Authors

Martínez-Freiría F, Lorenzo M, Lizana M

Abstract

 

Zamenis scalaris is a generalist active forager Mediterranean snake for which knowledge on spatial ecology is very limited. We report insights into the spatial and temporal patterns, and habitat use of four snakes, obtained through one-year radio-tracking monitoring in a citrus orchard landscape, in Eastern Iberia. Snakes showed a highly secretive behaviour, remaining hidden most of the annual cycle (>96% of records). Annual home ranges and movements were reduced in contrast to the expected energetic requirements of the species. Despite a similar pattern of non-activity during winter and a subsequent increase of movement rate and home range size in spring, each snake adopted a distinct spatial behaviour in summer and autumn. Abandoned citrus orchards and accessory constructions were the most frequent habitats selected by snakes, offering abundant prey and shelter. These resources are likely playing a crucial role in the spatial ecology of Z. scalaris.

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Journal: Amphibia-Reptilia

DOI: 10.1163/15685381-18000003