Life History Characteristics of Nerodia clarkii compressicauda at Placido Bayou, Florida
The mangrove salt marsh snake, Nerodia clarkii compressicauda (after Lawson et al., 1991), inhabits estuarine mangrove forests dominated by the red mangrove, Rhizophora mangle, on Cuba and along the coasts of pennisular Florida (Dunson, 1979; Zug and Dunson, 1979; Hebrard, 1981). Adult snakes range in size from 38 to 76 cm snout-vent length (SVL) (Conant and Collins, 1991) and exhibit highly variable body coloration. Most common is the "green-morph" typified by dark olive green color with brown bandings, but "red-morph" snakes have also been observed. The latter, rarer of the two color morphs is usually dark, rust-red in color, with alternating lighter and darker bands, or is uniformly a dark reddish-orange. Mangrove salt marsh snakes mate during the early spring, and young are born in mid to late summer (Ashton and Ashton, 1984). Neil1 (1965) recorded brief observations of mangrove salt marsh snake foraging behavior, and Miller (1985) and Miller and Mushinsky (1990) reported that these snakes feed exclusively on fish. Aside from measurements of those snakes captured in these latter two studies, however, little morphometric data are available for this subspecies. This study presents additional measurements of head and body size of adult mangrove salt marsh snakes collected at Placido Bayou, Florida, and neonates born in captivity. Also, I report the frequency of green- morph and red-morph snakes as well as the frequency of injury among snakes collected at Placido Bayou.
Mullin, Stephen J., "Life History Characteristics of Nerodia clarkii compressicauda at Placido Bayou, Florida" (1994). Faculty Publications. Paper 126.