Orange-bellied racer (Alsophis rufiventris); diet and arboreality

The orange bellied racer, Alsophis rufiventris (Duméril, Bibron & Duméril, 1854), is one of four Alsophis species endemic to the Caribbean Lesser Antilles. Historically, it was found on St. Eustatius, Saba, and St. Kitts and Nevis but was extirpated from St. Kitts and Nevis during the 1900s, so that it is now confined to the Dutch Caribbean (Sajdak & Henderson, 1991; Savit et al., 2005). Thus, only two populations exist with a combined range of just 34 km2, which is 10.9% of the known historical range (Sajdak & Henderson, 1991; Savit et al., 2005; Daltry & Powell, 2016). Despite being the most geographically widespread colubrid genus in the West Indies, little is known about the ecology of most Alsophis species (Savis et al., 2005; Daltry & Powell, 2016). Here, we provide new dietary and natural history information that was collected during a field study of A. rufiventris on St. Eustatius from September 2016 to February 2017, as well as other ad hoc observations.

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