SREL Reprint #1827





Radiotelemetric Study of Activity and Movements of Racers (Coluber constrictor) Associated with a Carolina Bay in South Carolina


Racers (Coluber constrictor) were monitored with radiotelemetry in an old field/forest habitat surrounding a Carolina bay in South Carolina. Racers were active on approximately 70% of days; inactive snakes usually were in ecdysis. Active racers were relocated on the ground surface (40%), above ground in shrubs and trees (35%), and underground (25%). Habitats in which racers were relocated were thickets and grassland shrubs (50%), woodland/forest (25%), and grassland (25%). Active snakes moved an average of 104 m/d within home ranges averaging 12.2 ha estimated as minimum convex polygons. The home range of each snake included at least a portion of the bay and overlapped with home ranges of other snakes. In comparison with other studies of racers in which data were collected, analyzed, and presented in the same manner as in this study, home range size and daily movement of South Carolina racers were significantly greater. Possible explanations for the greater movement include trophic level differences and a proximate response to a local drought.

SREL Reprint #1827

Plummer, M.V. and J.D. Congdon. 1994. Radiotelemetric study of activity and movements of racers (Coluber constrictor) associated with a Carolina bay in South Carolina. Copeia 1994:20-26.

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