Agkistrodon piscivorus conanti (Florida cottonmouth) Diet

Product Type: 

Journal Article

Year: 

2016

Author(s): 

Grajal-Puche, A., J. Josimovich, B. Falk, and R.N. Reed

Suggested Citation: 

Grajal-Puche, A., J. Josimovich, B. Falk, and R.N. Reed. 2016. Agkistrodon piscivorus conanti (Florida cottonmouth) diet. Herpetological Review 47: 307.

Agkistrodon piscivorus is a generalist predator that feeds on a variety of prey, including snakes (Gloyd and Conant 1990. Snakes of the Agkistrodon Complex: A Monographic Review. Society for the Study of Amphibians and Reptiles, Oxford, Ohio. 614 pp.; Lillywhite et al. 2002. Herpetol. Rev. 33:259–260; Hill and Beaupre 2008. Copeia 2008:105–114). Cemophora coccinea (Scarletsnake) is not known as one of the 26 species of snakes consumed by A. piscivorus (Ernst and Ernst 2011. Venomous Reptiles of the United States, Canada, and Northern Mexico: Volume 1. Johns Hopkins University Press, Baltimore, Maryland. 193 pp.). On 16 June 2015, at 2210 h, we found a dead-on-road A. piscivorus (total length [TL] = 51.0 cm) in Everglades National Park on Main Park Road, 1.88 km S Pa-hay-okee, Miami-Dade Co., Florida, USA (25.414085°N, 80.78183146°W, WGS84; elev. 3 m). The snake had been killed by a vehicle and some internal organs were exposed. Visible stomach contents included a small (TL ca. 15 cm) C. coccinea. Photographic vouchers of the A. piscivorus (UF-Herpetology 177194) and C. coccinea (UF-Herpetology 177195) were deposited in the Division of Herpetology, Florida Museum of Natural History, University of Florida. Despite the fact that these species are sympatric over large areas of the southeastern United States, this is the first known documented predation of C. coccinea by A. piscivorus.