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. Seasonal variation in the trophic niche of a heterochronic population of Triturus alpestris apuanus from the south-western Alps


Open Access

pp. 183-191
Authors: Vignoli, Leonardo; Bombi, Pierluigi; D'Amen, Manuela & Bologna, Marco A.

Abstract: The aim of this study was to analyse the diet composition and feeding strategy of a heterochronic population of the Alpine newt, Triturus alpestris apuanus (Bonaparte, 1839), in a high-altitude pond in the south-western Alps, characterized by a reduced aquatic habitat and low environmental heterogeneity. The co-existence of both adult newt morphs in such a non-complex habitat with short suitable hydroperiod (water surface free of ice) may not be governed by different microhabitat selection or temporal activity, but could be due to diet composition differentiation among morphs. The diet of the newt was examined and compared with prey availability in summer and autumn. Both numerical and volumetric analyses of the gut contents showed that: 1) metamorphs represented a homogeneous group clearly linked to epineustonic prey categories (exogenous arthropods), whereas paedomorphs showed a prey selection mainly towards planktonic food categories; 2) evident seasonal variations in diet composition not connected to aquatic prey availability were observed in the studied forms; 3) metamorphs and paedomorphs may possibly avoid competition (if there is any) through food resource partitioning rather than microhabitat selection.


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.