What to do to defend themselves: description of three defensive strategies displayed by a serpent Dipsas alternans (Fischer, 1885) (Serpentes, Dipsadidae)

Thiago Maia-Carneiro, Milena Wachlevski, Carlos Frederico Duarte Rocha


Mechanisms involving interactions between prey and predator are important elements acting on the Natural History of the species concerned. Defensive behaviors presented by serpents evolved as a way for them to avoid being detected, injured, or killed. Dipsas alternans is a serpent species occurring in the Brazilian Atlantic Rain Forest and it can show distinct defensive behaviors in different situations. An adult female of D. alternans was found in Parque Estadual da Serra do Tabuleiro (27°44’34”S, 48°48’27”W), state of Santa Catarina, Brazil. Three defensive strategies were presented by the serpent (immobility, coil body, and hide head), which are reported for the first time with regard to D. alternans and can be of great importance to reduce its chance to be preyed.


Coil body; Defensive mechanisms; Dipsas alternans; Hide head; Immobility

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DOI: https://doi.org/10.5007/2175-7925.2012v25n1p207

Direitos autorais 2012 Thiago Maia-Carneiro, Milena Wachlevski, Carlos Frederico Duarte Rocha

Licença Creative Commons
Esta obra está licenciada sob uma licença Creative Commons Atribuição 4.0 Internacional.

Biotemas. UFSC, Florianópolis, SC, Brasil, eISSN 2175-7925

Licença Creative Commons
Este periódico está licenciado conforme Creative Commons Atribuição 4.0 Internacional.