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      Gruesome twosome kukri rippers: Oligodon formosanus (Günther, 1872) and O. fasciolatus (Günther, 1864) eat Kaloula pulchra Gray, 1831 either by eviscerating or swallowing whole

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      Herpetozoa

      Pensoft Publishers

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          Abstract

          Predation on adult microhylid frogs Kaloula pulchra by two closely-related colubrid snakes is described, based on two observations of Oligodon formosanus in Hong Kong and one observation of O. fasciolatus in Thailand. In two instances, O. formosanus was observed cutting open the abdomen of this anuran species. In one case, it performed repeated rotations about its own longitudinal body axis (“death roll”) while its head was inserted into the frog’s abdomen. The purpose of this behaviour was probably to tear off organs and swallow them. Once O. fasciolatus was observed catching and swallowing K. pulchra whole. In that case, the snake also made a series of rotations while it maintained its firm grip in the frog’s belly. It is concluded that, for these two closely-related kukri snakes, prey size is crucial for determining whether the gape width allows large preys to be swallowed entire.

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          Most cited references 13

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          Rotational Feeding: Overcoming Gape-Limited Foraging in Anguillid Eels

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            Toward a phylogeny of the kukri snakes, genus Oligodon.

             Green,  MD Green,  NL Orlov (2010)
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              Defensive tactics in lizards and snakes: the potential contribution of the neotropical fauna

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                Author and article information

                Journal
                Herpetozoa
                Herpetozoa
                Pensoft Publishers
                2682-955X
                1013-4425
                February 15 2021
                February 15 2021
                : 34
                : 49-55
                Article
                10.3897/herpetozoa.34.e62688
                © 2021

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