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Food habits of Zamenis longissimus (Laurenti, 1768) (Reptilia: Serpentes: Colubridae) in Bieszczady (south-eastern Poland)

Vertebrate Soology 57(1) 2007: 73-77

Institute of Civil and Environmental Engineering, University of Zielona Góra, prof. Z. Szafrana 15, PL - 65-516 Zielona Góra. Poland.


The paper presents the results of research on the food contents of the Aesculapian snake Zamenis longissimus in Bieszczady (south-eastern Poland). Over the period of 20 years 43 dead individuals of the species of varied age were found in the valley of the San river at the foot of Otryt hills. 116 victims were recorded in 40 (93 %) stomachs fi lled with food contents, among which vertebrate, and in particular small mammals prevailed (e. g. Sorex sp., Apodemus sp., Microtus sp. and Clethrionomys sp.). Food of adult snakes (89–159.7 cm; n = 32) also included bird eggs. Food of individuals classifi ed as young (27.5–67.5 cm; n = 8), apart from vertebrate (mainly Lacertidae) included invertebrate (Coleoptera and Oligochaeta). The research indicates that food contents of this relatively small population of the Aesculapian snake can be signifi cantly diversifi ed and dependent on age.

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