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Drymarchon corais (Colubridae) and Caiman crocodilus (Alligatoridae) use different feeding behaviors to consume poisonous toads

Citation

Oda, Fabrício et al. (2022), Drymarchon corais (Colubridae) and Caiman crocodilus (Alligatoridae) use different feeding behaviors to consume poisonous toads, Dryad, Dataset, https://doi.org/10.5061/dryad.tmpg4f513

Abstract

Drymarchon corais and Caiman crocodilus are reported here using different feeding behaviors for consuming poisonous toads of the genus Rhinella (Bufonidae). Drymarchon corais was observed feeding on specimens of Rhinella diptycha without avoiding contact with the parotoid macroglands, suggesting that this snake species is immune to toad toxins. Caiman crocodilus was recorded avoiding contact with the parotoid macroglands of specimens of Rhinella marina by consuming only the front and rear legs, suggesting that this caiman may be sensitive to toad toxins. Further experimental and field studies are needed to better understand the feeding behavior of D. corais and C. crocodilus, and the effects of Rhinella toxins on these predators.

Methods

Records of predation on R. diptycha and R. marina were obtained from occasional observations in nature at a locality in the municipality of Campina Verde of the state of Minas Gerais (MG), a locality in the municipality of Sambaíba of the state of Maranhão (MA), and a locality in the municipality of Manaus of the state of Amazonas (AM), in the Southeast, Northeast and North regions of Brazil, respectively.

Funding

Fundação Cearense de Apoio ao Desenvolvimento Científico e Tecnológico, Award: 6471073/2017

Fundação de Amparo à Pesquisa do Estado do Amazonas, Award: resolução n. 006/2020 – POSGRAD UFAM – Edição 2020

Conselho Nacional de Desenvolvimento Científico e Tecnológico, Award: 304334/2018-9

Conselho Nacional de Desenvolvimento Científico e Tecnológico, Award: 310658/2020-9