Comparative Diets of Three Populations of an Aquatic Snake (Natrix Tessellata, Colubridae) from Mediterranean Streams with Different Hydric Regimes

  title={Comparative Diets of Three Populations of an Aquatic Snake (Natrix Tessellata, Colubridae) from Mediterranean Streams with Different Hydric Regimes},
  author={Luca Luiselli and Dario Capizzi and Ernesto Filippi and Claudio Anibaldi and Lorenzo Rugiero and Massimo Capula},
  pages={426 - 435}
Abstract The Dice Snake (Natrix tessellata) is an aquatic colubrid that is known for having a basically piscivorous diet and a female-biased sexual size dimorphism (larger females). The feeding habits of three populations of N. tessellata from Mediterranean streams in central Italy were studied. The three streams differed in terms of their water regimes, one being seasonal and two being perennial. More than 2,000 snake individuals were handled for food items, and 1,200+ prey items were… 

A global overview on the diet of the dice snake (Natrix tessellata) from a geographical perspective: foraging in atypical habitats and feeding spectrum widening helps colonisation and survival under suboptimal conditions for a piscivorous snake

The global analysis of the diet of the dice snake revealed a feeding spectrum characteristically changing over the broad distribution area including non-fish prey as well as taxa from marine and terrestrial habitats, separating four large geographical units with further distinctions in Central and Eastern Europe.

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09. An extraordinary large prey observed in the diet composition of Natrix tessellata (Squamata: Colubridae)

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As small mammal species diversity and abundance in the Iberian Peninsula increase with rainfall, the results suggest that the consumption of small mammals versus reptiles is driven by prey availability.

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Head Morphology and Diet in the Dice Snake (Natrix tessellata)

Results suggest strong population-level divergence in head size and shape in Natrix tessellata, suggesting that diet is strongly determined by local abundance of potential prey and future studies need to establish whether the observed differences in head shape have a genetic basis, or result from phenotypic plasticity.

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Unexpected life history traits in a very dense population of dice snakes

Non-prey items in stomachs of Alpine newts (Mesotriton alpestris, Laurenti)

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Composition and Scaling of Male and Female Alpine Newt (Mesotriton Alpestris) Prey, with Related Site and Seasonal Effects

Analysis of dietary composition of male and female Alpine newts from two localities in the Czech Republic during the entire breeding period found the effect of sex on all observed prey variables — the females consumed more prey items, more diverse prey and also in greater mass than did the males.



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Overall, females were significantly larger than males but the strength of these differences varied considerably with sample size, and Rodents were the most important prey source in most habitat types, although birds were preyed upon slightly more frequently in the wet habitat than rodents.


Diet consisted mainly of fish and frogs, although size-related and sexualerences were found: immature snakes had a more d iverse diet than adults, and adult females ate more frogs than adult males.

Interspecific relationships between two species of sympatric Afrotropical water snake in relation to a seasonally fluctuating food resource

  • L. Luiselli
  • Environmental Science
    Journal of Tropical Ecology
  • 2005
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Food Niche Partitioning by Water Snakes (Genus Natrix) at a Freshwater Environment in Central Italy

The feeding habits and food niche partitioning by these water snakes at a site located about 25 km north of Rome were studied, finding N. tessellata showed the highest specificity, feeding particularly on fish and almost exclusively on aquatic prey.

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A five-year mark-recapture study at Sella Nevea, a montane site in the Carnic Alps, provided information on diets, growth rates, and reproductive output in an Italian population of the wide-ranging grass snake, Natrix natrix, to provide an index of ‘costs of reproduction’ in this population.

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The diet of all categories (subadults, males and females) consisted of amphibians and fish, with a predominance of anuran tadpoles and the frog Silurana tropicalis.

Broad geographic, taxonomic and ecological patterns of interpopulation variation in the dietary habits of snakes

My study revealed that, within-species snake populations showed a very low variability in terms of diet composition, with sit-and-wait venomous species being less variable in their diet composition.

Prey Use in Three Syntopic Neotropical Racers

Positive predator-prey size relationships were demonstrated for each species, and larger snakes take larger as well as small prey and where sample size is large enough there are upper and/or lower size ranges of frequently ingested prey.

Predation on fish and intersite variation in the diet of common garter snakes, Thamnophis sirtalis, on Vancouver Island

The proportion of snakes with food in their stomachs varied among sites and was correlated with mean relative body mass of snakes, which suggests that some sites are more productive than others for snakes, but rigorous tests of whether snake populations are food-limited have not been done.


Regression analysis indicates that all four species eat larger prey as they mature, however, the largest individuals are females, and in two of the four species the large females eat a different array of prey than smaller nonspecific males.