Natural history of the coral snake Micrurus apiatus (Jan, 1858) in the Yucatan Peninsula, Mexico
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activity pattern
coral snake
sexual dimorphism


Micrurus apiatus is a poorly known coral snake distributed east of the Isthmus of Tehuantepec, Mexico, to western Honduras, including the Yucatán Peninsula. We describe its diet, morphological variation, and activity patterns based on data from 107 museum specimens from the states of Campeche, Quintana Roo, and Yucatán, as well as published data. Its diet consists mainly of other snakes; no preferences in the type of prey between sexes, ages, or seasons were found; their feeding occurs throughout the year, observing a slight increase in the rainy season. We added eight new prey, including Adelphicos visoninum, which represents a new geographic record for Campeche, and suggested a homogeneous diet between age classes, sexes and seasons. Micrurus apiatus presents sexual dimorphism in snout-vent length, total length, head length, ventral scales (greater in females), tail length, and subcaudal scales (greater in males). Micrurus apiatus showed activity throughout the year, with an apparent bimodal activity pattern, with one peak in late winter and spring and the other in mid-summer and fall. The timing of the reproductive events of this snake is similar to other coral snakes, with a color pattern of black rings arranged in monads. Additional studies on this and related species will increase our understanding of how their ecology differs from those species with a pattern of black rings arranged in triads and bicolored.
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Copyright (c) 2023 Nidia Gabriela Blanco-Campos, David González-Solís, José Rogelio Cedeño-Vázquez, Rubén Alonso Carbajal-Márquez


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