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

ISSN 0268-0130


pdf 05. Rosy boas (Lichanura trivirgata) use chemical cues to identify female mice (Mus musculus) with litters of dependent young

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pp. 187-191
Authors: Clark, Rulon W. & Ramirez, Geoff

Abstract: Laboratory studies focusing on the ability of squamate reptiles to discriminate among prey chemical cues have been the foundation for many important contributions in animal behaviour and ecology. In this study, we examined the ability of rosy boas (Lichanura trivirgata) to discriminate among several sources of prey chemicals. Because of the high frequency of neonatal mammals in the diet of erycine boas, we focused on chemical cues from female mice (Mus musculus) with and without litters of dependent young. We presented chemical stimuli on cotton-tipped applicators in one set of experiments; in a second set, we presented chemical cues as trails placed in an observation arena with test subjects. The cotton swab assays did not reveal a difference in response to prey chemical cues, but in the arena-based assays we found that snakes showed an attraction to chemical cues from female mice with litters of young. This attraction could be caused by either the feeding experiences of these individuals, an innate ability to recognize chemical cues from neonatal mammals, or both.

Keywords: PREY CHEMICAL CUES, CHEMOSENSORY BEHAVIOUR, CHARINA TRIVIRGATA, CHEMOSENSORY BIOASSAY

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IMPORTANT NOTE - JUNE 2020

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.   

Aligning with this change, it is now no longer possible to purchase a subscription that includes a print copy of the HJ.  All members who have existing HJ print subscriptions that remain active as at end June 2020 will receive the full four 2020 print editions.  New subscribers or renewals after this time will only have option to subscribe to the online only subscription package.  Subscription pricing has been amended to reflect the content changes.