Reproduction and diet of Imantodes cenchoa (Dipsadidae: Dipsadinae) from the Brazilian Amazon


Zoologia (Curitiba)




Imantodes cenchoa (Linnaeus, 1758) is distributed from the east coast of Mexico to Argentina. In Brazil, it occurs in the north, central-west and northeast regions. We present information on the reproductive biology and diet of I. cenchoa from analysis of 314 specimens deposited in the Herpetological Collection of the Museu Paraense Emílio Goeldi (MPEG). Imantodes cenchoa displays sexual dimorphism in the snout-vent length, where sexually mature females are larger than mature males (t = 4.02, p < 0.01; N males = 150, N females = 71), head length (f1.218 = 98.29, p < 0.01; N males = 150, N females = 71), and head width (f1.218 = 112.77, p < 0.01, N males = 150; N females = 71). Bi-sexual maturity is observed, with males becoming sexually mature earlier than females. Females with eggs were recorded from November to January (rainy season) and from April to July (dry season), suggesting two reproductive peaks throughout the year, with recruitment occurring mainly during the rainy season, when there is a greater supply of food. Imantodes cenchoa is a nocturnal active forager, capturing prey that are asleep on the vegetation. In 32.80% of the analyzed specimens, food contents were present, of which 84.11% were lizards of the genera Norops (69.16%, N = 74) and Gonatodes (14.95%, N = 16). The other 15.89% of the contents were made up of items in an advanced state of digestion, preventing their identification. Some specimens had more than one food item in their digestive tract, accounting for 107 prey items in total. There was no ontogenetic variation in the diet of I. cenchoa, and the predominant direction of prey ingestion was antero-posterior (71.96%). Larger snakes tended to feed on larger prey, although these did not exclude small prey from their diet.

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