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An Acad Bras Cienc. 2013 Sep;85(3):1047-52. doi: 10.1590/S0001-37652013005000043. Epub 2013 Aug 13.

Daily and seasonal activity patterns of free range South-American rattlesnake (Crotalus durissus).

Author information

1
Laboratório de Ecologia de Vertebrados Terrestres, Universidade do Vale do Rio dos Sinos/UNISINOS, 93022-000 São Leopoldo, RS, Brasil. tozetti@gmail.com

Abstract

This study aimed at describing daily and seasonal variation in the activity of a population of South-American rattlesnakes (Crotalus durissus) in a savanna like habitat (Cerrado) in Southeastern Brazil. Seasonal and daily activities of snakes were evaluated by the number of captures of snakes during road surveys, accidental encounters, and relocations by radio-tracking. Our results show that climatic variables such as air temperature and rainfall have little influence on the activity pattern of rattlesnakes. Our findings indicate that rattlesnakes spend most of the day resting and most of the night in ambush posture. The South-American rattlesnake is active throughout the year with a discrete peak in activity of males during the matting season. The possibility of maintaining activity levels even during the coldest and driest season can facilitate the colonization of several habitats in South America. This possibility currently facilitates the colonization of deforested areas by rattlesnakes.

PMID:
23969850
DOI:
10.1590/S0001-37652013005000043
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
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