Diadophis Puntatus Puntatus (Southern Ring-neck Snake) Predation

Herpetological Review


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DIADOPHIS PUNCTATUS PUNCTATUS (Southern Ring-necked Snake). PREDATION. Here I present the first record of Buteo lineatus (Red-shouldered Hawk) predator on a Diadophis p. punctatus. At ca. 1100h on l2 February2 013,I observed a B. lineatus eating a katydid in Corkscrew Swamp Sanctuary (26.2730'N, 81.6079"W;WGS 84), Collier Co., Florida, USA. The hawk was in a Pond Cypress tree on the edge of a small prairie bordered on one side by a cypress swamp and by pine woodland on the other. Immediately upon consuming the katydid, the hawk flew to the ground ca. 1.5 m from an elevated boardwalk to grab an adult D. punctatus. It then flew with the snake in its talons to a branch 3 m high ca. l0 m from the boardwalk. The hawk stretched and otherwise manipulated the struggling snake (Fig.1) before consuming the still moving snake. Although snakes are a well-known component of B. lineatus diet (Clark1 987A. Field Guide to the Hawks of North America. Houghton Mifflin Co. Boston, Massachusetts 198 pp.), I found only one literature reference to Red-shouldered Hawks eating Ring-neck Snakes (Fisher 1893.Hawks and Owls of the United States in their Relation to Agriculture. U.S. Dept. Agric., Div Ornith. Mamm. Bull. 3). That specimen was from Canton, New York (taken 26 Oct IBBB) and would be a D. p. edwardisii (Northern Ring-necked Snake), while the snake reported on here is a Diadophis p. punctatus (USNM Herp Image 2847a -c). Based on evidence presented by Fontanella et al. (2008. Mol. Phylogenet Evol.46:1049-1070), D. p. edwardisii and D. p. punctatus are likely different species.

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Publication type Article
Publication Subtype Journal Article
Title Diadophis Puntatus Puntatus (Southern Ring-neck Snake) Predation
Series title Herpetological Review
Volume 47
Issue 2
Year Published 2016
Language English
Contributing office(s) Patuxent Wildlife Research Center
Description 1 p.
First page 310
Country United States
State Florida
County Collier County
Online Only (Y/N) N
Additional Online Files (Y/N) N
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