U.S. Department of Agriculture: Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service


Date of this Version

April 1997


Published by THE JOURNAL OF EXPERIMENTAL ZOOLOGY 279:549–553 (1997). © 1997 Wiley-Liss, Inc. Permission to use.


We performed field experiments to examine brown tree snake (Boiga irregularis) attraction to carrion. These snakes were attracted to carrion and entered traps baited with dead mice as readily as traps baited with live mice. Using the cues arising from both live and dead prey, we examined the relative importance of visual and chemical cues to brown tree snakes. With carrion lures, chemical cues alone were sufficient for attracting and capturing snakes, but with live prey lures visual cues were required to attract and capture brown tree snakes. Our study presents the first experimental field evidence showing carrion to be attractive to an ophidian predator and suggests that the relative importance of chemical and visual sensory stimuli to brown tree snakes is context-specific.