Ecological aspects of the horned viper, Cerastes cerastes gasperettii in the central region of Saudi Arabia

Journal Article
Al-Sadoon, Mohammad K. . 2016
Magazine \ Newspaper: 
Saudi Journal of Biological Sciences
Volume Number: 
Publication Abstract: 

Feeding ecology of any species can help us to understand its natural history, ecological

requirements and approaches involved in searching for food. Feeding ecology and sexual dimorphism

in the horned viper, Cerastes cerastes gasperetti collected from the Al-Thumama area, central

region of Saudi Arabia was described. The gut content of Cerastes c. gasperetti mainly consisted of

rodents (70%) in addition to arthropods (15%) and lizards (10%). Least sexual size dimorphism

was noticed in the species in terms of total length. Significant difference was noticed between males

and females in terms of two correlation points vent tail length (VT) and total length (TL) with the

males attaining a larger size (P <0.05). The mean number of the dorsal body scales, ventrals and

subcaudals for the females was 102, 156 and 33 scales respectively which were significantly different

from respective ones in males 95, 160 and 38 scales. There are many aspects of the feeding of this

snake that remain unknown and further studies are clearly needed.