Ecology and natural history of a snake assemblage at Núcleo Santa Virgínia, Parque Estadual da Serra do Mar, southeastern Brazil. Biota Neotrop., 9(3): http:// www.biotaneotropica.org.br/v9n3/en/abstract?article+bn03609032009.
Abstract:The objective of this study was to describe the natural history and the ecology of a snake assemblage in the Atlantic rainforest, at Núcleo Santa Virgínia, Parque Estadual da Serra do Mar, located on the northeastem of the state of São Paulo, southeastern Brazil. We describe richness, relative abundance, daily and seasonal activity, and substrate use, besides additional aspects of the natural history of the snakes. A total of 148 individuals, of 27 species, 19 genera and four families, were found within the area of the Núcleo Santa Virgínia. Species that were sampled more frequently were Bothrops jararaca, Xenodon neuwiedii and Liophis atraventer. Among the abiotic factors analyzed, minimum temperature, followed by mean temperature and rainfall are apparently the most important in determining snake abundance and/or activity. Most species presented a diet concentrated on one prey category or restricted to a few major food items. Frogs seem to be the most important food resource for snake assemblages in the Atlantic rainforest on the top of Serra do Mar. Our results indicate that the structure of the Núcleo Santa Virgínia snake assemblage reflects mainly the ecological characteristics of each of the lineages that compose the assemblage.