Eliciting a predatory response in the eastern corn snake (Pantherophis guttatus) using live and inanimate sensory stimuli: implications for managing invasive populations

WORTHINGTON-HILL, J.O., YARNELL, R.W. and GENTLE, L.K., 2014. Eliciting a predatory response in the eastern corn snake (Pantherophis guttatus) using live and inanimate sensory stimuli: implications for managing invasive populations. International Journal of Pest Management, 60 (3), pp. 180-186. ISSN 0967-0874

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Abstract

North America's Eastern corn snake (Pantherophis guttatus) has been introduced to several islands throughout the Caribbean and Australasia where it poses a significant threat to native wildlife. Invasive snake control programs often involve trapping with live bait, a practice that, as well as being costly and labour intensive, raises welfare and ethical concerns. This study assessed corn snake response to live and inanimate sensory stimuli in an attempt to inform possible future trapping of the species and the development of alternative trap lures. We exposed nine individuals to sensory cues in the form of odour, visual, vibration and combined stimuli and measured the response (rate of tongue-flick [RTF]). RTF was significantly higher in odour and combined cues treatments, and there was no significant difference in RTF between live and inanimate cues during odour treatments. Our findings suggest chemical cues are of primary importance in initiating predation and that an inanimate odour stimulus, absent of simultaneous visual and vibratory cues, is a potential low-cost alternative trap lure for the control of invasive corn snake populations.

Item Type: Journal article
Publication Title: International Journal of Pest Management
Creators: Worthington-Hill, J.O., Yarnell, R.W. and Gentle, L.K.
Publisher: Taylor & Francis
Date: 2014
Volume: 60
Number: 3
ISSN: 0967-0874
Identifiers:
NumberType
10.1080/09670874.2014.953230DOI
Divisions: Schools > School of Animal, Rural and Environmental Sciences
Depositing User: EPrints Services
Date Added: 09 Oct 2015 09:42
Last Modified: 23 Aug 2016 09:05
URI: http://irep.ntu.ac.uk/id/eprint/1307

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