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

2020 Impact Factor for the Herpetological Journal is 0.862

pdf 04. How does a newt find its way from a pond Migration patterns after breeding and metamorphosis in great crested newts (Triturus cristatus) and smooth newts (T. vulgaris)


Open Access


Authors: Jan C. Malmgren

Abstract: Migration patterns across a drift fence with pitfall traps were studied between 1997 and 1999 at a breeding pond with populations of great crested newts, Triturus cristatus, and smooth newts, T. vulgaris, at a study site in south-central Sweden. Metamorphs and older newts emigrated from the pond non-randomly and seemed to avoid exiting where open fields adjoined, but were oriented towards a patch of forest immediately to the east of the pond. Movement patterns changed slightly over the years, but metamorphs were more dispersed and less concentrated than older newts, and did not choose directions identical to those of older newts. Older great crested and smooth newts showed similar directional orientation. Great crested newt metamorphs dispersed towards both edges of the forest patch, and possible explanations for this are discussed. The results suggest that orientation in relation to cues from the surroundings of a breeding pond may be used by newts to make migratory decisions.

Keywords: Amphibia, behaviour, conservation, dispersion, circular statistics

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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.