Open Access Open Access  Restricted Access Subscription or Fee Access

Morphological and Molecular Evidence Reveals the First Record of the Coral Snake Micrurus filiformis (Serpentes: Elapidae) as Prey of the Piranha Pygocentrus cariba (Teleostei: Serrasalmidae)

Juan Pablo Hurtado-Gémez, Andrés Felipe Aponte-Gutiérrez, Vicente Javier Preciado, Uwe Fritz, Mario Vargas-Ramírez

Abstract


Coral snakes of the genus Micrurus have been recorded as prey of rapacious birds, some mammals and other snakes, but so far not as prey of fishes. The black spotted piranha, Pygocentrus cariba, is an opportunistic predator that feeds mainly on fishes, occasionally on other vertebrates, but has so far not been reported to prey on snakes. Herein, based on morphological and molecular data (mitochondrial 16S fragment), we report the first case of predation of P. cariba on the coral snake Micrurus filiformis. Additionally, we briefly discuss the significance of this new finding for the diet of P. cariba and comment on the systematics and distribution of M. filiformis.

Keywords


coral snake; diet; Micrurus; molecular identification; morphology; piranha

Full Text:

PDF

References


Almeida P. C. R., Prudente A. L. C., Curcio F. F., and Rodrigues M. T. U. (2016), «Biologia e História Natural das Cobras-Corais», in: N. J. Silva (ed.), As Cobras Corais do Brasil: Biologia, Taxonomia, Venenos e Envenenamentos, Edit. Pontifícia Univ. Católica Goiás (PUC-Goiás), Goiânia, pp. 168 – 215.

Campbell J. A. and Lamar W. (2004), The Venomous Reptiles of the Western Hemisphere, Comstock Publishing Associates – Cornell Univ. Press, Ithaca, NY.

Carreon-Martinez L., Johnson T. B., Ludsin S. A., and Heath D. D. (2011), «Utilization of stomach content DNA to determine diet diversity in piscivorous fishes», J. Fish Biol., 78, 1170 – 1182.

Feitosa D. T., Passos P., and Prudente A. L. da C. (2007), «Taxonomic status and geographic variation of the slender coralsnake, Micrurus filiformis (Günther, 1859) (Serpentes, Elapidae)», South Am. J. Herpetol., 2, 149 – 156.

Ferreira F. S., Vicentin W., Costa F. E. dos S., and Súarez Y. R. (2014), «Trophic ecology of two piranha species, Pygocentrus nattereri and Serrasalmus marginatus (Characiformes, Characidae), in the floodplain of the Negro River, Pantanal», Acta Limnol. Bras., 26, 381 – 391.

Fink W. L. (1993), «Revision of the piranha genus Pygocentrus (Teleostei, Characiformes)», Copeia, 1993, 665 – 687.

González A. R. and González E. M. (2013), «Variación estacional y ontogenética en la alimentación de Pygocentrus cariba (Humboldt, 1829) en una laguna de inundación de la cuenca del Orinoco medio», Saber, 13, 3 – 7.

Jo H., Gim J.-A., Jeong K.-S., Kim H.-S., and Joo G.-J. (2014), «Application of DNA barcoding for identification of freshwater carnivorous fish diets: Is number of prey items dependent on size class for Micropterus salmoidesEcol. Evol., 4, 219 – 229.

Kumar S., Stecher G., and Tamura K. (2016), «MEGA7: Molecular evolutionary genetics analysis version 7.0 for bigger datasets», Mol. Biol. Evol., 33, 1870 – 1874.

Lasso C. (2004), «Los peces de la Estación Biológica El Frío y Caño Guaritico (estado Apure), Llanos del Orinoco, Venezuela», Publ. Com. Español Programa Hombre Biosfera-Red IberoMaB de la UNESCO, 5, 1 – 458.

Lasso C. A., Mojica J. I., Saulo Usma J., Maldonado O. J. A., DoNascimiento C., Taphorn D. C., Provenzano F., Lasso-Alcalá Ó. M., Galvis G., Vásquez L., Lugo M., Machado-Allison A., Royero R., Suárez C., and Ortega-Lara A. (2004), «Peces de la cuenca del río Orinoco. Parte I: lista de especies y distribución por subcuencas», Biota Colomb., 5, 95 – 158.

Lynch J. D. (2009), «Snakes of the genus Oxyrhopus (Colubridae: Squamata) in Colombia: taxonomy and geographic variation», Pap. Avuls. Zool., 49, 319 – 337.

Machado-Allison A. and Garcia C. (1986), «Food habits and morphological changes during ontogeny in three serrasalmin fish species of the Venezuelan floodplains», Copeia, 1986, 193 – 195.

Maldonado-Ocampo J. A. and Ramírez-Gil H. (2006), «Hábitos alimenticios de Pygocentrus cariba y Chalceusepakros (Pisces, Characiformes: Characidae) en dos localidades de la baja Orinoquia colombiana, Materiales y Métodos Área de estudio», Mem. Fund. La Salle Ciencias Nat., 164, 129 – 141.

Mikula P. (2015), «Fish and amphibians as bat predators», Eur. J. Ecol., 1, 71 – 80.

Minton J. E. (1949), «Coral snake preyed upon by the bullfrog», Copeia, 1949, 288.

Nagy, Z. T., Glaw F., Andreone F., Wink M., and Vences M. (2007), «Species boundaries in Malagasy snakes of the genus Madagascarophis (Serpentes: Colubridae sensu lato) assessed by nuclear and mitochondrial markers», Org. Divers. Evol., 7, 241 – 251.

Nascimento L. R. S., Silva N. J., Jr., Feitosa D. T., and Prudente A. L. C. (2019), «Taxonomy of the Micrurus spixii species complex (Serpentes, Elapidae)», Zootaxa, 4668, 370 – 392.

Natera-Mumaw M., Esqueda González L. F., and Castelaín Fernandez M. (2015), Atlas serpientes de Venezuela. Una visión actual de su diversidad, Dimacofi Negocios Avanzados SA, Santiago de Chile.

Nico L. G. and Taphorn D. C. (1986), «Those bitin’ fish from South America», Trop. Fish Hobbyist, 34, 24 – 57.

Nico L. G. and Taphorn D. C. (1988), «Food habits of piranhas in the Low Llanos of Venezuela», Biotropica, 20, 311 – 321.

Passos P. and Fernandes D. S. (2005), «Variation and taxonomic status of the aquatic coral snake Micrurus surinamensis (Cuvier, 1817) (Serpentes: Elapidae)», Zootaxa, 953, 1 – 14.

Rivas Fuenmayor G., Molina C., Ugueto G. N., Barros T., Barrio-Amorós C. L., and Kok P. J. R. (2012), «Reptiles of Venezuela: an updated and commented checklist», Zootaxa, 3211, 1 – 64.

Roze J. A. (1996), Coral Snakes of the Americas: Biology, Identification, and Venoms, Krieger Publishing, Malabar, FL.

Santos X., Rato C., Carranza S., Carretero M. A., and Pleguezuelos J. M. (2012), «Complex phylogeography in the Southern Smooth Snake (Coronella girondica) supported by mtDNA sequences», J. Zool. Syst. Evol. Res., 50, 210 – 219.

Savage J. M. (1960), «A revision of the Ecuadorian snakes of the colubrid genus Atractus», Misc. Publ. Mus. Zool. Univ. Michigan, 112, 1 – 85.

Silva Haad J. J. (2004), «Las serpientes del género Atractus Wagler, 1828 (Colubridae, Xenodontinae) en la Amazonia Colombiana», Rev. Acad. Colomb. Cienc. Exact. Fís. Nat., 28, 409 – 446.

Silva N. J., Pires M. G., and Feitosa D. T. (2016), «Diversidade das Cobras-Corais do Brasil», in: N. J. Silva (ed.), As Cobras Corais do Brasil: Biologia, Taxonomia, Venenos e Envenenamentos, Edit. Pontifícia Univ. Católica Goiás (PUC-Goiás), Goiânia, pp. 78 – 167.

Snyder A. M. (2016), «Atractus trilineatus (Three-lined Ground Snake), predation», Herpetol. Rev., 47, 308.

Terribile L. C., Feitosa D. T., Pires M. G., de Almeida P. C. R., de Oliveira G., Diniz-Filho J. A. F., and Silva N. J. (2018), «Reducing Wallacean shortfalls for the coralsnakes of the Micrurus lemniscatus species complex: Present and future distributions under a changing climate», PLoS ONE, 13, e0205164.

Valencia J. H., Garzón-Tello K., and Barragán-Paladines M. E. (2016), Serpientes venenosas del Ecuador: sistemática, taxonomía, historia natural, conservación, envenenamiento y aspectos antropológicos, Fundación Herpetológica Gustavo Orcés – Texas University, Arlington – Fondo Ambiental Nacional, Quito, Ecuador.

West T. R., Schramer T. D., Kalki Y., and Wylie D. B. (2019), «Dietary notes on the variable coral snake, Micrurus diastema (Duméril, Bibron & Duméril, 1854)», Bull. Chicago Herpetol. Soc., 54, 4 – 8.

Zaher H., Grazziotin F. G., Cadle J. E., Murphy R. W., de Moura-Leite J. C., and Bonato S. L. (2009), «Molecular phylogeny of advanced snakes (Serpentes, Caenophidia) with an emphasis on South American Xenodontines: A revised classification and descriptions of new taxa», Pap. Avuls. Zool., 49, 115 – 153.




DOI: https://doi.org/10.30906/1026-2296-2021-28-2-117-121

Refbacks

  • There are currently no refbacks.