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Photo-documented sequences from 01 Jun 2021 - 30 Aug 2021 showing novel interactions between intraguild predators in southern Florida, USA, bobcat and Burmese python

February 22, 2022

Entire photo-documented sequence from 01 June 2021-09 September 2021, including novel interactions between intraguild predators in southern Florida - the native bobcat (Lynx rufus) and the invasive Burmese python (Python bivittatus). A bobcat depredated an unguarded Burmese python nest and subsequently the python exhibited nest defense behavior following the return of both animals to the nest. First, a bobcat discovers an unguarded nest then proceeds to depredate, cache, and uncover the eggs over several days. The bobcat returns to find the female python back on the nest and later proceeds to swipe at the snake. After biologists attempted to the nest but leave the camera, the bobcat returns to scavenge discarded, inviable eggs over several weeks. This is the first documentation of any animal in Florida preying on python eggs, and the first evidence or description of such antagonistic interactions at a python nest. Photos were captured by U.S. Geological Survey equipment in Big Cypress National Preserve within the Greater Everglades Ecosystem, Florida USA.