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 09. Amphibian and Reptile Consumption by Otters (Lutra Lutra) in a Coastal Area in Southern Iberian Peninsula


Open Access

pp. 125-131
Authors: Clavero, Miguel; Prenda, José & Delibes, Miguel

Abstract: Through the analysis of 1518 otter spraints we determined the importance of amphibians and reptiles in otter diet and the seasonal patterns of consumption of the different species in a heterogeneous coastal environment in southern Spain. Otters fed on a minimum of six amphibian and three reptile species. Amphibians were present in 13.2% and reptiles in 3.9% of the spraints analysed. Remains of amphibians and reptiles were significantly associated in otter spraints, but negatively associated with crayfish occurrences. Maximum reptile consumption occurred during the summer. Though terrapins have been rarely cited as otter prey, they were consumed more than twice as frequently as water snakes in the study area. The highest frequency of amphibians in the otter diet was recorded in late winter-spring surveys, coinciding with the spawning periods of most species. However, the frequency of amphibians remained high during summer months due to predation on the Iberian green frog (Rana perezi), a very aquatic frog that was almost the only amphibian species consumed in this season.


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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.