PS 25-85
Bothrops atrox in captivity, change isotopic composition in tissues collected from different environments of the eastern Amazon

Tuesday, August 12, 2014
Exhibit Hall, Sacramento Convention Center
Melissa Gaste Martinez, Center for Nuclear Energy in Agriculture - USP, University of Sao Paulo, Piracicaba, Brazil
Hipocrates de Menezes Chalkidis, Zoology, Integrated College Tapajós, Santarém, Brazil
Ana Maria Moura, Butantan Institute, Sao Paulo, Brazil
Raimundo Cosme de Oliveira-JR, Embrapa, CPATU, EMBRAPA, Belem, Brazil
Plinio B. Camargo, Cena, University of Sao Paulo

The Bothrops Atrox is little studied because it is sympatric to Amazonian animals. Very little is known about the ecology and natural history of this species. It has a generalist diet and the distribution of this species is very wide. The adults forage mostly on the ground, while the younger animals prefer to stay on the vegetation. They are easily found in the rainy months in areas near lakes or that are seasonally flooded and they are difficult to find in the driest months, a period when there is less availability of prey in these environments. Due to its aggressiveness it is considered one of the most feared snakes in South America and in the eastern Amazon, being responsible for the largest number of snakebites in the region. Through measuring stable isotope carbon-13 and nitrogen-15, it is intended to characterize the variations of the feeding habits of these collected animals in different environments and also when they are kept in captivity, (feeding the animal’s bioterium).


The serpents were collected in environments with different land uses, such as native forest,(δ13C=-24,3‰ and to δ15N=14,8‰) savannah,( δ13C = -23,0‰ and to δ15N = 9,3‰), pasture (δ13C = -21,7‰ and to δ15N = 12,3‰) and have been brought to the serpentarium Integrated College Tapajos (FIT),being retained in order to samplings throughout the experiment with feeding mice’s own bioterium (-21,0‰ to δ13C and 8,0‰ to δ15N). When these snakes came from different locations, samples were collected scales and blood (T0), before receiving the new supply (captive), and every time we fed the mice the bioterium, new tissue samples were collected, (T1, T2, T3)to exchange all the nature of food for food bioterium. Based on the sampling of δ13C and δ15N, samples collect in the tissues of snakes of different environments (nature and captive), it was observed that changes in food sources reflect changes in tissue (blood and scales), also reflecting the production of poison different periods of turnover and absorbed material in those tissue; contributing to the study of animal ecology and behavior in relation to habitat.