Environmental Studies Program


Date of this Version

Fall 12-2011


Prey selection and composition of the northern waternake, Nerodia sipedon was investigated between 8/2010 and 3/2011 by palpation of stomach contents in the field and conducting laboratory trials. 41 snakes were captured, five yielded prey contents. Fish parts, freshwater mussels, and an insect exoskeleton were found. No amphibians were found despite availability at study sites. Snakes in the laboratory underwent 22 trials, feeding on 11 occasions. Snakes fed on an equal number of both fish species, revealing no selection. Further research is needed to determine the rate of digestion of N. sipedon.