TitleMating is correlated with a reduced risk of predation in female red-sided garter snakes, Thamnophis sirtalis parietalis
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2007
AuthorsO'Donnell, RP, Mason, RT
JournalAmerican Midland Naturalist
Volume157
Pagination235-238
Type of ArticleJournal Article
ISSN0003-0031
Abstract

We took advantage of unique aspects of the red-sided garter snake's breeding biology at northern latitudes to investigate whether mating was correlated with a reduced risk of predation. We scored the number of mated vs. unmated and predated vs. surviving female snakes at four dens in Manitoba, Canada. Predation intensity did not significantly vary through time during the course of the study, nor did it vary among dens. Female mating significantly decreased the odds that a female would be the victim of predation. This is likely a result of reduced courtship of females after mating, which reduces female conspicuousness and facilitates the ability to escape. These results provide support for the hypothesis that the copulatory pheromone, which communicates female mating status to males and thus reduces male courtship, benefits females by indirectly reducing their risk of predation after mating.

URL<Go to ISI>://WOS:000243956000021
DOI10.1674/0003-0031(2007)157[235:micwar]2.0.co;2