In 2017, we started collecting photos and videos of predation events involving reptiles and amphibians using our group on Facebook called Predation Records – Reptile and Frogs (Sub-Saharan Africa). Since then, we built a database of that is quickly approaching 2,000 feeding records! Without the use of the Facebook group, we would have never been able to collect data this quickly. Our recent publication describing the project can be downloaded freely from PeerJ, an open-access, peer-reviewed journal.
Below are just a few of the outlets that have covered our work recently. Click on the photos to read (or hear) more and keep an eye out for our appearance on 50/50 on SABC.
A Group Effort…
This work could not be completed without the help of the growing community of observers, identifiers, and the admins on the Facebook group.
We acknowledge Andre Coetzer, Tyrone Ping, and Luke Verburgt for their roles in conceiving the idea for the Predation Records – Reptiles and Frogs (Sub-Saharan Africa) Facebook group. Additionally, we thank them, Gary Nicolau, Nina Perry, and Jason Boyce for assisting in the management of the group’s membership and discussions as admins. We are indebted to the members of the group (and other members of the Facebook community) who have shared observations to and participated in our research project. Specifically, we acknowledge the following members for their extraordinary efforts: Helen Badenhorst, Toy Bodbijl, Norman Barrett, Gary Brown, Andre Coetzer, Nick Evans, Kyle Finn, Daniel Karamitsos, Ashley Kemp, Luke Kemp, Trish McGill, Andrea Myburgh, Gary Nicolau, Deon Oosthuizen, Tyrone Ping, Rian Stander, Mike Soroczynski, Francois Theart, and Ryan van Huyssteen. We are grateful for species identifications provided by experts in the community. Particularly, we thank Michael Bates, Alan Channing, Andre Coetzer, Werner Conradie, Adriaan Engelbrecht, Ian Engelbrecht, James Harvey, Teresa Kearney, Luke Kemp, Johan Marais, Gary Nicolau, Dan Parker, Tyrone Ping, Dominic Rollinson, Stephen Spawls, and Luke Verburgt for their input. We recognise the 2017 University of the Western Cape Biodiversity and Conservation Biology Herpetology honours students for assisting in the early phase of the literature search.
Scientific publications that have used these data:
Maritz, R., Conradie, W., Sardinha, C., Peto, A., Chechene, A., and B. Maritz (Early Online) Ophiophagy and cannibalism in African vine snakes (Colubridae: Thelotornis). African Journal of Ecology. [pdf]
Smith, C., Layloo, I., Maritz, R., and B. Maritz. (2019). Sexual dichromatism does not translate into sex‐based differences in morphology or diet for the African boomslang. Journal of Zoology [pdf]
Maritz, B., Alexander, G., and R. Maritz. (2018). The underappreciated extent of cannibalism and ophiophagy in African cobras. Ecology [pdf]