Feeding ecology of the Concho water snake, Nerodia harteri paucimaculata


Concho water snakes were almost completely piscivorous, feeding on 19 species of fish from nine families with minnows (Cyprinidae) dominating numerically. Cricket frogs Acris crepitans represented the only non-piscine prey. Diet diversity increased ontogenetically according to snake body size. Observations of foraging snakes suggest an ontogenetic change in foraging sites concurrent with a change in diet composition. Feeding occurred from mid-March to early November. Gravid females fed throughout the spring into mid-July and resumed feeding after parturition. Neonate and juvenile riverine snakes ingested prey in proportion to apparent availability while adults consumed a disproportionate amount of larger prey species. Lacustrine snakes primarily consumed prey associated with benthic or shallow water habitats. Few individuals of open water and top water species were ingested.

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Journal of Herpetology