SREL Reprint #0315




Selection Patterns of Corn Snakes, Elaphe gultata, of Different Phenotypes of the House Mouse, Mus musculus

Gary C. Smith and David Watson



Factors affecting prey selection of the corn snake, Elaphe guttata, were determined using different phenotypes of Mus musculus presented on different colored substrates.  A significant difference was noted in the selection of light brown over agouti mice when tested on light brown soil.  Comparisons of matching versus contrasting mice on all substrates were not significant.  No significant difference was noted in the selection of small versus large mice of the same color.  Laboratory-raised mice were chosen with greater frequency than wild mice of the same color.  Recognition of prey leading to capture occurred in 73% of the trials within 30 cm, 17% to 60 cm, and 7% to 90 cm, and 3 % greater than 90 cm.  Unlike results reported for avian predators, movement and proximity of prey appeared to be more important than color conspicuousness in selection patterns of this terrestrial predator.


SREL Reprint #0315

Smith, G.C. and D. Watson. 1972. Selection patterns of corn snakes, Elaphe guttata, of different phenotypes of the house mouse, Mus musculus. Copeia 1972:529-532.

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