Meeting Abstract

80-1  Saturday, Jan. 6 08:00 - 08:15  3-D quantification and characterization of snake anti-predator behavior in the Peruvian Amazon MOORE, TY*; LARSON, JG; SANCHEZ PAREDES, CM; DAVIS RABOSKY, AR; University of Michigan; University of Michigan; Universidad Peruana Cayetano Heredia; University of Michigan

Coral snakes (genus Micrurus) have bright color patterns and distinctive behavioral displays that honestly signal their venomous bite to potential predators. While the coloration of coral snakes and their many harmless mimics has been well studied, the behavioral repertoires of these snakes, and other cryptically colored species within the same ecological community, have yet to be rigorously examined. Tropical snake behavior is challenging to study, due to changes in behavior in artificial settings, environmental hazards to electrical equipment, and difficulty capturing sufficient sample sizes with taxonomic breadth. By constructing wireless, waterproof, and portable data collection buckets with high definition video cameras, we captured the anti-predator behavior of snakes at the moment of collection from four sites in the Amazonian rainforests of Peru. We also constructed a pop-up kinematics lab to run a series of behavioral assays in semi-controlled conditions in the field. Over three month-long expeditions, we collected 1352 behavioral trials from 161 individuals from 51 species, including venomous models, harmless mimics, and non-mimicking snake species. We used qualitative analyses to characterize behavioral motifs and quantitative biomechanical analyses to characterize snake motions in three dimensional space. By placing these data in a phylogenetic context, we will test hypotheses regarding the evolution of behavioral mimicry, including quantifying the degree of mimetic convergence relative to sympatric cryptic species.