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.

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.

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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.