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.

pdf 06. Ecology of the colubrid snake Pseudablabes agassizii in south-eastern South America


Open Access

pp. 37-45
Authors: Marques, Otavio A. V.; Sawaya, Ricardo J.; Stender-Oliveira, Fernanda & Franca, Frederico G. R.

Abstract: The colubrid Pseudablabes agassizii is a small philodryadine snake distributed in open areas in south-eastern South America. We provide information on morphology, habitat use, diel activity, diet, feeding behaviour, reproduction, and seasonal activity of this species, based on dissection of 146 specimens combined with field and captive observations. Pseudablabes agassizii is smaller than any other species in the Philodryadini. Females attain larger body size than males. Sexual dimorphism was also recorded for stoutness and tail length, but not for head length. Apparently, P. agassizii forages during the day, mainly for resting spiders in subterranean and other day-time retreats. Lycosid and other araneomorph spiders were the staple food item, but mygalomorph spiders, scorpions, and orthopteran insects were also eaten. Large spiders were subdued by venom injection, whereas smaller ones were usually swallowed alive. Ingestion of lizards is infrequent and probably represents a vestigial trait. Absence of sexual dimorphism in relative head length may be related to ingestion of small prey. The reproductive cycle of females seems to be highly seasonal with vitellogenesis occurring from the onset to the middle of the rainy season, when females are more active. Recruitment of newborns takes place at the end of the rainy season. Males show increase in testes volume in the second half of the rainy season, and mating probably occurs at the end of rainy season, when adult males are more active. At least in south-eastern Brazil, P. agassizii is a habitat specialist, sensitive to habitat alteration, and thus is an indicator species of environmental quality. Due to the rapid destruction of its main habitat, the Cerrado, the conservation status of this snake should be regarded as threatened.


Download Access:

The latest 8 issues can be downloaded when logged in with a Herpetological Journal subscription membership.

Individual articles can be purchased for download.

Older issues and occasional Open Access articles are available for public download


For further information and submission guidelines please see our Journal Instructions to Authors

pdfBHS Ethics Policy


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.