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 07, December 1988 Volume 1, Number 07, December 1988

pdf 01. Thermoregulation in Chelonians


Open Access


Authors: R Meek And R. A. Avery

pdf 03. Population ecology and conservation of tortoises the estimation of density, and dynamics of a small population


Open Access


Authors: Adrian Hailey

Abstract: Part 1: Line transect methods were used in three areas with known densities of Testudo hermanni. This enabled calculation of the proportion of the population available for finding ( PAF); that is, excluding tortoises in refuges or in thick cover. At times of peak daily activity PAF varied between about 0. 1 and 0.3, and was greater in spring than in summer. Males had higher PAF than females on summer evenings, the main courtship period, and PAF of males was greater in a population with a male-biased sex ratio. Transect sampling is useful for estimating the density of tortoise populations, provided that the low PA F is taken into account. Values of effective transect width are given for a variety of habitat types.
Part 2: A small population of T. graeca at Alyki was studied between 1980-1986; its size was estimated at about 25 adults, with an even sex ratio. Immature animals were recruited into the adult population, which was stable or increasing during this period. Adult size and juvenile growth rate were similar to other coastal populations of T. graeca in the region. The implications for the conservation of endangered tortoises are discussed.

pdf 04. Observations on gut function in Mauremys caspica caspica (Gmelin)


Open Access


Authors: John Davenport And Elin Kjorsvik

Abstract: Adult Mauremys c. caspica consume relatively small quantities of food (average 0.06% body wt day-1; food in dry state). The large females eat more than the small males both absolutely and relatively. The oesophagus acts as a food storage organ for as much as 3-4 hours. The gut clearance time is of the order of 72 hours, but transport of food along the gut is considerably slowed by food deprivation. The absorption efficiency of Mauremys c. caspica during routine feeding was 46.4%.

pdf 05. Effect of altered pH on embryos and tadpoles of the frog Microhyla ornata


Open Access


Authors: A. D Padhye And H. V. Ghate

Abstract: Short term effects of altered pH on embryos and tadpoles of the frog Microhyla ornata were studied under laboratory conditions. Alterations in pH were made by using dilute hydrochloric acid and sodium hydroxide solutions.
Late gastrula stage embryos tolerated pH between 4 to 1 0.5, showing normal development and hatching. At pH 3 and below development was immediately arrested and the embryos were killed within a few hours. Between pH 3.2 and 3.6 there was gradual decrease in toxicity, however, development was often arrested at about tail-bud stage. At pH 3.8 there was only 20% mortality while survivors showed normal development. In alkaline range, the maximum pH tolerated without any apparent ill effect on development and hatching was about 1 0.5. At pH 1 1 .0 and above there was drastic effect on the embryos which caused immediate cell to cell disaggregation of the embryos within an intact vitelline membrane.
The effects of altered pH, especially acidic pH, were similar to those observed earlier with sodium chloride treatment. In either cases normal swelling of the embryonic perivitelline space was prevented. There was no significant difference in the tolerance of the tadpoles to altered pH as compared to that of the embryos, however hind-limb stage tadpoles appeared to be slightly resistant to acidic pH and slightly more sensitive to alkaline pH .

pdf 06. Studies on the growth of the desert tortoise (Testudo sulcata) in Sudan changes in morphometrics and body weight from hatching to one year (0+)


Open Access


Authors: Z. N. Mah Moud And D. A. El Naiem

Abstract: Changes in morphometrics and body weight during growth was deduced from observations of individual Testudo sulcata of known age. A strong positive correlation was found to exist between plastron width (r = 0.97), carapace length (r = 0.94), carapace width (r = 0.94), body weight (r = 0.99) and plastron length. Changes in morphometrics and body weight during growth in their first year of life has been investigated. The tortoises increased in size at a rate of 1 .3764 x 1 0-3mm day-1 (plastron length), 1 .0992 x J 0-3mm day- 1 (plastron width), 1 .5273 x J 0-3mm day- 1 (carapace length), 1 .4206 x J 0-3mm day- I (carapace width) and 5.45 19 x J 0-3g day- I (body weight). The values of the intercept (a), regression coefficient (b) and instantaneous growth rate (K) were calculated for T. sulcata and from similar growth data in the literature. Their relation to morphological changes in tortoises and turtles have been discussed.

pdf 07. Distribution and status of Creaser's mud turtle, Kinosternon creaseri


Open Access


Authors: John B. Iverson

Abstract: Field studies on the Yucatan peninsula in 1985 and 1987 revealed 38 new localities for Creaser's mud turtle. This turtle typically inhabits shallow, temporary pools in undisturbed forest. It apparently estivates below ground during most of the dry season, and is active primarily during the wet season when forest pools are present. It is not a usual inhabitant of permanent water microhabitats (e.g. cenotes). Populations appear to be most dense in Quintana Roo, where deforestation has not been as intense as in northern Campeche and Yucatan. These turtles eat mainly animal matter. Females exhibit a 'tropical' reproductive pattern, producing few, large eggs during the middle of the wet season (August-October). Juvenile growth rates are rapid, but adults grow slowly and are not large in comparison to related congeners. Males are aggressive toward other males and only one was found in any single pool or pond.

pdf 09. The reliability of the toe clipping method with the common lizard (Lacerta vivipara)


Open Access


Authors: J. J. M. Middelburg And H. Strijbosch

Abstract: Out of a group of 954 individuals of Lacerta vivipara 8% showed naturally caused toe losses during a four year field study. Another 2% was naturally marked by nail losses or seriously damaged toes. The adult females had the greatest chance of natural toe loss, about three times as much as the adult males. For full reliability the toe-clipping method needs some additional data of the animals marked.

pdf 10. Population ecology and conservation of tortoises the effects of disturbance


Open Access


Authors: A. Hailey,  J. Wright And E. Steer

Abstract: Population characteristics of sympatric Testudo hermanni and T graeca were compared at four sites in northern Greece; Alyki, Epanomi, Keramoti and Lagos. These had different habitats and levels of human disturbance. The density of tortoises larger than 10cm was similar at all sites, in the range 7-2 1 ha- 1 • Population size structures were more variable. The ratio of juveniles to adult females ranged from about 0.1 at the most disturbed site ( Lagos) to about 4 in a protected area (Epanomi). This ratio was similar for the two species at any site, even though they occupied different habitats. The main feature of disturbance was thought to be predation of eggs and juveniles by human commensals (rats and domestic animals) rather than habitat degradation .
The sample sex ratio of T hermanni was male-biased at all four sites, with an average of 3. 1 males per female. Males had more tick parasites than females, higher body temperatures, and were recaptured twice as frequently. There was an even sex ratio in T graeca, the sexes had similar numbers of ticks and body temperatures, and females were recaptured more frequently. The population sex ratio of T. hermanni is known to be male-biased at Alyki. The data on ticks, body temperatures, and recapture frequencies show that sample sex ratios are complicated by sexual differences of activity or microhabitat use. It is suggested that male T hermanni used more open areas than females, within the wood, scrub or heath occupied by this species. T graeca occupied coastal heath at all sites, an open habitat with little spatial variation of cover.

pdf 11. Functions of the foam in the foam nesting leptodactylid Physalaemus pustulosus


Open Access


Authors: J. R. Downie

Abstract: The possible functions of floating foam nests in frogs of the family Leptodactylidae were investigated using the common neotropical species Physalaemus pustulosus as an example. The results showed that:
1. The foam serves little thermal function , with foam and water temperatures being very similar, and time to
hatching in foam compared to water also being similar.
2. The foam has some limited ability to protect eggs and hatchlings from desiccation.
3. Tadpoles of another species attacked intact foam nests, and isolated eggs were palatable to aquatic insect
larvae and other tadpole species.
These results are discussed in the context of reproductive mode evolution , and other possible functions of foam - aeration and nutrition - are considered.

pdf 12. Nesting behaviour of Rhinoclemmys pulcherrima in Costa Rica (Testudines Emydidae)


Open Access


Authors: Julian Monge-najera, B Ernal Morera And Maria Chavez

pdf 15. Records of two species of Hylarana (Anura Ranidae)


Open Access

pp.. 312-314

Authors: Malumo P. S!mbotwe

Abstract: The genus Hylarana Tschudi is recorded and described for the first time for Zambia on the basis of specimens of Hylarana darlingi and Hylarana galamensis respectively. Specimens of the former species came from Livingstone and Monze districts whereas the latter species was collected from Chilubi island, Lake Bangweulu. Hylarana galamensis (Dumeril and Bibron) attains a larger body size (SVL) than that of H. darlingi (Boulenger).

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.