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Opportunistic finding of anacondas preying on co-specifics.
Herpetological Review 42(4), 2011
614 nAtuRAl hiStORy nOteS
El Copé, Coclé Province, Republic of Panamá (08.66°N, 80.61°W;
WGS84) we observed an adult E. bizona two meters high in a
small tree. The snake moved to the end of the branch and then
dropped to the ground and crawled away. Erythrolamprus bi-
zona have not previously been reported to be arboreal. This ob-
servation expands the habitats that may be used by this species.
Julie m. RAy, La MICA Biological Station, El Copé de La Pintada, Co-
clé Province, Republic of Panama (e-mail:; deniSe
KÜnG, Ecology Group, Institution of Biology, Evolution and Environmen-
tal Studies, University of Zurich, Winterthurestrasse 190, CH-8057, Zúrich,
Switzerland; pAblO SAntAnA, La MICA Biological Station, El Copé de La
Pintada, Coclé Province, Republic of Panama.
ISM. Cannibalism has been reported four times in the genus
Eunectes (O’Shea 1994. Herpetol. Rev. 25:14; Rivas and Owens
2000. Herpetol. Rev. 31:45–46; Barros et al. 2011. Herpetol. Rev.
42:290–291). Two of these records were considered sexual can-
nibalism (Rivas and Owens, op. cit.), where a large female con-
sumed a male of the same species during the breeding season. In
this contribution we present the first report of cannibalism in the
recently discovered Eunectes beniensis.
On 24 January 2010, as part of a comprehensive study of the
spatial ecology and life history of E. beniensis in the Beni River
basin, Beni Department, Bolivia, we captured a female E. benien-
sis (total length = 220 cm; 6 kg without prey) in a rice field (14.8°S,
64.467°W; WGS84). Following capture, the female regurgitated a
conspecific male (total length = 192 cm; 2.5 kg; sex determined
by presence of exposed hemipenes). Although the cephalic re-
gion of the regurgitated specimen was partially decomposed, it
was possible to recognize the color pattern typical of E. benien-
sis. Because prior records of cannibalism in E. murinus occurred
during or directly following the mating season (dry season),
Rivas and Owens (op. cit.) believed that they were examples of
sexual cannibalism. However, this report of cannibalism in E.
beniensis occurred in the middle of the rainy season and thus
was not likely to be associated with reproductive activities. The
presence of cannibalism in three species of Eunectes in different
locations suggests that it may be a relatively common strategy in
the group.
Funding for this project was provided by the Viceministe-
rio de Medio Ambiente, Biodiversidad, Cambios Climáticos y
Gestión y Desarrollo Forestal, and Fundación Amigos de la Na-
turaleza (FAN- Bolivia). We thank the Ibiato community for wel-
coming us in their village. Orlando Eirubi provided invaluable
help during field work.
pAOlA de lA quintAnA, Instituto de Ecología, Universidad May-
or de San Andres, Casilla 10077, Correo Central, La Paz, Bolivia e-mail:; luiS f. pAchecO, Instituto de Ecología, Univer-
sidad Mayor de San Andres, Casilla 10077, Correo Central, La Paz , Bolivia
e-mail:; JeSúS A. RiVAS, New Mexico High-
lands University, Department of Biology, PO Box 9000, Las Vegas, New
Mexico 87701, USA (e-mail:
HOLOGERRHUM PHILIPPINUM (Philippine Stripe-lipped
Snake). REPRODUCTION. One of four snake genera endemic to
the Philippines, the genus Hologerrhum contains only two spe-
cies, known from fewer than 20 specimens worldwide (Brown et
al. 2000. Asiatic Herpetol. Res. 9:1–13; Leviton 1963. Proc. Califor-
nia Acad. Sci. 31:369–416; Leviton 1965. Phil. J. Sci. 94:519–533).
The apparent absence of adult males in collections previously
led taxonomists to speculate that H. philippinum might be an
all-female, parthenogenetic species (A. Leviton, pers. comm.).
During recent fieldwork in the northern Philippines, we col-
lected an adult male H. philippinum (total length = 302 mm; 4.8
g; Fig. 1). The specimen was observed on 28 December 2010, in
mixed primary- and secondary-growth forest, under a rock in a
dry river bed, in the Angat Dam Watershed Reserve, Sitio Lan-
gud, Barangay San Lorenzo, Municipality of Norzagaray, Bulacan
Province, Luzon Island, Philippines (14.93231°N, 121.20562°E,
WGS-84; elev. 194 m). This is the first known reproductively
mature male specimen of H. philippinum; the only other male
specimen is a juvenile with hemipenes retracted (USNM 498718;
Brown et al., op. cit.). The specimen is deposited at the herpe-
tological collections of the Biodiversity Institute, University of
Kansas (RMB 13628).
eRiKSen pheniX, JOhn pheniX, cAmeROn d. SileR (e-mail: cam-, RAfe m. bROWn (e-mail:, Department of
Ecology and Evolutionary Biology, Natural History Museum and Biodiver-
sity Institute, University of Kansas, Dyche Hall, 1345 Jayhawk Blvd, Law-
rence, Kansas 66045-7561, USA; ARVin c. dieSmOS, Herpetology Section,
Zoology Division, Philippine National Museum, Rizal Park, Burgos St., Ma-
nila, Philippines.
IMANTODES CENCHOA (Brown Blunt-Nosed Vinesnake).
MAxIMUM SIZE. Imantodes cenchoa is a relatively abundant
neotropical arboreal snake that ranges from southern Mexico to
Argentina. It is recognized by its long slender body and extremely
thin neck. Savage (2002. The Amphibians and Reptiles of Costa
Rica: A Herpetofauna between Two Continents, between Two
Seas. Univ. Chicago Press, Chicago, Illinois. 934 pp.) reported a
maximum size of 1250 mm for female I. cenchoa. On 5 Decem-
ber 2006, at 2000 h, in Omar Torrijos National Park, Coclé Prov-
ince, Republic of Panamá (08.66°N, 80.61°W, datum: WGS84), we
found a female I. cenchoa that measured 1369 mm total length
(SVL = 943 mm) and weighed 47.4 g. This snake was marked and
released at the site of capture. On 8 March 2007, at 2236 h, in
Omar Torrijos National Park we found a female I. cenchoa that
measured 1439 mm total length (SVL = 986 mm) and weighed
36.0 g (without prey). This snake contained a Dactyloa frenata
(19.1 g) and a large anole egg (1.3 g) prey items (Ray et al. 2011.
Herpetol. Rev. 42:100). Photographs of this specimen were de-
posited at the Amphibian and Reptile Diversity Research Cen-
ter, University of Texas at Arlington (UTADC 6526–27). The first
record increased the maximum known total length of female I.
cenchoa by 119 mm (8.6%) and the second by 189 mm (15.1%).
Fig. 1 An adult male Hologerrhum philippinum from the Angat Dam
Watershed Reserve, Luzon Island, Philippines.
... This smaller size could likely cause the Beni anaconda to be more vulnerable to predators. Nonetheless, other than a single cannibalism record (Quintana et al., 2011), no predation records on Beni anacondas have been published, and several aspects of its natural history remain poorly known. ...
... Available information on the recently described Beni anaconda (E. beniensis; locally known as sicurí) is limited to the original description (Dirksen and Böhme, 2005) and a note on cannibalism (De la Quintana et al., 2011). The Beni anaconda is endemic to Bolivia, where it is considered Vulnerable (Embert, 2009) and is listed as Least Concern by the IUCN (http:// ...
Understanding of snake ecology has increased over the past two decades, but is still limited for many species. This is particularly true for the recently described Beni anaconda (Eunectes beniensis). We present the results of a radio-telemetry study of nine (3M:6F) adult E. beniensis, including home range, and habitat use. We located the snakes 242 times in wet season, and 255 in dry season. Mean wet season home range (MCP) was 25.81 ha (6.7 to 39.4 ha); while mean dry season home range was 0.29 ha (0.13 to 0.42 ha). We found no relationship between home range size and either snout-vent length, weight, or sex. Beni anacondas seem to prefer swamps, and patujusal, while avoiding forest, and rice fields. However, habitat use by individual snakes seems to vary based on the habitats available within their respective home range. Notably, rice fields were avoided by most snakes, which suggests that this type of habitat is unsuitable for anaconda management.
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