pub

Publication Date

3-1-1990

Journal Title/Publication Source

Journal of Herpetology

Volume

24

Issue Number

1

Page Numbers

95-97

Abstract

Rattlesnakes (Crotalus spp.) are generally considered to be sit-and-wait predators that strike and envenomate, release and then search for their envenomated prey (Fitch and Twining, 1946; Klauber, 1956; Reinert et al., 1984). This behavior by rattlesnakes and other pit vipers has led to laboratory studies on the searching behaivor following envenomation and the role of strike-induced chemosensory searching (Chiszar et al., 1977; Duvall et al., 1980; Chiszar et al., 1981; Gillingham and Clark, 1981; Golan et al., 1982; Scudder et al., 1983). This feeding technique results in the loss of some fatally-envenomated prey (Fitch and Twining, 1946), and may result in rattlesnakes being predisposed to feed on carrion (Klauber, 1956; Patten and Banta, 1980; Gillingham and Baker, 1981; Lillywhite, 1982), but its importance in the feeding ecology of rattlesnakes is unknown. A fortuitous set of field observations on a single rattlesnake reported here provide a type of information on the feeding behavior of snakes that is difficult to obtain (Fitch 1987). In addition, these observations may also stimulate testing some new questions on the feeding behavior of rattlesnakes.

This document is currently not available here.

Share

COinS
 

A Field Observation on the Feeding Behavior of Crotalus viridis lutosus

Rattlesnakes (Crotalus spp.) are generally considered to be sit-and-wait predators that strike and envenomate, release and then search for their envenomated prey (Fitch and Twining, 1946; Klauber, 1956; Reinert et al., 1984). This behavior by rattlesnakes and other pit vipers has led to laboratory studies on the searching behaivor following envenomation and the role of strike-induced chemosensory searching (Chiszar et al., 1977; Duvall et al., 1980; Chiszar et al., 1981; Gillingham and Clark, 1981; Golan et al., 1982; Scudder et al., 1983). This feeding technique results in the loss of some fatally-envenomated prey (Fitch and Twining, 1946), and may result in rattlesnakes being predisposed to feed on carrion (Klauber, 1956; Patten and Banta, 1980; Gillingham and Baker, 1981; Lillywhite, 1982), but its importance in the feeding ecology of rattlesnakes is unknown. A fortuitous set of field observations on a single rattlesnake reported here provide a type of information on the feeding behavior of snakes that is difficult to obtain (Fitch 1987). In addition, these observations may also stimulate testing some new questions on the feeding behavior of rattlesnakes.