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 12, Number 2, April 2002 Volume 12, Number 2, April 2002

pdf 01. The use of dosed and herbage N alkanes as markers for the determination of intake, digestibility, mean retention time and diet selection in Galapagos tortoises (Geochelone nigra)


Open Access


Authors: I.-m. Hatt , R. Gisler , R. W. Mayes, M. Lechner-doll , M. Clauss, A. Li Esegang And M. Wanner

Abstract: Eleven captive Galapagos tortoises (Geochelone nigra) were used as study subjects to estimate digesta kinetics, diet composition, intake and apparent digestibility (aD) using alkanes. The results were compared to observed intakes and digestibility estimated through total faecal collection. Acid-insoluble ash (AJA) and acid-detergent lignin (ADL) were compared to the alkane method for the estimation ofaD. Mean retention times (M RT) were estimated in four adult tortoises (ea 40-60 years old) and four juvenile tortoises (4-5 years old) fed a pulse dose of Co-EDT A, Cr-mordanted fibre (particle size <2 mm) and n-alkane hexatriacontane (C36). Average M RT for the liquid phase marker Co was nine days in both adult and juvenile tortoises. For the particle phase markers Cr and Cw MRT was 12 days in adult tortoises and eight and nine days, respectively, in juveniles. Digestibility, diet intake and diet composition were estimated in nine Galapagos tortoises fed for 32 days on a standardized diet containing the synthetic n-alkanes octacosane (C2,), dotriacontane (C32) and C36. In four juvenile tortoises kept individual ly, total faecal collection was performed and the faecal recovery rates of n-alkanes were estimated for pentacosane (C25), heptacosane (C27), C28' nonacosane (C29), hentriacontane (C31), C32, tritriacontane (C33) and C36. Intakes calculated with the alkane-pair C31 and C32 overestimated intake by a factor 1 . 5. After correction for the relative recoveries of alkanes there was no significant difference between estimated and observed intakes. Observed aD of organic matter (OM) was 67.5%. Estimated aD of OM with the internal marker C36 alkane, ADL and AJA were 48.5%, 38.9% and 18.3 %, respectively. Estimates of diet composition using alkanes in individual animals accurately reflected directly-observed composition. Observed selection of a certain feedstuff was recognized with the alkane method. This is the first report of the use of n-alkanes as digestive markers in reptiles and it confirms that n-alkanes may be used for determining diet intake and the passage through the gut of the particulate digesta phase, and for estimating diet composition. The possibility of estimating different aspects of digestive strategies with the same marker type is a major asset of the alkane technique.

Keywords: tortoise, reptile, n-alkane, Geochelone, digestibility markers, digestion, intake, diet composition

pdf 02. A new Atheris species (Serpentes Viperidae), from Tar National Park, Ivory Coast


Open Access


Authors: R . Ernst And M.-o. Rödel

Abstract: We describe a new species of the genus Atheris from Taï National Park, a large rainforest area in south-western Ivory Coast. Atheris sp. nov. shows close affinities to A. squamigera, but is distinguished from it by a combination of scale characteristics, as well as morphometric differences in head proportions.

Keywords: Serpentes, Yiperidae, Atheris sp. nov., Ta'i National Park, Ivory Coast;

pdf 03. Thermal and reproductive ecology of the snake Psammophis phillipsi from the rainforest region of southern Nigeria


Open Access


Authors: Godfrey C. Akani, Edem A. Eniang , Itohowo J. Ekp, Francesco M. Angelici And Luca Luiselli

Abstract: Aspects of the thermal and reproductive ecology were studied in the colubrid snake Psammophis phillipsi from south-eastern Nigeria. The annual reproductive cycle was well synchronized and seasonal: females were gravid in the middle part of the dry season, and oviposition occurred in the second half of the dry season (February-March), whereas egg hatching occurred by the onset of the rainy season (mid April to early June). The mean number of eggs was 9.2±0.9 (n = 23), and was related to maternal size. Gravid and non-gravid specimens did not differ significantly in terms of mean SVL, mean Tb , or T5 Mean Tb tended to increase regularly from 0600 to 1200 hrs, attained the higher values in the middle of the day ( 1200- 1500 hrs), and tended to decrease after 1800 hrs. Gravid individuals differed from non-gravid individuals in that their variances of T were notably lower both in the early morning and in the middle of the day, but higher at other times of day. Multiple regressions showed that the interaction of T and T had a significant effect on Tb , whereas Tb was not influenced by the number of eggs produced tn gravid animals.

Keywords: body temperatures, Colubridae, Psammophiinae, reproductive biology, tropical Africa

pdf 04. Use of fluorescent pigments and implantable transmitters to track a fossorial toad (Pelobates fuscus)


Open Access


Authors: Christophe Eggert

Abstract: Compared to other vertebrate groups, movement patterns and micro habitat use in amphibians has been little studied. The two goals of this study were (1) to compare two different methods of tracking amphibians (implantable transmitters and fluorescent pigments); and (2) to characterize movement patterns and habitat use in the nocturnal, fossorial spadefoot toad (Pelobates fuscus). A fluorescent pigment method was useful for microhabitat studies, as trails could be detected in all kinds of terrestrial habitats, even under wet conditions. Using this method it was possible to trace complete nocturnal movement patterns (maximum distance moved: 73m). Implantable transmitters were particularly appropriate for fossorial species, such as Pelobates fuscus. Diel home range and microhabitat preferences were more precisely defined using a combination of telemetry and pigments. In addition, the vertical component of habitat use could be assessed . The spadefoot toad was more likely to use areas of bare soil or short vegetation and seemed to avoid shrub-covered areas. Mean distance moved between two successive burrows was higher in females (22.9 m) than in males ( 1 2.9 m).

Keywords: amphibian movement, fluorescent pigments, microhabitats, Pelobates fuscus, radiotelemetry

pdf 05. Increased use of ponds by breeding natterjack toads, Bufo calamita, following management


Open Access


Authors: Richard A. Phillips, David Patterson And Paul Shimmings

pdf 06. First record of the leopard gecko Eublepharis angramainyu (Reptilia: Sauria: Eublepharidae) from Anatolia


Open Access


Authors: Bayram Göçmen, Murat Tosunoglu And Dinçer Ayaz

pdf 07. Diet, gastrolith acquisition and initiation of feeding among hatchling Morelet's crocodiles in Belize


Open Access


Authors: Steven G. Platt  , Thomas R. Rainwater And Scott T. Mcmurry

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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.   

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