Journal of Venomous Animals and Toxins including Tropical Diseases
On-line version ISSN 1678-9199
STUGINSKI, DR; SANT'ANNA, SS; FERNANDES, W and ABE, AS. Circadian pattern of Bothrops moojeni in captivity (Serpentes: Viperidae). J. Venom. Anim. Toxins incl. Trop. Dis [online]. 2012, vol.18, n.1, pp. 97-102. ISSN 1678-9199. http://dx.doi.org/10.1590/S1678-91992012000100012.
Members of the subfamily Crotalinae are considered to be essentially nocturnal and most of the data about these snakes have been collected from the field. Information on how nutritional status affects the movement rate and activity patterns is a key point to elucidating the ecophysiology of snakes. In this study, we distributed 28 lancehead Bothrops moojeni into three groups under distinct feeding regimens after a month of fasting. Groups were divided as follows: ingestion of meals weighing (A) 40%, (B) 20%, or (C) 10% of the snake body mass. Groups were monitored for five days before and after food intake and the activity periods and movement rates were recorded. Our results show that B. moojeni is prevalently nocturnal, and the activity peak occurs in the first three hours of the scotophase. After feeding, a significant decrease in activity levels in groups A and B was detected. The current results corroborate previous field data that describe B. moojeni as a nocturnal species with low movement rates. The relationship between motion and the amount of food consumed by the snake may be associated with its hunting strategy.
Keywords : Bothrops moojeni; snake activity; post-prandial; circadian rhythms; captivity.