Snake Food Preference: Innate Intraspecific Geographic Variation

See allHide authors and affiliations

Science  29 Mar 1968:
Vol. 159, Issue 3822, pp. 1478-1479
DOI: 10.1126/science.159.3822.1478


Compared to Florida individuals, a smaller percentage of Massachusetts Thamnophis sirtalis sirtalis will accept fish. Both experienced adults and isolated newborn snakes respond similarly; the behavior is innate and correlated with habitat differences between the two localities. Although food preference in Natrix sipedon is also innate, geographic variation is not as clearcut.