Manjarrez, J. & Drummond, H. 1996: Temperature-limited activity in the garter snake Thamnophis melanogaster (Colubridae). Ethology 102, 146–156.
Temperature-limited Activity in the Garter Snake Thamnophis melanogaster (Colubridae)
Version of Record online: 26 APR 2010
1996 Blackwell Verlag GmbH
Volume 102, Issue 1, pages 146–156, January-December 1996
How to Cite
Manjarrez, J. and Drummond, H. (1996), Temperature-limited Activity in the Garter Snake Thamnophis melanogaster (Colubridae). Ethology, 102: 146–156. doi: 10.1111/j.1439-0310.1996.tb01112.x
- Issue online: 26 APR 2010
- Version of Record online: 26 APR 2010
- Received December 13, 1994; Accepted August 28, 1995 (J. Brockmann)
Many garter snakes, Thamnophis melanogaster, at a desert pond first started foraging for tadpoles when mean water surface temperature was about 20 °C (at 0945–1015 h), and the number of snakes tripled when water temperature reached about 24 °C (at 1100–1130 h). In two years, snakes foraged in April and May, but not in March when water never reached 23 °C and only exceeded 20 °C for a few hours after the usual foraging hours. Snakes in the laboratory dedicated increasing amounts of time to underwater foraging as air and water temperatures increased from 9 °C to 29 °C, and their rate of attacks on fish increased steeply and progressively above an apparent threshold lying between roughly 19 °C and 24 °C, up to at least 29 °C. Temperature may limit T. melanogaster's foraging at the pond to the hours after roughly 0900 h and to the period after roughly March, despite evidence that prey abundance is maximal in March.