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Juvenile adder diet

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will View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote will Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 13 Sep 2008 at 12:44pm
There's an interesting parallel with the London population of Aesculapian snakes; in their natural habitat on the Continent the neonates usually feed on lizards; there are none on Regents Canal and so presumably the population is limited by hatchlings having to find and swallow down nestling mammals.  However I guess this is easier in Aesculapians as the hatchlings are that much larger than baby adders.  Personally I don't know of any adder sites which have young and juvenile adders that don't have common lizards.  Shame, really, that they won't touch Orthoptera unlike some vipers, given their abundance at this time of year.

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Vicar Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 13 Sep 2008 at 3:45pm
Hi Will,

Would they not also take frogs? we found frogs and juvenile El in the wooded area along the canal when last up there...but I don't know Aesculapians well enough to comment.
Steve Langham - Chairman    
Surrey Amphibian & Reptile Group
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will View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote will Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 13 Sep 2008 at 6:02pm
Hi Steve

Good question; I guess they might - I hadn't thought of that in the case of London Aesculapians; I think it's quite rare for habitual amphibian feeding snakes to swap to mammals and birds later in life though.  I did find a small London Aesculapian in the act of producing a dropping - and interestingly it had mouse hairs in it, but of course that doesn't mean the hatchlings don't take froglets, for example.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote calumma Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 15 Sep 2008 at 3:12am
Tony, yes I have considered the role of slow-worms. What I don't know is,
will the presence of slow-worms be enough to offset the lack of lizards?
Lee Brady

Kent Herpetofauna Recorder | Independent Ecological Consultant



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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote AGILIS Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 15 Sep 2008 at 3:55am
Interesting subject as to reptile diet I wonder how many barren sites are just the out come of animals starving to exstinction keith
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Masked Marvel Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 15 Sep 2008 at 8:18am
Very small adders do indeed eat full grown viviparous lizards. The adder in the picture regurgitated the lizard after I captured it during a relocation. I didn't measure them both exactly, but the lizard might just win by a nose. Felt quite bad about it as that lizard must have taken some swallowing...





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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote tim hamlett Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 15 Sep 2008 at 10:00am

hi...that really is amazing.

i used to think my mate geoff taking on an all you can eat buffet was something but that little thing takes it by a mile!!!

getting back to the thread was that before or after first hibernation?

tim 

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Masked Marvel Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 15 Sep 2008 at 10:09am
I think it was late August, so would have been before.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote axel Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 26 Sep 2008 at 8:37am

Originally posted by will will wrote:

There's an interesting parallel with the London population of Aesculapian snakes; in their natural habitat on the Continent the neonates usually feed on lizards; there are none on Regents Canal and so presumably the population is limited by hatchlings having to find and swallow down nestling mammals. 

While helping out with a study on the WMZ aesculapians, we found a juvenile which regurgitated 3 or 4 'fuzzy' mice. Interestingly, the total weight of mouse was greater than the snake (I will try and find some pics to post). As far as I know all records of juvenile diet from the WMZ population consist of mammals also, although apparently an adult Z.l. is recorded as eating a grass snake.

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote will Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 26 Sep 2008 at 2:10pm
Interesting - do you know if there are lizards which young WMZ Aesculapians could also potentially feed on in the Zoo grounds ?
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