November 17, 2018

039 An Appetite for Arboreality

Snakes, they’ve adapted to all sorts of environments. But what exactly has changed to allow them to take to the trees? This episode we check out what it takes to be arboreal and the impacts of taking arboreal prey. We head to the neotropics for the Species of the Bi-week for a colourful new snake. FULL REFERENCE LIST AVAILABLE AT:


Main Paper References:

Harrington, S. M., Haan, J. M. D. E., Shapiro, L., & Ruane, S. (2018). Habits and characteristics of arboreal snakes worldwide: arboreality constrains body size but does not affect lineage diversification. Biological Journal of the Linnean Society, XX, 1–11.

Siers, S. R., Yackel Adams, A. A., & Reed, R. N. (2018). Behavioral differences following ingestion of large meals and consequences for management of a harmful invasive snake: A field experiment. Ecology and Evolution, 8(20), 10075–10093.

Species of the Bi-Week:

Bernarde, P. S., Carlos, L., Turci, B., Abegg, A. D., & Franco, F. L. (2018). A remarkable new species of coralsnake of the Micrurus hemprichii species group from the Brazilian Amazon. Salamandra, 54(4), 249–258.

Other Mentioned Papers/Studies:

Allen WL, Baddeley R, Scott-Samuel NE, Cuthill IC. 2013. The evolution and function of pattern diversity in snakes. Behavioral Ecology 24: 1237–1250.

Blouin-Demers, G., & Weatherhead, P. J. (2001). An experimental test of the link between foraging, habitat selection and thermoregulation in black rat snakes Elaphe obsoleta obsoleta.
Journal of Animal Ecology, 70, 1006–1013.

Das, I. (2010). A field guide to the reptiles of South-East Asia. London: Bloomsbury.

Glaudas, X., & Alexander, G. J. (2017). Food supplementation affects the foraging ecology of a low-energy, ambush-foraging snake. Behavioral ecology and sociobiology, 71(1), 5.

Ford, N. B., & Shuttlesworth, G. A. (1986). Effects of variation in food intake on locomotory performance of juvenile garter snakes. Copeia, 1986, 999–1001.

Fritts, T. H. (2002). Economic costs of electrical system instability and power outages caused by snakes on the island of Guam. International Biodeterioration & Biodegradation, 49, 93–100.

Secor, S. M., & Diamond, J. (1998). A vertebrate model of extreme physiological regulation. Nature, 395(6703), 659–662.

Wasko, D. K., & Sasa, M. (2012). Food resources influence spatial ecology, habitat selection, and foraging behavior in an ambush-hunting snake (Viperidae: Bothrops asper): An experimental study. Zoology, 115(3), 179–187.

Other Links/Mentions:

Ahaetulla fronticinctca feeding from the California Academy of Science -


Intro/outro – Treehouse by Ed Nelson

Other Music – The Passion HiFi,

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