Climbing behaviour in Micrurus altirostris (Cope, 1860) (Serpentes, Elapidae) from an Atlantic rainforest in southern Brazil

Manoela Alberton Getelina, Gilcinéia dos Santos, Ivanice Buzatto, Rodrigo Ceratto Bortoluzzi, Marcelo Carvalho da Rocha


Coral Snakes are the only representatives of the Elapidae Family at the neotropical region (Campbell and Lamar, 2004) and the genus Micrurus Wagler, 1824, is the most representative of the Family (Roze, 1996; Uetz and Hošek, 2014). Micrurus altirostris (Cope, 1860) is a fossorial snake (Giraudo, 2001) that uses subteranean galeries as forraging and shelter places being active either in the night and day hours, (Bernarde, 2012) and like many other fossorial Elapids, is commonly found before rains (Campbell and Lamar, 2004). Several defensive strategies are known to the Micrurus genus, like inaccessibility, locomotor scape, aposematic color, tail display, hide head, coil body, dorsoventral body compression, body thrash, subtle thrashes, bite (see Martins 1996) and cloacal discharge. Here we report another aspect of climbing behaviour of M. altirostris on a bush’s branch. 

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