Periódicos Brasileiros em Medicina Veterinária e Zootecnia

Snake assemblages of Marajó Island, Pará state, Brazil

Rodrigues, Gerson MoreiraMaschio, Gleomar FabianoPrudente, Ana Lúcia da Costa

We describe the diversity, natural history and structure of snake assemblages from Marajó Island, state of Pará, Brazil, after analyzing 439 specimens deposited in herpetological collections. We tested the hypothesis that snake assemblages from forest and open areas of Marajó Island are distinct with regard to their structure, composition and functional groups. To compare the snake composition of the forest and open areas of Marajó with other comparable assemblages in Brazil, Principal Coordinate Analysis and Clustering tests were performed. A total of 61 species of snakes was recorded for Marajó, with ten species cited for the first time for the study area (Atractus natans Hoogmoed & Prudente, 2003, A. schach (Boie, 1827), Dendrophidion dendrophis (Schlegel, 1837), Helicops hagmanni Roux, 1910, Hydrops martii (Wagler in Spix, 1824), Lygophis meridionalis (Schenkel, 1901), Erythrolamprus typhlus (Linnaeus, 1758), Philodryas argentea (Daudin, 1803), Siphlophis cervinus (Laurenti, 1768), and Thamnodynastes sp.). The composition and structure of snake assemblages between forested and open were different, with five functional groups of snakes in forest areas, and three groups in open areas, based on habit and habitat. In all, 19 species were exclusive to forest areas, 10 were exclusive to open areas and 26 species were recorded in both areas. Our results revealed greater richness for forested areas, probably due to greater habitat heterogeneity. The species composition for forested area in Marajó was similar to that found in other Amazonian assemblages, while that for open areas was more similar to the Pantanal region than other open area assemblages. The general structure of the snake assemblage of Marajó was dominated by anurophagous, terrestrial and diurnal species. Terrestrial, arboreal and semi-arboreal snakes showed a seasonal offspring production pattern, while the pattern for aquatic and semi-aquatic species was aseasonal. The structure of assemblages...(AU)

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