Aesculapian Snake Question

France, British isles

Aesculapian Snake Question

Postby Will Atkins » Fri Jul 17, 2020 5:22 pm

I am ashamed to admit I am still confused about an aspect of Aesculapian snake behaviour - namely when and why they dance... I have read that males contest for females like other species by intertwining, eg like Hierophis spp or Vipera spp but also that a male and female indulge in a mating dance when they form a 'lyre' shape. Is this true, or simply that historically it was assumed the male combat dance was a male and female courting? Thanks for your expertise!
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Re: Aesculapian Snake Question

Postby Tomas Klacek » Fri Jul 24, 2020 12:59 pm

Hi Will, unfortunately I have no idea about Aesculapian snakes dancing. I only saw this once with berus males. But a few months ago czech couple (Living Zoology) came out with this wonderful short footage - https://youtu.be/5H6p2huXusI. I believe it is worth watching.
Hope somebody more educated can help...
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Re: Aesculapian Snake Question

Postby Will Atkins » Fri Jul 24, 2020 3:38 pm

Hi Tomas, thanks, that's amazing footage! like berus, same principle of a test of strength between males. The idea of a mating dance between a male and a female seems less well evidenced, but you can still read it in books, so I wonder if it is true or if (as with berus) what people thought was a mating dance was in fact two males in combat? Cheers, Will
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