The British Herpetological Society

 

The Herpetological Journal

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 2016  impact factor of the Herpetological Journal is 0.90.

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NOTE: as of January 2017, all new editions of the HJ are ONLY available online via the BHS website. The BHS no longer has a commercial hosting agreement with Ingenta  -  although editions prior to end 2016 remain accessible on Ingenta .  Those editions are of course also accessible on the BHS website for subscribers with an active and valid membership.  Should you experience any difficulty accessing HJ editions via the website or have any queries in this regard, please contact webmaster@thebhs.org

  

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Folder Volume 15, Number 3, July 2005

pdf 01. Size at Male Maturity, Sexing Methods and Adult Sex Ratio in Loggerhead Turtles (Caretta caretta) from Italian Waters Investigated Through Tail Measurements

518 downloads

Open Access

pp. 145-148
Authors: Casale, Paolo; Freggi, Daniela; Basso, Roberto & Argano, Roberto

Abstract: Tail length is the main secondary sexual characteristic of adult sea turtles. In order to assess the size at which sexual dimorphism in this character becomes evident, six different measurements of tail length were collected or calculated from 2631 Caretta caretta specimens found in the waters around Italy. These data show that an average male develops a longer tail at a size of 70 cm and attains sexual maturity at a size of 75-80 cm Curved Carapace Length. Studies of adult sex ratio based on tail measurements should therefore be restricted to specimens >75 cm. The distance from the cloaca to the posterior margin of the carapace appears to be the most effective measurement for sexing turtles of this size among the six characteristics investigated. In the sample, females are estimated to comprise 61% of the specimens >75 cm.

Keywords: MEDITERRANEAN SEA, SEXING METHOD, SEXUAL DIMORPHISM, WORDS : MALE SEXUAL MATURITY

pdf 02. A New Large Tree Frog from North-Western Gabon (Hyperoliidae: Leptopelis)

585 downloads

Open Access

pp. 149-152
Authors: Lötters, S.; Rödel, M.-O. & Burger, M.

Abstract: A new large, green species of Leptopelis from the Monts de Cristal, north-western Gabon, is described. It is similar to the sympatric L. brevirostris. The most striking character to distinguish these two taxa is the absence of a tympanum in the new species in contrast to the presence of a tympanum in L. brevirostris.

Keywords: AFRICA, ANURA, LEPTOPELIS BREVIROSTRIS, SYSTEMATICS

pdf 03. Can Aggregation Behaviour of Phrynomantis microps Tadpoles Reduce Predation Risk?

548 downloads

Open Access

pp. 153-157
Authors: Spieler, Marko

Abstract: In the Comoé National Park in Ivory Coast, West Africa, tadpoles of the microhylid frog Phrynomantis microps often stay in large and densely packed aggregations near the water surface of savanna ponds. Previous studies have shown that aggregation behaviour was initiated by the presence of visually guided aquatic predators. In the present study, I investigated how efficiently aggregation of P. microps tadpoles reduces the risk of predation. I used an experimental design to count the number of attacks by predators on P. microps tadpole at different densities and distributions. The total strike rate of predators was significantly lower when P. microps tadpoles were aggregated than when they were randomly distributed. However, per capita strikes rate did not differ between treatments. Further replicate trials might have detected benefits to the individual tadpole from aggregating.

Keywords: DILUTION EFFECT, ANTI-PREDATION BEHAVIOUR, ANURANS, SOCIAL BEHAVIOUR

pdf 04. Description of a New Eupsophus Species (Amphibia, Leptodactylidae) from the Remnants of Maulino Forest, Central Chile

551 downloads

Open Access

pp. 159-165
Authors: Veloso, Alberto; Celis-Diez, Juan L.; Guerrero, Pablo C.; Méndez, Marco A.; Iturra, Patricia & Simonetti, Javier A.

Abstract: The description of a new species of Eupsophus, from Los Queules National Reserve (35° 59′S, 72° 41′W) adds a new endemic taxon to the fauna of telmatobines (Amphibia, Leptodactylidae) of Chile, and extends the geographical distribution of the genus approximately 200 km to the north. The morphological description of the new species includes a karyotype description and molecular data of the mtDNA 12S gene. Chromosome and molecular evidence supports the assignment of the new species to Eupsophus, allowing comparisons with congeneric and other lower telmatobine species. The diploid number of the new species is 2 n=30 and it presents the chromosomal XY system of chromosomal sex determination. It differs from E. vertebralis and E. emiliopugini (both 2 n=28) and groups with E. calcaratus, E. contulmoensis, E. roseus, E. nahuelbutensis, E. insularis and E. migueli (2n=30), the last two species also with morphologically differentiated XY chromosomes. This new endemic species reinforces the importance of Los Queules Natural Reserve as a unique reservoir of the biota of Maulino Forest, central Chile.

Keywords: FROG, MITOCHONDRIAL DNA, TAXONOMY, KARYOTYPES, ANURA

pdf 05. Variation in Anuran Abundance Along the Streams of the Western Ghats, India

554 downloads

Open Access

pp. 167-172
Authors: Krishna, S. N.; Krishna, S. B. & Vijayalaxmi, K. K.

Abstract: In order to test the hypothesis that anuran abundance does not vary between forest and commercial plantations, anurans were sampled along the streams of reserve forests, and adjoining cardamom and coffee plantations on the western slopes of the Western Ghats. The species composition and relative abundance varied significantly between the three habitats. A few species showed complete dependence on the forest whereas many common species were least affected by habitat alterations associated with plantations. Analysis of variance revealed significant differences in the abundance of R. temporalis, Micrixalus saxicolus, Fejervarya limnocharis, Euphlyctis cyanophlyctis and Bufo melanostictus, whereas the difference was not significant for Indirana beddomii, Nyctibatrachus species and Polypedates species.

Keywords: FROG, PLANTATIONS, AMPHIBIAN, SPECIES COMPOSITION, STREAM TRANSECTS

pdf 06. Harmonic Direction Finding: A Novel Tool to Monitor the Dispersal of Small-sized Anurans

633 downloads

Open Access

pp. 173-180
Authors: Leskovar, Christoph & Sinsch, Ulrich

Abstract: The suitability of harmonic direction finding for tracking of dispersing juvenile natterjack (Bufo calamita) and green toads (B. viridis) was evaluated in laboratory and field experiments. In a first step, dipole reflector tags were developed which combined low mass, small size and large detection range. The average mass was 114 mg, wire antenna length 42 mm and detection range usually varied between 2.5 m and 12.5 m –occasionally reaching 26 m – as assessed using a commercial portable scanning device RECCO 5000. In toads that had a snout-vent length of 22-24 mm, the mass of the reflector tag did not exceed 10% of the toad's body mass. Tags were externally attached by glueing to the dried dorsal skin of the toadlet. In a replicated laboratory experiment, almost all tags were shed 36 hr to 48hr after attachment. In 2001, 417 juveniles toads were equipped with reflector tags and their dispersal was studied in a natural habitat (Urmitz, Rhineland-Palatinate, Germany). The recovery rate of reflector tags was similar in B. calamita (35.9%, n=33) and in B. viridis (31.6%, n=103). The maximum distances between release and recovery site were 588 m in B. calamita and 665 m in B. viridis. Results obtained suggest that this new method is better suited for monitoring the migratory activity and habitat use of small terrestrial anurans than passive tagging systems presently in use, such as microtags and passive integrated transponders (PIT). Nevertheless, detection range is still too small to rival active monitoring systems such as radiotransmitters which remain unsuitable for small anurans.

Keywords: BUFO VIRIDIS, PASSIVE TRACKING SYSTEM, POSTMETAMORPHIC DISPERSAL, BUFO CALAMITA

pdf 07. Size-Fecundity Relationships and Reproductive Investment in Female Frogs in the Pantanal, South-Western Brazil

540 downloads

Open Access

pp. 181-189
Authors: Prado, Cynthia P. A. & Haddad, Célio F. B.

Abstract: The ovarian complement of anurans exhibiting different reproductive modes is highly diverse, and intraspecific variation in reproductive output of anurans is generally related to variation in female properties and/or environmental conditions. The size-fecundity relationships, reproductive investment, and correlation between ovary mass and fat body mass were investigated for females of an anuran assemblage in the Pantanal, Brazil. Female body size was positively correlated with clutch size among seven of the eight species analyzed. However, these results seem to be influenced by seasonal variation in fecundity. Interspecific size-fecundity relationships revealed that female SVL was positively correlated with clutch size and egg size regardless of reproductive mode. Among 11 species analyzed, the reproductive investment (RI: ovary mass relative to body mass) varied from 5.5 to 18%, and there were no differences among reproductive modes and activity patterns (explosive / prolonged). RI correlated negatively with female size. Among three Leptodactylus species examined, negative correlation between ovary mass and fat body mass was verified for two species. Variations in the reproductive strategies are closely related to the reproductive activity patterns and reproductive modes exhibited by individual species, but are also influenced by environmental conditions. However, regardless of reproductive mode or activity pattern, each species seems to exhibit a reproductive strategy that allows them to respond differently to the same environmental restrictions.

Keywords: ANURANS, REPRODUCTIVE INVESTMENT, CLUTCH SIZE, FAT BODY MASS

pdf 08. Embryonic External Nares in the Microhylid Elachistocleis ovalis, with a Review of Narial Development in Microhylid Tadpoles

588 downloads

Open Access

pp. 191-194
Authors: Nokhbatolfoghahai, M. & Downie, J. R.

Abstract: Microhylids have the nares closed during most of tadpole life. In the microhylid Elachistocleis ovalis the external nares initially form in late embryonic stages but the nares then close when independent feeding begins and re-open at the start of metamorphosis. Examination of other microhylid species suggests that this may be a general feature. Given the uses of the olfactory system in tadpoles (e.g. kin recognition, predator detection), closure of the system in microhylids is a curious feature which needs further investigation.

Keywords: MICROHYLIDAE, ANURAN, DEVELOPMENT, OLFACTION, NOSTRILS

pdf 09. Reproductive Biology of Atractus reticulatus (Boulenger, 1885) (Serpentes, Colubridae) in Southern Brazil

552 downloads

Open Access

pp. 195-199
Authors: Balestrin, Rafael Lucchesi & Di-Bernardo, Marcos

Abstract: The reproductive biology of Atractus reticulatus was studied based on the analyses of 135 specimens from preserved in collections, and on field observations in Rio Grande do Sul State, southern Brazil. The snout-vent length (SVL) of mature females was significantly larger than the SVL of mature males, and the tail length (TL) of mature males was significantly longer than the TL of mature females. Analysis of neonate body size, hatching time and seasonal distribution of body size classes (SVL) suggests that males reach sexual maturity at eight to 10 months old (SVL c. 198 mm) and females at 11 to 12 months old (SVL c. 242 mm). The reproductive period begins in late August, with clutches laid in November, December and January, and hatching occurring from January to March. Fecundity is low: the number of vitellogenic follicles varied from 2 to 6, and the number of eggs from 1 to 3. Relative to female size, the eggs are large and the clutches are heavy, corresponding to approximately 27% of female body mass.

Keywords: FECUNDITY, REPRODUCTION, SNAKES, COLUBRID, SEXUAL DIMORPHISM

pdf 10. Interaction of the Static Net Fishery with Loggerhead Sea Turtles in the Mediterranean: Insights from Mark-recapture Data

539 downloads

Open Access

pp. 201-203
Authors: Casale, Paolo; Freggi, Daniela; Basso, Roberto & Argano, Roberto

Abstract: Comparison of mark-recapture data collected using different fishing methods suggests that in the Mediterranean the interaction of sea turtles with the static net fishery is very important and comparable to other fisheries. Given the high mortality rate observed in this and other studies, static nets are likely to represent a serious threat to Mediterranean sea turtle populations.

Keywords: CARETTA CARETTA, STATIC NETS, MEDITERRANEAN SEA FISHERY INTERACTION

pdf 11. Bergmann's Rule is Size-Related in European Newts (Triturus)

572 downloads

Open Access

pp. 205-206
Authors: Krizmanic, Imre; Vukov, Tanja D. & Kalezic, Miloš L.

Abstract: The validity of Bergmann's rule – which describes the intraspecific increase in body size with increasing altitude – was studied in a several populations of three European newt species. There was a positive correlation between body size and altitude for smaller-bodied Triturus vulgaris and T. alpestris species, but no relationship between body size and altitude for the much larger sized T. carnifex. Body size therefore plays a role in the application of Bergmann's rule to European newts.

Keywords: ALTITUDINAL GRADIENT, MORPHOLOGY, TRITURUS ALPESTRIS, TRITURUS VULGARIS, TRITURUS CARNIFEX

pdf 12. Book Reviews

673 downloads

Open Access

pp. 207-210
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