1 June 2008 Aspects of the Ecology of the Earth Snakes (Virginia valeriae and V. striatula) in the Upper Coastal Plain
Brian D. Todd, John D. Willson, Christopher T. Winne, J. Whitfield Gibbons
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Abstract

Relatively little is known about the ecology and population biology of Virginia striatula (Rough Earth Snake) and Virginia valeriae (Smooth Earth Snake), especially in the southeastern portion of their geographic ranges. We studied populations of the two species on the Savannah River Site (SRS) in Aiken, SC from 1971 to 2007. We found sexual size dimorphism in both species, in which females were longer and heavier than males, but had relatively shorter tails. Overall, Rough Earth Snakes were longer and heavier than Smooth Earth Snakes, but maximum sizes of both species were smaller on the SRS than at other localities from which data are reported. Additionally, all gravid female Smooth Earth Snakes that we captured on the SRS were smaller than their reported size at sexual maturity from other parts of their range. Seasonal activity of Smooth Earth Snakes peaked in May and October, but both Smooth Earth Snakes and Rough Earth Snakes were frequently captured during all warm months. Distinct age classes in the two species were not readily apparent other than several neonates that we captured. We strongly encourage future studies to determine growth rates, longevity, and minimum size at sexual maturity of earth snakes in the Southeast.

Brian D. Todd, John D. Willson, Christopher T. Winne, and J. Whitfield Gibbons "Aspects of the Ecology of the Earth Snakes (Virginia valeriae and V. striatula) in the Upper Coastal Plain," Southeastern Naturalist 7(2), 349-358, (1 June 2008). https://doi.org/10.1656/1528-7092(2008)7[349:AOTEOT]2.0.CO;2
Published: 1 June 2008
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