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    Author(s): Robert R. Fleet; D. Craig Rudolph; J. D. Camper; J. Niederhofer
    Date: 2009
    Source: Southeastern Naturalist 8(Special Issue 2): 31-40.
    Publication Series: Miscellaneous Publication
    PDF: Download Publication  (204.67 KB)


    In 1998, we conducted a radio-telemetry study of Coluber constrictor

    etheridgei (Tan Racer) in the Angelina National Forest in eastern Texas. Individuals

    were located once daily from 12 June to 14 August. We determined home-range

    size, movement distances, movement frequency, and habitat use for this short-term

    study. We also determined food habits of this population by examination of fecal

    samples. We compared these parameters to other Racer taxa in Utah (C. c. mormon

    [Western Yellow-bellied Racer]), Kansas (C. c. fl aviventris [Eastern Yellow-bellied

    Racer]), and South Carolina (C.c. priapus [Southern Black Racer]). Compared to

    these populations, Texas Racers exhibited larger home ranges and greater movement

    frequency and distances during the summer than Utah or Kansas populations, but approximately

    equal to those of the South Carolina population. Available data on food

    habits suggests that all populations are consumers of invertebrate and vertebrate prey.

    We hypothesize that the basic diet of C. constrictor is composed of invertebrates captured

    by active foraging in areas of abundant herbaceous vegetation, that differences

    in home-range size and movement distances result from variations in patchiness of

    suitable foraging habitat across populations, and that the proportion of vertebrate

    prey in the diet of Coluber populations increases as home-range size and movement

    distances increase due to increasing patchiness of foraging habitat, resulting in

    increasing encounters with vertebrate prey.

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    Fleet, Robert R.; Rudolph, D. Craig; Camper, J. D.; Niederhofer, J. 2009. Ecological parameters of Coluber constrictor etheridgei, with comparisons to other Coluber constrictor subspecies. Southeastern Naturalist 8(Special Issue 2): 31-40.

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