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

ISSN 0268-0130


pdf 02. Assessing body mass condition in the tortoise Testudo hermanni

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pp.57-61

Authors: Adrian Hailey

Abstract: Condition in the tortoise Testudo hermanni was assessed using the ratio of observed mass (M) to that predicted (M') from the allometric relationship M=aLb, where L is body length. A condition index (Cl) was based on regressions of log M on log L in July (taken as a standard); these regressions differed significantly between females and males. The Cl log M/M' was slightly left-skewed, but was preferred to the simple ratio M/M' for ease of analysis of interaction effects. Log M/M'ranged from approximately -0.1 to +0. 1 in the wild, equivalent to observed mass of 80-120% of predicted mass. Condition varied seasonally, being low after emergence from hibernation, maximal in spring (April to June), and decreasing in autumn. The detailed pattern of seasonal variation differed significantly between adult females, adult males, and subadults. Regression equations for log M on log L in different months are provided for a seasonally-adjusted condition index (Cl), to assess the relative condition of individuals and annual samples measured in different months.

Keywords: allometry, condition index, season, Testudo, tortoise

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IMPORTANT NOTE - JUNE 2020

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.