Water Snake using tail as lure?

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LouB747
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Water Snake using tail as lure?

Post by LouB747 »

Looks like this common Dog Faced Water Snake is using his tail to maybe lure some fish. What do you guys think? Have you seen other water snakes do this?


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Noah M
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Re: Water Snake using tail as lure?

Post by Noah M »

I remember being told young cottonmouths use their yellow tail as a lure. I've never personally witnessed this.

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orionmystery
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Re: Water Snake using tail as lure?

Post by orionmystery »

Cool.

Reminds me of this Spider Tailed Horned Viper from Iran:

<iframe width="853" height="480" src="//www.youtube.com/embed/7CjtQOc9euU" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe>

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Jeroen Speybroeck
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Re: Water Snake using tail as lure?

Post by Jeroen Speybroeck »

orionmystery wrote:Cool.

Reminds me of this Spider Tailed Horned Viper from Iran:

<iframe width="853" height="480" src="//www.youtube.com/embed/7CjtQOc9euU" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe>
Definitely the best!


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orionmystery
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Re: Water Snake using tail as lure?

Post by orionmystery »

LOL...thanks. My bad. First time embedding a youtube clip. I should have checked first.

Tom
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Re: Water Snake using tail as lure?

Post by Tom »

Doesn't look like caudal luring to me - anything attracted by that scale of movement is more likely to be predator than prey. However as you say in the video it looks like it's using its tail to scare fish into its mouth.

Erpeton (tentacled snakes) are the only species I know to do this - and they arguably do it a lot more elegantly:

[youtube]https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=urBp2X5mBmQ[/youtube]

You should see if this has been observed before and if not publish a report about it.

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Noah M
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Re: Water Snake using tail as lure?

Post by Noah M »



This is totally awesome....worth a look.

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Kelly Mc
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Re: Water Snake using tail as lure?

Post by Kelly Mc »

The water snake looks like its using corraling type movements to maneuver fish into range.

I have seen snakes (some) be deft as they eat, even individuals among same species being more engaged in maneuvering a prey item than other individuals.

Today I watched my Gallotia lizard use his hind claws to pull apart a larger than usual thawed roach to eat. He did this after unsuccessfully rubbing it back and forth against the floor and pawing at it a couple times. There was an assessment in action - that more force was required to pull apart the larger roach so it could be swallowed.

I think too sometimes we get stuck in thinking something has to move to be a lure as that is the conventional definition but perhaps attractant features are not defined in only that context in the perceptions of other organisms.

I also think tails may serve other purposes in snakes in allowing a fully innervated yet nonvital bit of the body to recieve temperature and possibly wavelength information while the rest of the snake remains hidden and protected. Ive seen this.

simus343
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Re: Water Snake using tail as lure?

Post by simus343 »

As far as the cottonmouth yellow tail lure, I have witnessed it twice. Once at a creek 2 years ago, a medium sized green frog attacked the wriggling tail of a neonate Agkistrodon piscovorous and the snake then quickly attacked and held the frog. Another time in the swamp behind my house 3 years ago. A beaver damn was knocked out to prevent houses from flooding. The water left the swamp quickly leaving many fish dead. The amount of dead fish, flies, frogs, and cottonmouths was crazy. I did get to watch a little cottonmouth use its yellow tail to yet again attract a frog, this time a very small leopard frog.

As far as the original water snake, it looks like it is trying to maneuver the fish into an area where it can more easily grab them with its mouth. Using the tail and holding the head still is what my first pet water snake (12 years ago) use to do, to scare the fish towards the motionless head.

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LouB747
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Re: Water Snake using tail as lure?

Post by LouB747 »

Here's another video of the same snake. Yeah, looks like he's trying to corral the fish to within striking range. I'm guessing my light casting shadows didn't help the snake in this case.


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umop apisdn
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Re: Water Snake using tail as lure?

Post by umop apisdn »

It's not caudal luring, but it's arguably more interesting!

http://clarkii.nerodia.net/LingualLuring.html

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