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 04. An evaluation of non-invasive sampling for genetic analysis in northern European reptiles


Open Access

pp. 32-39
Authors: Jones, Rhys; Cable, Joanne & Bruford, Michael W.

Abstract: Genetic studies of native herpetofauna populations are important for the conservation of European biodiversity, but previous studies have been largely dependent on invasive sample collection. Here we explore the efficiency of noninvasive sampling (NIS) for molecular studies and review the various potential sources of such samples. Snakes produce a multitude of by-products, such as sloughed skin, faeces and eggs or embryos, that, along with road kills, predated specimens and museum samples, could potentially be used in molecular studies. We describe a new method for obtaining snake faeces in the field and, using mitochondrial cytochrome b primers, we successfully amplified 500 and 758 bp sequences from a variety of tissues collected by NIS. The availability and degradation of such material differed greatly, and both DNA extraction and PCR success appeared dependent upon sample origin and storage. Nevertheless, for the first time we demonstrate that faecal, egg and foetal tissues, as well as sloughed skin and carcasses, represent valuable NIS source material permitting genetic studies with minimal disturbance to the individual and its population.


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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.