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Black adder site information needed

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Wolfgang Wuster View Drop Down
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Joined: 23 Apr 2003
Location: United Kingdom
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    Posted: 25 Apr 2005 at 7:48am
With a group of students, we plan to investigate the effect of pattern polymorphism, particularly melanism, in adders over the summer. The procedure will largely follow that of W│ster et al. (2004), i.e., we will use plasticine models of snakes to determine bird attack rates on different patterns.

It would be particularly helpful to try this experiment in areas where there are populations containing a high percentage (defined as meaning that they should not be exceptional) of melanistic adders. This is to ensure that the snake predators (raptors, corvids) at the location have indeed experienced contact with melanistic adders. I would therefore be very grateful for any reports on sites with a substantial proportion of melanistic adders and which might be suitable for this sort of project.

As stated above, the project does not involve any actual interference with adders (indeed, this will be strongly discouraged). All participants in the project will receive strict instructions to minimise disturbance to adders, and to keep the sites confidential. Permission from the landowner or manager will be sought in all cases.

Any help from forum members will be greatly appreciated. Please do not give locality information on the forum, but send it by personal email (w dot wuster at bangor dot ac dot uk) or private messenger.

Any help would be hugely appreciated!



W_STER, W. C.S.E. ALLUM, I.B. BJARGARD╦TTIR, K.L. BAILEY, K.J. DAWSON, J. GUENIOUI, J. LEWIS, J. MCGURK, A.G. MOORE, M. NISKANEN & C.P. POLLARD (2004) Do aposematism and Batesian mimicry require bright colours? A test, using European viper markings. Proceedings of the Royal Society of London, Biological Sciences 271(1556): 2495 - 2499. Downloadable as a PDF file here

Edited by Wolfgang Wuster
Wolfgang W├╝ster

School of Biological Sciences, University of Wales, Bangor
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Adam Long View Drop Down

Joined: 28 May 2004
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Adam Long Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 29 Apr 2005 at 6:44am
This picture of a black adder was taken in near Porthmadoc north Wales, so fairly local for you.

Couldn't tell you whether there is a high proportion of melanism here, but there is a very good population of potential predators - lots of Ravens, Buzzards, Carrion Crows etc. Habitat oak woodland on a steep slope, lots of exposed and rocks and scree.
Let me know if it sounds useful and I'll pass on the details.
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