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Brazilian Journal of Biology

versão impressa ISSN 1519-6984versão On-line ISSN 1678-4375

Resumo

ARAUJO, MS.  e  MARTINS, M.. The defensive strike of five species of lanceheads of the genus Bothrops (Viperidae). Braz. J. Biol. [online]. 2007, vol.67, n.2, pp.327-332. ISSN 1519-6984.  http://dx.doi.org/10.1590/S1519-69842007000200019.

We studied the defensive strike of one species of each of five recognized lineages within the genus Bothrops, namely, B. alternatus, B. jararaca, B. jararacussu, B. moojeni and B. pauloensis. The defensive strike of the studied species was in general similar to that of Crotalus viridis and C. atrox, but some important differences were observed. Bothrops alternatus and B. pauloensis struck preferentially from a tight body posture, whereas B. jararaca and B. moojeni from a loose body posture. Defensive strikes were either true or false (during the latter, the mouth remains closed or partially open). Almost all strikes were successful; only on a few occasions snakes missed their target (flawed strikes). Strike variables were very conservative among the five species, especially strike distance and height, and one possible explanation may be related to constraints imposed on strike variables as a way of increasing strike accuracy.

Palavras-chave : lanceheads; Bothrops; Viperidae; defensive behavior.

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