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Ecology of the Australian Elapid Snake Echiopsis curta

Richard Shine
Journal of Herpetology
Vol. 16, No. 4 (Dec., 1982), pp. 388-393
DOI: 10.2307/1563569
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/1563569
Page Count: 6
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Ecology of the Australian Elapid Snake Echiopsis curta
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Abstract

Dissection of 187 specimens provided data on body sizes, sexual size dimorphism, food habits, reproductive cycles and inferred growth rates of this small venomous snake. Adult Echiopsis curta average approximately 30 cm snout-vent length, with males and females attaining similar sizes. The diet is diverse: 52% lizards, 31% frogs, 13% mammals, plus occasional birds and insects. Amphibians may be eaten less often in eastern populations of E. curta than in western populations. Bardicks are viviparous, with three to 14 (x̄ = 7.1) offspring born in late summer. Fecundity is highly correlated with maternal body size. Neonates measure 10 to 15 cm snout-vent length, and grow to 20 cm in their first year of life (based on analysis of body size distributions). Male bardicks mature in their second year, but most females delay maturity (first ovulation) for an additional year.

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