Bruce Jayne

Gerarda prevostiana

Filename: gerarda-feed2
Class: Reptilia
Order: Squamata
Family: Colubridae
subfamily: Homalopsinae
Species: Gerarda prevostiana (Gerard's water snake)
ANIMAL SIZE - Snout-vent length: 41 cm Mass: 33 g
PREY - 4.1 g grapsid crab belonging to the genus Episesarma
TEMPERATURE: 30 degrees C
Time between successive images of video clip: 0.03 sec

Comments: This species of snake lives in the mangroves of Singapore and neighboring southeast-Asian countries, and it feeds exclusively on newly-molted crabs. We used an infrared video camera to obtain this footage of the feeding of a captive individual. The footage shows how Gerarda can rip apart the body of crabs that are too large to be swallowed whole. This snake ultimately consumed all of the pieces of the crab, which when intact was larger than our estimate of the maximal gape (13 mm) of the snake.

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