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.
Authors: Rugiero, Lorenzo; Capula, Massimo; Vignoli, Leonardo & Luiselli, Luca
Abstract: Dispersal patterns from a communal nesting/birth site of hatchlings of the oviparous colubrid snake Hierophis viridiflavus were investigated using capture-mark-recapture data from a 17-year study. We found that hatchlings lighter at birth dispersed more than heavier ones, whereas after one year there was no difference in body mass between the individuals which rested close to their birth site and those which dispersed further. We interpret this result as an adaptive dispersal behaviour in which heavier newborn snakes are less inclined to disperse from the hatching site, whereas lighter snakes move further away to increase their foraging efficiency.
Keywords: BODY MASS, COLUBRIDAE, HIEROPHIS VIRIDIFLAVUS, CENTRAL ITALY, COMMUNAL NESTING, DISPERSAL BEHAVIOUR