The British Herpetological Society

The Herpetological Journal is the Society's prestigious quarterly scientific journal. Articles are listed in Biological Abstracts, Current Awareness in Biological Sciences,Current Contents, Science Citation Index, and Zoological Record.

The 2017/18  impact factor of the Herpetological Journal is 1.268

pdf 11. Feeding ecology of the neotropical worm snake Atractus reticulatus in southern Brazil


Open Access

pp. 62-64
Authors: Balestrin, Rafael L.; Di-Bernardo, Marcos & Moreno, Ana G.

Abstract: Analyses of the gut content of 126 specimens of Atractus reticulatus from the eastern Central Depression of Rio Grande do Sul State, southern Brazil, indicate that this species feeds exclusively on annelids, and primarily on oligochaetes of the family Megascolecidae. Thirty-two stomachs presented 52 items, of which 84.6% were oligochaetes (75.0% family Megascolecidae, 7.7% family Glossoscolecidae, and 1.9% unidentified families), 7.7% were Hirudinea and 7.7% unidentified annelids. Chaetae of oligochaetes were also found in the intestines of 40 additional specimens. Among 20 individuals of A. reticulatus of different size classes captured with some content in the gut, 85.0% were captured at night or in the early hours of morning, indicating foraging activity in these periods. About 83% of the ingested prey were free-living, epigeic annelids, which indicates that A. reticulatus forages mainly on the ground. Prior to swallowing, the annelids were usually oriented and ingested from the anterior portion of the body, a method probably related to autotomy of the prey, which may occur if they are captured from the posterior.


Download Access:

The latest 20 issues can be downloaded when logged in with a Herpetological Journal subscription membership.

Individual articles can be purchased for download.

Older issues and occasional Open Access articles are available for public download


For further information and submission guidelines please see our Journal Instructions to Authors

pdfBHS Ethics Policy

NOTE: as of January 2017, all new editions of the HJ are ONLY available online via the BHS website. The BHS no longer has a commercial hosting agreement with Ingenta  -  although editions prior to end 2016 remain accessible on Ingenta .  Those editions are of course also accessible on the BHS website for subscribers with an active and valid membership.  Should you experience any difficulty accessing HJ editions via the website or have any queries in this regard, please contact