Tracking outcomes of snake fungal disease in free-ranging pygmy rattlesnakes (Sistrurus miliarius)

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Body condition, Individual outcomes, Mortality, Ophidiomyces ophiodiicola, Pygmy rattlesnake, Sistrurus miliarius


Snake fungal disease (SFD) is caused by the fungus Ophidiomyces ophiodiicola and its documentation in wild snake populations has risen sharply in the past decade. Little is known regarding the fate of individual, free-ranging snakes afflicted with SFD. We monitored an afflicted population of pygmy rattlesnakes (Sis-trurus miliarius) at Lake Woodruff National Wildlife Refuge in Central Florida, US for 2 yr. The severity of SFD in individual snakes was unrelated to the probability of their recapture later in the study, and half of the snakes diagnosed as severely infected at the onset of the study were recaptured later with no clinical signs of SFD. The clinical progress of 12 serially recaptured individuals also showed that individuals cleared the infection and fluctuated between no or low and severe clinical signs over the 2-yr study.

Recommended Citation

Lind, Craig M., Ciera M. McCoy, and Terence M. Farrell. "Tracking outcomes of snake fungal disease in free-ranging pygmy rattlesnakes (Sistrurus miliarius)." Journal of wildlife diseases 54, no. 2 (2018): 352-356.

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