Dead snake! A strategy for survival: Thanatosis in some Panamanian snakes with a review of death-feigning in American snakes

Authors

  • Rogemif Fuentes Magallón Fundación Los Naturalistas, P.O. Box 0426-01459. David, Chiriquí, Panamá
  • Melquiades Castillo Departamento de Zoología, Universidad de Panamá, Ciudad de Panamá, Panamá
  • Edmundo Belton Departamento de Zoología, Universidad de Panamá, Ciudad de Panamá, Panamá
  • Eduardo Zambrano Universidad de Panamá, Centro regional Universitario de Veraguas, Santiago, Panamá
  • Helio Quintero-Arrieta Fundación Los Naturalistas, P.O. Box 0426-01459. David, Chiriquí, Panamá
  • Abel Batista Fundación Los Naturalistas, P.O. Box 0426-01459. David, Chiriquí, Panamá; Vicerrectoria de Investigación y Postgrado, Universidad Autónoma de Chiriquí, David, Chiriquí, Panamá

DOI:

https://doi.org/10.17161/randa.v28i3.15753

Abstract

Thanatosis (pretending to be dead), sometimes called letisimulation, is widely used as an anti-predator strategy by snakes. Herein we report six cases of death-feigning in six species of Panamanian snakes (Dark-headed Red Falseboa, Pseudoboa neuwiedii; Double-banded False Coralsnake, Erythrolamprus bizona; Forest Flamesnake, Oxyrhopus petolarius; Rufous-headed Snake, Amastridium veliferum; Colombian Long-tailed Snake, Enuliophis sclateri; and Pacific Banded Coffee Snake, Ninia maculata). We also present a literature review of thanatosis in American snakes and discuss the terminology associated with this behavior.

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Published

2021-11-25 — Updated on 2021-11-26

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How to Cite

Fuentes Magallón, R., Castillo, M., Belton, E., Zambrano, E., Quintero-Arrieta, H., & Batista, A. (2021). Dead snake! A strategy for survival: Thanatosis in some Panamanian snakes with a review of death-feigning in American snakes. Reptiles &Amp; Amphibians, 28(3), 389–396. https://doi.org/10.17161/randa.v28i3.15753 (Original work published November 25, 2021)