At the Lower Size Limit of Snakes Preying on Bats in the West Indies
The Cuban Boa, Chilabothrus angulifer (Boidae)
Bat predation by snakes has been repeatedly documented in the literature, particularly for boids and colubroids. In the West Indies, species of the genus Chilabothrus (Boidae) are the most frequently reported bat predators. However, bats are difficult to capture, and reports of bat-predating snakes smaller than 1 m in total length are very scarce. Herein we report bat predation in very young Cuban Boas (C. angulifer), the smallest of which represents the minimum size record for boid snakes preying on bats anywhere in the Neotropics. In contrast to most boids, the large size of neonatal Cuban Boas allows the consumption of endotherms as well as ectotherms soon after birth, including bats captured on the wing while exiting or entering caves.
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