ArticlePDF Available

Helicops gomesi. Diet and Reproduction.



Here, I provide information on a food item and reproduction of Helicops gomesi.
Herpetological Review 51(4), 2020
took ca. 5 min to completely swallow the I. braminus, after which
it retreated into the nearby shrubs. Sharma and Vazirani (1977.
Rec. Zool. Surv. India 73:77–93) reported E. c. sochureki preying
upon I. braminus in Rajasthan, so this is the first record of this
subspecies consuming a snake and the second record of the
We thank Akshay Khandekar and Avrajjal Ghosh for verifying
the identification of the prey species.
TEKE, Department of Ecology and Environmental Sciences, School of Life
Sciences, Pondicherry University, Puducherry, India 605014 (e-mail: dip-
Erythrolamprus bizona is distributed in Costa Rica, Panama,
Colombia, Trinidad and Tobago (Trinidad), and northern
Venezuela. (Wallach et al. 2014. Snakes of the World: A Catalogue
of Living and Extinct Species. CRC Press, Boca Raton, Florida.
1237 pp.). It is a terrestrial and diurnal snake that feeds primarily
on other snakes and occasionally on lizards. Reported prey
items for this species include the snakes Hydromorphus sp.,
Stenorrhina freminvillei, and Tantilla sp. (Savage 2002. The
Amphibians and Reptiles of Costa Rica: A Herpetofauna between
Two Continents, between Two Seas. University of Chicago Press,
Chicago, Illinois. 934 pp.; Solórzano 2004. Snakes of Costa Rica:
Distribution, Taxonomy, and Natural History. Instituto Nacional
de Biodiversidad [INBio], Santo Domingo de Heredia, Costa
Rica. 791 pp.; Ramírez-Fernández 2016. Mesoam. Herpetol.
3:1022–1024). The present note reports predation on Tantilla
melanocephala by E. bizona.
At 1245 h on 16 March 2020, in the Municipality of Amalfi,
Department of Antioquia, Colombia (6.8813°N, 75.0944°W; WGS
84; 661 m elev.), an adult E. bizona (60.6 cm total length, 45.3
cm SVL) was captured in dense forest and placed within a cloth
bag; when removing the snake from the cloth bag 2 h later, we
found it had regurgitated a Tantilla melanocephala (Fig. 1; 21.3
cm SVL). The prey showed early decomposition, some injuries,
and a detached tail. To the best of our knowledge, this is the first
report that records predatory interaction between these species.
We thank Liliana Andrea García Quiroz and Amabiel de Jesús
Hernández for their unconditional support during the field trips
throughout the department of Antioquia.
JORGE A. ZÚÑIGA-BAOS, Vereda Pomona, Popayán, Cauca, Colom-
bia (e-mail:; ERIKA R. RODRÍGUEZ-MA-
TEUS, Bogotá, Bogotá D.C, Colombia (e-mail:
DIET. Gongylosoma longicaudum is known to occur in penin-
sular Thailand, Indonesia (Java, Sumatra), peninsular Malaysia,
and Borneo (Pauwels and Grismer 2015. Russian J. Herpetol.
23:239–242). It inhabits lowland rainforests and feeds on spiders
and lizards (Das 2010. A Field Guide to the Reptiles of South-East
Asia, New Holland Publishers [UK] Ltd., London, UK. 376 pp.).
Here we report predation of an adult female giant huntsman
spider (Araneae: Sparassidae: Heteropodinae: Heteropoda sp.
belonging to the Heteropoda tetrica group) by an adult G. lon-
At 1445 h on 10 October 2018, near Baan Chulaphorn
Bhattana 10 Village, Be Tong District, Yala Province (5.872°N,
101.233°E; 710 m elev.) in lowland Dipterocarp forest with dense
leaf litter, about 5 m from a rocky stream, we observed a G.
longicaudum eating a giant huntsman spider (Heteropoda sp.;
Fig. 1). The snake bit the spider on the abdomen and rolled its
body like a crocodile; this action separated the spider’s abdomen
from its cephalothorax. The snake then ingested the abdomen
but left the cephalothorax before moving off into the leaf litter.
Whether the cephalothorax was simply too large for the snake
to ingest or whether dismemberment is part of the feeding
behavior of this species warrants future study. To the best of our
knowledge, this is the first prey item for G. longicaudum to be
reported at the genus level. To the best of our knowledge, this is
the first observation of a prey item for G. longicaudum and first
time identified for prey to level of the genus. This adds to the
very limited knowledge of diet and natural history of the genus
We thank Peter Jäger (Arachnology, Senckenberg Research
Institute, Germany) for helping to identify the spider.
PARINYA PAWANGKHANANT, Division of Fishery, School of Agricul-
ture and Natural Resources, University of Phayao, Phayao, Thailand (e-mail:; TAN VAN NGUYEN, Save Vietnam’s Wildlife,
Nho Quan, Ninh Binh, Vietnam (e-mail:
gomesi is a medium-sized, aquatic dipsadid snake (up to 764 mm
SVL; Amaral 1921. Anex. Mem. Inst. Butantan 1:7–37) endemic to
the southern portion of the Cerrado and its contact areas with
Atlantic Forest, Brazil (Nogueira et al. 2019. South Am. J. Herpe-
tol. 14:1–274). The biology of the species is poorly known. Ama-
ral (1921, op. cit.) comments that the species feeds on small fish
and amphibians but provides no evidence, and Braz et al. (2016.
Fig. 1. Tantilla melanocephala regurgitated by an adult Erythrolam-
prus bizona from Antioquia, Colombia.
Fig. 1. Adult Gongylosoma longicaudum consuming a Heteropoda sp.
belonging to the H. tetrica group in Be Tong District, Yala Province,
Herpetological Review 51(4), 2020
Zool. Anz. 263:33–44) report a single female collected in Decem-
ber with three oviductal shelled eggs. Here, I provide information
on a food item and reproduction of H. gomesi.
An adult female H. gomesi (615 mm SVL, 201 mm tail length)
was collected on 5 November 2013 in the municipality of Guará
(São Paulo, southeastern Brazil) and donated to the Instituto
Butantan (IBSP 85633). After dissection, I found a nearly intact
three-barbeled catfish, Pimelodella sp. (Heptapteridae) in its
stomach. Heptapterid fish have been recorded as food item of
at least three congeneric species (Teixeira et al. 2017. J. Herpetol.
51:215–222). The prey (129 mm total length) was swallowed
headfirst. The ratio between prey total length and predator SVL
was 0.21, which is in the range observed in other congeners
(Aguiar and Di-Bernardo 2004. Stud. Neotrop. Fauna Environ.
39:7–14; Sturaro and Gomes. 2008. Bol. Mus. Para. Emílio
Goeldi. 3:225–228). The female snake also had 14 pre-ovulatory
vitellogenic follicles (largest = 20.13 mm). This finding plus
literature data (Amaral 1921, op. cit.; Braz et al. 2016, op. cit.)
suggest that female H. gomesi reproduce in wet/warm seasons
I thank Osvaldo T. Oyakawa (Museu de Zoologia da
Universidade de São Paulo) for identifying the prey item and
Valdir Germano for assistance in the laboratory.
HENRIQUE B. BRAZ, Laboratório de Ecologia e Evolução, Instituto Bu-
tantan, Av. Dr. Vital Brazil, 1500, CEP 05503-900, São Paulo, Brazil; e-mail:
Racer). DIET. Hypsirhynchus parvifrons is a mostly mesophilic
snake, widely distributed throughout the island of Santo Do-
mingo, as well as several of its satellite islands. (Henderson and
Powell 2009. Natural History of West Indian Reptiles and Am-
phibians. University Press of Florida, Gainesville, Florida. 495
pp.). Its diet primarily consists of lizards, mainly anoles, and to
a lesser extent, frogs and mice (Henderson et al. 1987. J. Herpe-
tol. 21:4:330–334). Here, I document an attempted predation by
H. parvifrons on a Gymnophthalmus underwoodi (Underwood’s
Spectacled Tegu).
At ca. 1230 h on 28 January 2020, in Jardín Botánico Nacional,
Distrito Nacional, Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic
(18.495°N, 69.953°W; WGS 84), while collecting G. underwoodi
specimens, I observed an H. parvifrons (ca. 20 cm total length)
with a struggling adult G. underwoodi in its mouth. When the
snake became aware of my presence, it started slithering away to
hide under the leaf litter. I picked up the two entangled animals
in an attempt to collect the lizard. The animals fell from my hand
and undeterred by my interference, the snake tried to recapture
the lizard. After a few seconds of observation, I caught the lizard
and allowed the snake to escape. Even though the predation
event was interrupted, juvenile H. parvifrons have been observed
to readily accept G. underwoodi as prey in captivity (pers. obs.).
To my knowledge, this is the first report of a snake preying on
this lizard.
FRANCIS O. REYES, Asociación Hispaniolana, Santo Domingo, Do-
minican Republic; e-mail:
LAMPROPELTIS POLYZONA (Atlantic Central American Milk-
snake). PREDATION. Lampropeltis polyzona is a member of the
L. triangulum species complex that is endemic to Mexico, be-
ing thought to occur from southern Sonora and southwestern
Chihuahua southward to Guerrero, then eastward to Veracruz
(Ruane et al. 2014. Syst. Biol. 63:231–250; but see Chambers and
Hillis 2020. Syst. Biol. 69:184–193). Records of predation on coral
snake mimics are relatively few. Rodríguez-Canseco et al. (2015.
Herpetol. Rev. 46:452) reported predation on L. polyzona by
three birds of prey (Buteo jamaicensis, B. plagiatus, and Accipi-
ter cooperi). Here, we report predation by Herpetotheres cachin-
nans (Laughing Falcon), a Neotropical falcon species found from
western and southern Mexico to northern Argentina (Costa et al.
2014. North-West. J. Zool. 10:445–453). The diet of H. cachinnans
consists mostly of snakes, including both coral snakes and their
mimics (Costa et al. 2014, op. cit.).
At 1130 h on 8 March 2020, on the road from Av. San Blas to
Cocodrilario Kiekari (21.54143°N, 105.22171°W; WGS 84; 5 m
elev.), Municipality of San Blas, Nayarit, Mexico, we observed
an adult H. cachinnans perched on a tree with a juvenile L.
polyzona in its claws. The H. cachinnans took off among the
trees, moving away to perch and feed on the snake (Fig. 1). The
area surrounding the road is tropical and deciduous forest and
fruit orchards.
JESUS A. LOC-BARRAGAN, Posgrado en Ciencias Ambientales.
Laboratorio de Zoología y Ecosiología. Instituto Tecnológico Superior
de Zacapoaxtla,Carretera Acuaco-Zacapoaxtla Km. 8, Col. Totoltepec C.P.
73680, Zacapoaxtla, Puebla, Mexico and Red Mesoamericana y del Caribe
para la Conservación de Anbios y Reptiles (MesoHerp) (e-mail: biolocbar-; JOSÉ A. ROBLES-MARTÍNEZ, Unidad Académica de
Turismo, Universidad Autónoma de Nayarit, Ciudad de la Cultura Amado
Nervo, C.P. 63155, Tepic, Nayarit, Mexico (e-mail: joanromanus@gmail.
com); DAVID MOLINA, Bioingeniería, S.C., Cristóbal Colón 152, C.P. 63180,
Tepic, Nayarit, Mexico and Estación de Bandeo SJ01 Rancho La Noria, Sierra
de San Juan, Km 9 Carr. Tepic, El Cuarenteño, Xalisco, Nayarit, Mexico (e-
Lycodon aulicus is widely distributed throughout the Indian sub-
continent from Jammu and Kashmir in the north to Sri Lanka in
the south, including Lakshadweep Island, and from Pakistan in
the west to Myanmar in the east. The body color of L. aulicus is
typically brown or black with white or yellow bands that widen
on the sides and fade on the hind body. It has broad snout and
head with a white neck band and white upper lip (Whitaker and
Captain 2004. Snakes of India. The Field Guide. Draco Books,
Chennai, India. xiv + 174 pp.). Here we report two unusually pat-
terned L. aulicus from Madhya Pradesh, India.
The first specimen (40.6 cm SVL, 8.4 cm tail length; Fig. 1A)
was rescued on 3 July 2019, at 2340 h, from a house in Dafran
Sarai Padav Colony, Gwalior, Madhya Pradesh, India (26.21269°N,
78.17599°E; WGS 84; 188 m elev.). The color of the snake was light
brown, with the neck having a yellowish collar in the shape of
Fig. 1. Herpetotheres cachinnans (Laughing Falcon) with its prey, a
Lampropeltis polyzona, in Nayarit, Mexico.
ResearchGate has not been able to resolve any citations for this publication.
ResearchGate has not been able to resolve any references for this publication.