Thin Snakes Eat Big Anoles

Blunt-headed treesnake eating an Anolis petersi.Photo by Elí García-Padilla from the March issue of Herp. Review.

The blunt-headed treesnake, Imantodes cenchoa, is renowned for its anolivory, but being a pencil thin snake, one might have thought that its carnage would be limited to the smaller members of anole nation. Not so, as two Natural History Notes in the March, 2011 issue of Herpetological Review report. García-Padilla and Luna-Alcántara report a treesnake eating a large A. petersi in the Los Tuxtlas region of Mexico (photo above), and Ray et al. provide the details of a 56 gram I. cenchoa that was found with a 19 gram A. frenatus and a 1.3. gram anole egg in its stomach. Justice was served in the latter case, as the snake died soon after capture, and an autopsy revealed a perforated stomach, attributed to the anole’s claw, presumably during post-ingestion attempts  by the anole to pull a Gordon and escape.

About Jonathan Losos

Professor and Curator of Herpetology at the Museum of Comparative Zoology at Harvard University. I've spent my entire professional career studying anoles and have discovered that the more I learn about anoles, the more I realize I don't know.

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