Cooper, W. E., Jr. 1992: Post-bite elevation in tongue-flick rate by neonatal garter snakes (Thamnophis radix). Ethology 91, 339–345.
Post-bite Elevation in Tongue-flick Rate by Neonatal Garter Snakes (Thamnophis radix)
Article first published online: 26 APR 2010
1992 Blackwell Verlag GmbH
Volume 91, Issue 4, pages 339–345, January-December 1992
How to Cite
Cooper, W. E. (1992), Post-bite Elevation in Tongue-flick Rate by Neonatal Garter Snakes (Thamnophis radix). Ethology, 91: 339–345. doi: 10.1111/j.1439-0310.1992.tb00874.x
- Issue published online: 26 APR 2010
- Article first published online: 26 APR 2010
- Received: October 16, 1991 Accepted: May 8, 1992 (W. Pflumm)
A post-biting elevation in tongue-flicking rate was demonstrated experimentally in neonatal, ingestively naive garter snakes (Thamnophis radix). That the snakes also exhibited apparent searching movements suggests that strike-induced chemosensory searching occurs in nonvenomous snakes lacking previous experience with food or prey chemicals. Two litters of neonates differed in numbers of tongue-flicks emitted, but had similar relative magnitudes of response across experimental conditions. The existence of post-bite elevation in tongue-flick rate (and presumably strike-induced chemosensory searching) argues for a genetic basis for these chemosensory behaviors in a nonvenomous species of snake, extending the recent finding that strike-induced chemosensory searching is fully developed in ingestively naive neonatal rattlesnakes. Possible patterns of evolution of post-bite elevation in tongue-flick rate, and the strike-release-trail strategy of highly venomous snakes are discussed.