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RE: Grandma's first Scout clutch

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Posted by: BobHansen at Mon Sep 12 23:18:27 2011  [ Report Abuse ] [ Email Message ] [ Show All Posts by BobHansen ]  
   

What you are referring to is called "innate prey preference." It has been studied in some detail in some species of garter snakes (PM me for citations and/or pdf's), but to my knowledge never in any Lampropeltis. The patterns we see—such as what Robert described above—one clutch much more willing to accept mice, another lizards only, etc., has played out many times, often to our frustration. I've seen it in all mexicana-complex species. Whether these patterns can be explained by genetics or "maternal influences" (e.g., maternal diet) or something else entirely is utterly unknown. A British herpetoculturist, Jon Coote, suggested (article available for download here: http://www.sierraherps.com/bibliography) that hatchling prey preferences in alterna might be influenced by scenting of incubating eggs. He never tried this himself, so the idea is out there waiting to be confirmed or refuted.

Cheers,

BH
www.sierraherps.com


   

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<< Previous Message:  RE: Grandma's first Scout clutch - ectimaeus, Mon Sep 12 12:58:16 2011