Urban Ecosystems

, Volume 22, Issue 6, pp 1165–1172 | Cite as

Species composition, abundance and diet of a squamate assemblage from the Carnaval stream headwaters (Buenos Aires, Argentina)

  • Leandro AlcaldeEmail author
  • María Julia Cassano
  • Rocío María Sánchez
  • Ana Belén Tenorio


The present work summarizes 10 years of field observations of an exurban squamate assemblage occupying a 1200 ha patch in the suburbs of La Plata City (Los Porteños, Buenos Aires, Argentina). Crossed by two streams (Martin and Carnaval), the area is characterized by intensive horticulture and floriculture, poultry and pig farming, exhibits a low housing density (1 house/ha), and the roads are largely unpaved. This area is under stress due to continuous expansion of the neighboring city in detriment of rural areas, determining a stressing environmental scenario. Field data were complemented and contextualized with museum records of the squamates present in the area and in neighboring departments of La Plata. The field-based species list of squamates from Los Porteños comprises one amphisbaenian (Amphisbaena darwinii = 26 specimens), five snakes (Paraphimophis rustica = 24, Xenodon dorbignyi = 6, Erythrolamprus poecilogyrus = 3, Erythrolamprus semiaureus = 2, Lygophis anomalus = 1), and one lizard (Salvator merianae = 11). The number of species of squamates in Los Porteños was higher than the expected compared with the species from surrounding areas. Fossorial, nocturnal and generalist species were the most abundant in Los Porteños. These urban adapter species lack dietary constraints and their living habits minimize the encounters with humans, who commonly kill them.


Squamate assemblage Urban herpetology La Plata City Argentina 



A special thanks to all people who kindly contributed specimens they found within the area. Sampy Nenda (Idolo) and Jorge Daniel Williams (Gales) generously assisted us during visits to the herpetological collections of Museo Argentino de Ciencias Naturales and Museo de La Plata. L. Alcalde, R. M. Sánchez and M. J. Cassano acknowledge Consejo Nacional de Investigaciones Científicas y Técnicas (CONICET) for continuous support. A.B. Tenorio acknowledges Universidad Nacional de La Plata (UNLP) for an internship during 2015. The present paper is the Scientific Contribution N° 988 of Instituto de Limnología “Dr. Raúl A. Ringuelet” (CONICET-UNLP). The last two years of our work were funded by PICT-2015-1342 and PI-UE (CONICET) 22920160100049CO2015.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC, part of Springer Nature 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Instituto de Limnología Dr. R.A. Ringuelet, Consejo Nacional de Investigaciones Científicas y Técnicas - Universidad Nacional de La PlataLa PlataArgentina
  2. 2.Museo de La Plata, Anexo Laboratorios, Sección HerpetologíaLa PlataArgentina

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