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 03. Thermal effects on the antipredator behaviour of snakes a review and proposed terminology

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Open Access

pp.79-87

Authors: Akira Mori And Gordon M. Burghardt

Abstract: The effects of temperature on the antipredator responses of snakes have been extensively studied during the last two decades. Several contradictory results have accumulated concerning the effects of temperature on the propensity of snakes to perform various behaviour patterns. We review this literature and discuss four possible factors related to these apparently contradictory results: (I) inconsistency in terms used to characterize antipredator behaviour; (2) erroneous citations; (3) interspecific differences; and (4) variable experimental designs. The last two factors reflect biologically important phenomena, whereas the first two are artificial "noise" that causes confusion and hinders scientific interpretation. To resolve inconsistency in wording, we propose a consistent terminology for the antipredator responses of snakes. Antipredator responses were characterized from three dimensions: (I) categorization from the viewpoint of whether prey animals move towards or away from predators (response is considered as either "approach", "neutral", or "withdrawal"); (2) categorization from the viewpoint of how much movement is involved in the behaviour (response is considered either "locomotive", "active-inplace'', or "static"); and (3) categorization in terms of the apparent function (response is characterized as either "threatening'', "cryptic", or "escape"). Anti predator responses of snakes, not only in relation to temperature but also in any situation, can be well characterized from these three perspectives using the proposed terminology.

Keywords: defences, predator-prey interaction, reptile, temperature effect

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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.