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.

 ISSN 0268-0130

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pdf 09. Temperature preferences of Xenodon dorbignyi: field and experimental observations


Open Access

pp. 277-280
Authors: Tozetti, Alexandro M.; Pontes, Gláucia M.F.; Borges-Martins, Márcio & Oliveira, Roberto B.

Abstract: We examined substrate temperature preferences of the South American hognose snake (Xenodon dorbignyi) in the field and in the laboratory. Individuals captured in the field were placed in a thermal gradient chamber, where they preferred temperatures averaging 32.8 °C and avoided substrate temperatures below 10.5 °C and above 37.5°C. The mean body temperatures of snakes exposed to the thermal gradient was 23.4 °C, which was similar to field measurements. Gravid females had higher temperatures than males. In the experimental chamber, X. dorbignyi remained above ground even when exposed to extremely high or low temperatures. Our results corroborate the hypothesis that X. dorbignyi is a thermal generalist that uses a broad range of substrate temperatures, representing an adaptation to the large variation in daily temperatures in sand dunes with few shelters above ground.


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Please note that as from Volume 31 Number 1 (January 2021) on, the Herpetological Journal will be available as an online publication only - the last print edition will be Volume 30 Number 4.   

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