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1 June 2012 Ritual Combat of Elaphe quadrivirgata Observed Outside the Mating Season
Nozomi Nishiumi
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Males of a Japanese colubrid snake, Elaphe quadrivirgata, have been reported to exhibit ritual combat during the mating season between April and May to gain access to females. I observed ritual combat by wild E. quadrivirgata in mid-June, which is considered outside the normal mating season. This observation suggests that the mating period of E. quadrivirgata extends beyond May, at least to late June, or that E. quadrivirgata exhibits ritual combat not only in competition for mating but also for food or other things. In addition, by the analysis of the video recording, I confirmed that E. quadrivirgata exhibited topping behavior, which is a characteristic of combat in viperids.

© 2012 by The Herpetological Society of Japan
Nozomi Nishiumi "Ritual Combat of Elaphe quadrivirgata Observed Outside the Mating Season," Current Herpetology 31(1), 54-57, (1 June 2012).
Accepted: 1 May 2012; Published: 1 June 2012
Elaphe quadrivirgata
mating behavior
resource defense
Ritual combat
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