HERPETOLOGY

Snail-snacking snakes

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Science  29 Jun 2018:
Vol. 360, Issue 6396, pp. 1417-1418
DOI: 10.1126/science.360.6396.1417-c

Sibon nebulatus, one of a tribe of diverse South and Central American snakes

PHOTO: SIBONS PHOTOGRAPHY/ALAMY STOCK PHOTO

Dipsadini are snakes that consume snails by sucking them out of their shells. They constitute a diverse tribe of more than 70 recognized species of tree-living snakes with striking skin patterns. Arteaga et al. have sampled nuclear and mitochondrial genes from a new collection of snakes from Central and South America to reexamine their taxonomy. It appears that these snakes' specialized lifestyle has resulted in a large adaptive radiation. Unfortunately, the five species newly discovered in this analysis are all vulnerable or endangered owing to habitat fragmentation.

Zookeys 10.3897/zookeys.766.24523 (2018).

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