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Anais da Academia Brasileira de Ciências

Print version ISSN 0001-3765On-line version ISSN 1678-2690


CORREA, DANIELE N.; QUINTELA, FERNANDO M.  and  LOEBMANN, DANIEL. Feeding ecology of Erythrolamprus jaegeri jaegeri (Günter, 1858) and Erythrolamprus poecilogyrus sublineatus (Cope, 1860) in the coastal zone of Subtropical Brazil (Serpentes, Dipsadidae). An. Acad. Bras. Ciênc. [online]. 2016, vol.88, n.1, pp.293-308.  Epub Feb 02, 2016. ISSN 0001-3765.

The snakes Erythrolamprus jaegeri jaegeri and Erythrolamprus poecilogyrus sublineatus are sympatric and syntopic in the coastal region of southern Brazil. Herein, we analyzed the diet composition to evaluate the niche breadth and the prey selection by both species. We examined 192 specimens, and analysis of stomach contents revealed that both species predominantly consume anurans. However, the diet of E. j. jaegeri consists mainly of fish and amphibians, whereas that of E. p. sublineatus is broader, including fish, amphibians, reptiles and mammals. The Standardized Levins Index presented lower values for E. j. jaegeri (BA = 0.17) than for E. p. sublineatus (BA = 0.61), evidencing specialist and generalist strategies for each species, respectively. Regarding prey selection, E. p. sublineatus presented a larger snout-vent length, head, mouth and lower jaw than E. j. jaegeri and fed on larger prey. In addition, positive correlations between the size and weight of predators and prey were confirmed in both species. The results show the development of different mechanisms for co-occurrence of the two species, such as prey selection by size, such that the size of the predator is related to the size of their prey, or by developing different strategies to decrease niche overlap between species.

Keywords : diet; ophidians; prey; size; niche.

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