Natural history of the common tree snake, Dendrelaphis punctulatus (Serpentes : Colubridae), in the wet-dry tropics of north Queensland

S Fearn, Dane Trembath

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Abstract

Common tree snakes, Dendrelaphis punctulatus, are medium to large colubrid snakes that are relatively common in the eastern and northern parts of tropical Australia. The only previous study on this species involved museum specimens from across the taxonâ¿¿s range. During a seven-year period we collected data on 131 field-caught specimens from a melanotic population in the Townsville district of north Queensland. Dendrelaphis punctulatus was found to be primarily diurnal, with a peak in activity centred around the reproductive period during the transition from dry to wet seasons. Females were larger than males with respect to all measured parameters, including mass and head size. Reproduction in females was strongly seasonal and clutch size was related to maternal body size. Prey items consisted of frogs, lizards and locusts
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)384-389
Number of pages6
JournalAustralian Journal of Zoology
Volume58
Issue number6
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2011
Externally publishedYes

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