Atrazine is one of the most commonly used herbicides in the United States and one of the most popular weed-killers worldwide, being utilized in over 80 countries. Despite the effectiveness of atrazine, there has been growing concern over the potential harmful effects this chemical may have on non-target species exposed to this chemical. Few studies, however, have been performed on the effects of this chemical on reptiles, in particular snakes. This study examined the effects of environmentally relevant concentrations of atrazine on the foraging, antipredator, thermoregulatory, and courtship behaviors of the checkered gartersnake (Thamnophis marcianus). Effects of atrazine appeared negligible for all foraging and thermoregulatory trials. There were effects found on tail-wagging and body flattening antipredator behaviors and courtship behaviors of individuals receiving different concentrations of atrazine. These effects, however, were few and did not follow any noticeable trends.
Date of publication
Chamberlain, Katie, "Effects of the Herbicide Atrazine on the Behavior of the Checkered Gartersnake (Thamnophis Marcianus)" (2011). Biology Theses. Paper 5.