The British Herpetological Society

The Herpetological Journal is the Society's prestigious quarterly scientific journal. Articles are listed in Biological Abstracts, Current Awareness in Biological Sciences,Current Contents, Science Citation Index, and Zoological Record.

 ISSN 0268-0130

2021 Impact Factor from Clarivate for the Herpetological Journal is 1.194, an increase of 0.332 from 2020.

Volume 1, Number 01, December 1985 Volume 1, Number 01, December 1985

pdf 01. Palmate newts (Triturus helveticus) on the Island of Rhum


Open Access


Authors: R . V. Collier

Abstract: Two populations of palmate newts were studied on the Island of Rhum i n terms of biometrics, colour form, behaviour, predation and site characteristics. Measurements were compared with data from other workers in different parts of Britain.

pdf 02. A simple funnel trap for studying newt populations and an evaluation of trap behaviour in smooth and palmate newts


Open Access

pp. 5-10

Authors: R. A . Griffiths

Abstract: A simple funnel trap constructed from a plastic squash bottle is described. The efficiency of trapping compared to netting and torch-surveying was investigated in Triturus vulgaris and T. helveticus. In terms of newts detected per man-hour, trapping and torch-surveying were about twice as effective as netting, but produced male biases in both species. Male smooth newts were more trap-prone than male palmates. Traps containing a newt were no more or less attractive to other newts than empty traps. Newts with previous experience of a trap were no more or less trappable than those without trap experience.

pdf 03. Diel patterns of movement and aggregation in tadpoles of the common frog, Rana temporaria


Open Access

pp. 10-13

Authors: R. A . Griffiths

Abstract: In a garden pond i n London, tadpoles of the common frog, Rana temporaria, displayed a clear diel pattern of movement and aggregation. During the morning, tadpoles moved from the deeper area in the middle of the pond to the pond edges. The number of tadpoles around the edges peaked i n the afternoon. At night tadpoles tended to disperse and move back to t h e deeper area. This cycle was closely related to t h e diel cycles of illumination and temperature. Tadpoles were not evenly distributed around the pond edges, and a stationary feeding aggregation was formed each day on the west to south-west edge. As there was no thermal gradients along the pond edges, the formation of this aggregation was probably d u e to factors other than temperature.

pdf 04. Salt tolerances of natterjack toad (Bufo calamita) eggs and larvae from coastal and inland populations in Britain


Open Access

pp. 14-16

Authors: Trevor j. C. Beebee

Abstract: ( I) Eggs and larvae taken from coastal and i nland natterjack populations were found to be similar in their
sensitivities to salt water.
(2) Spawn was more susceptible than tadpoles to salt damage.
(3) T he effects of salinities comparable with those experienced during a tidal inundation were rapid, mortali ty
occurring within the first 1 -2 hours of exposure.

pdf 06. Size increase in the common toad Bufo bufo from Cheshire


Open Access

pp. 20-22

Authors: C. P. Wheater

Abstract: Toads were collected from two sites in Cheshire from March to November. Body length (snout to vent), jaw width , hind leg length and weight were measured. Three size ranges were observed and compared. Body length was found to be positively correlated to jaw width , hind leg length and weight and was used to calculate the growth rates over the year. It was determined that the percentage increase in size decreased with age.

pdf 08. Herpetofauna of the late pleistocene fissures near Ightham, Kent


Open Access

pp. 26-32

Authors: J. Alan holman

Abstract: The late Pleistocene fissure deposits near Ightham, Kent, have yielded the remains of Triturus sp., Buja bujo, Buja calamita, Rana temporaria. Anguisjragilis, Natrix natrix. Coronella austriaca, and Vipera berus. These are the first British fossil records of the British endangered species Buja calamita and Coronella austriaca, and the first record of any  Kind of Coronella austriaca from Kent. Rana temporaria comprises 87 per cent of the minimum number of individuals of the fossil fauna. I t is postulated that the fossil amphibians and reptiles accumulated during the early Flandrian Stage when the temperature first became as warm as it is in southern England today.

pdf 09. Seasonal changes in metabolism of the lizard Lacerta vivipara


Open Access

pp. 32-36

Authors: Mohamed K . Al-sadoon And Ian F. Spellerberg

Abstract: Acute oxygen consumption determinations for both adults and sub-adults of L. vivipara were made over the temperature range 5-30°C during summer and winter. During winter dormancy, both adults and sub-adults were found to have a metabolic rate lower than the metabolic rate of s u m m er animals at each experimental temperature. This reduction of oxygen consumption in winter lizards can be interpreted as an "inverse compensation" ( Precht's Type ) pattern of response). It is concluded that this adjustment can reduce energy costs during the winter period and is a pre-requisite for survival during winter dormancy.

pdf 11. The calcium cycle of female day geckos (Phelsuma)


Open Access

pp. 37-39

Authors: Andrew S. Gardner

Download Access:

The latest 8 issues can be downloaded when logged in with a Herpetological Journal subscription membership.

Individual articles can be purchased for download.

Older issues and occasional Open Access articles are available for public download


For further information and submission guidelines please see our Journal Instructions to Authors

pdfBHS Ethics Policy


Please note that as from Volume 31 Number 1 (January 2021) on, the Herpetological Journal will be available as an online publication only - the last print edition will be Volume 30 Number 4.   

Aligning with this change, it is now no longer possible to purchase a subscription that includes a print copy of the HJ.  All members who have existing HJ print subscriptions that remain active as at end June 2020 will receive the full four 2020 print editions.  New subscribers or renewals after this time will only have option to subscribe to the online only subscription package.  Subscription pricing has been amended to reflect the content changes.