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Thermal ecology of the golden pitviper, Bothrops insularis (Serpentes, Viperidae): a field study

Grant number: 07/05080-1
Support Opportunities:Regular Research Grants
Duration: February 01, 2008 - January 31, 2010
Field of knowledge:Biological Sciences - Physiology - Compared Physiology
Principal Investigator:Denis Otavio Vieira de Andrade
Grantee:Denis Otavio Vieira de Andrade
Host Institution: Instituto de Biociências (IB). Universidade Estadual Paulista (UNESP). Campus de Rio Claro. Rio Claro , SP, Brazil


The regulation of body temperature affects markedly the biology of snakes, which dedicate considerable time and energy to this activity. In general, thermoregulation is achieved by the selection of microhabitats with different thermal characteristics, however, the availability of such microhabitats can vary considerably along the seasons. Microhabitat selection can also be affected by other ecologically relevant factors, rather than the regulation of the body temperature per se. The present proposal will explore a unique set of conditions; the high snake density contained within a geographically restrict area (an island) to examine in greater detail the thermal biology of a Neotropical snake species. This kind of study would be almost impracticable under other circumstances since snake density is typically very low in most of the communities in which they occur. The goals of our proposal are two-fold: investigate the circadian and seasonal variation in the preferred body temperature of the golden pitviper (Bothrops insularis) situating the results in the context of microhabitat use and variation of biotic and abiotic factors; identify/understand the proximal factors that might be determining it. In particular, we intend to test the hypothesis that these snakes would select sites of greater thermal contrast, which facilitate the detection of potential endothermic prey (birds) by thermoreception. Finally, this proposal will produce an important database useful to guide the implementation of future conservation policies All the logistic support to allow for the activity of the researchers at the study area will be provided by another project currently being executed at the same area. Uso de recursos e biologia reprodutiva da jararaca-ilhoa, Bothrops insularis, (Proc FAPESP nº 2006/51879-9) - supervised by Dr. Otavio A. V. Marques, Instituto Butantan, SP. Accordingly, the present proposal will be extremely benefited by the collaboration with Dr. Otávio. Nonetheless, the study that we propose herein has specific needs that are not covered by the project being carried on by Dr. Otávio. This fact, therefore, lead to the submission of the present proposal to FAPESP. (AU)

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Scientific publications
(References retrieved automatically from Web of Science and SciELO through information on FAPESP grants and their corresponding numbers as mentioned in the publications by the authors)
GOMES, GUILHERME; KOBERLE, ROLAND; VON ZUBEN, CLAUDIO J.; ANDRADE, DENIS V.. Droplet bubbling evaporatively cools a blowfly. SCIENTIFIC REPORTS, v. 8, . (13/20627-8, 13/04190-9, 07/05080-1)

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