Skip to Main Content
Texas ratsnake predation on southern flying squirrels in red-cockaded woodpecker cavitiesAuthor(s): D. Craig Rudolph; Richard R. Schaefer; Josh B. Pierce; Dan Saenz; Richard N. Conner
Source: Southeastern Naturalist 8(Special Issue 2):41-46
Publication Series: Scientific Journal (JRNL)
PDF: View PDF (0 B)
DescriptionElaphe spp. (ratsnakes) are frequent predators on cavity-nesting birds and other vertebrates, including Glaucomys volans (Southern Flying Squirrels). They are known predators of Picoides borealis (Red-cockaded Woodpeckers), especially during the nestling phase. Picoides borealis cavities are frequently occupied by Southern Flying Squirrels, often several squirrels per cavity. Behavioral aspects of ratsnake predation on flying squirrels in woodpecker cavities is an important component required for a full understanding of the potentially complex interaction between Red-cockaded Woodpeckers, Southern Flying Squirrels, and ratsnakes. We induced previously captured Elaphe obsoleta (Texas Ratsnake) to climb boles of pine trees and gain access to Red-cockaded Woodpecker cavities known to contain Southern Flying Squirrels, and observed the resulting predatory interactions. Eight of nine ratsnakes successfully captured 14 of 22 Southern Flying Squirrels present in the cavities.
- You may send email to email@example.com to request a hard copy of this publication.
- (Please specify exactly which publication you are requesting and your mailing address.)
- We recommend that you also print this page and attach it to the printout of the article, to retain the full citation information.
- This article was written and prepared by U.S. Government employees on official time, and is therefore in the public domain.
CitationRudolph, D. Craig; Schaefer, Richard R.; Pierce, Josh B.; Saenz, Dan; Conner, Richard N. 2009. Texas ratsnake predation on southern flying squirrels in red-cockaded woodpecker cavities. Southeastern Naturalist 8(Special Issue 2):41-46.
Keywordscavity, Elaphe obsoleta, Picoides borealis, predation, red-cockaded woodpecker, southern flying squirrel
- A bark-shaving technique to deter rat snakes from climbing red-cockaded woodpecker cavity trees
- Red-cockaded woodpeckers vs rat snakes: the effectiveness of the resin barrier
- Use of trees by the Texas ratsnake (Elaphe obsoleta) in eastern Texas
XML: View XML