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1 March 2008 Lingual Luring by Mangrove Saltmarsh Snakes (Nerodia Clarkii Compressicauda)
Kerry A. Hansknecht
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Very few cases of predatory luring by squamate reptiles involve body parts other than the tail. Here, I report the use of the tongue by Mangrove Saltmarsh Snakes (Nerodia clarkii compressicauda) to lure prey, a behavior thus far adequately described for only one other snake species. Fishes are the only verified component of the diet of these snakes and are effectively attracted by the luring behavior. Lingual luring by these snakes is particularly unique in that the tongue is curled upon itself distally such that a conspicuous loop is formed at its terminus. The rapid oscillations typical of chemosensory tongue flicks are absent, though the terminal loop does exhibit some vertical and horizontal movement. The duration of luring tongue flicks is significantly greater than the duration of chemosensory tongue flicks.

Kerry A. Hansknecht "Lingual Luring by Mangrove Saltmarsh Snakes (Nerodia Clarkii Compressicauda)," Journal of Herpetology 42(1), 9-15, (1 March 2008).
Accepted: 1 July 2007; Published: 1 March 2008
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