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.

The 2017/18  impact factor of The Herpetological Journal is 1.268

pdf 02. Brooding in the Malayan pit viper, Caloselasma rhodostoma temperature, relative humidity, and defensive behaviour


Open Access


Authors: Daniel S. York And Gordon M. Burghardt

Abstract: A female Malayan pit viper ( Calloselasma rhodostoma) laid a clutch of 27 eggs and remained coiled atop them until hatching. Possible functions of brooding were evaluated; these include regulation of temperature, regulation of moisture, and protection. The brooding female was not found to regulate the clutch's temperature but was found to vary t he degree of egg exposure in accordance with fluctuations in the level of relative humidity. Body-jerking movements could be elicited in the female while she was brooding but not while she was off the nest. Body-jerking was elicited by prodding with an inanimate object as well as from a conspecific, and it is felt that this behaviour could function to ward off a potential predator.

Download Access:

The latest 20 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

NOTE: as of January 2017, all new editions of the HJ are ONLY available online via the BHS website. The BHS no longer has a commercial hosting agreement with Ingenta  -  although editions prior to end 2016 remain accessible on Ingenta .  Those editions are of course also accessible on the BHS website for subscribers with an active and valid membership.  Should you experience any difficulty accessing HJ editions via the website or have any queries in this regard, please contact