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 04. Dietary patterns of two sympatric Mediterranean snakes (Hierophis viridiflavus and Zamenis longissimus) along a gradient of habitat alteration

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pp. 141-146
Authors: Capizzi, Dario; Capula, Massimo; Capula, Massimo; Rugiero, Lorenzo & Luiselli, Luca

Abstract: The food habits of two species of colubrid snakes (Hierophis viridiflavus and Zamenis longissimus) were studied in three areas in Mediterranean central Italy representing a gradient of natural habitat alteration from a natural mixed oak forest towards an entirely deforested, urban–agricultural habitat. Two diet descriptors were used: 1) total number of prey items eaten by each species in each study area, and 2) number of individual snakes containing a given prey type. Only adults were studied. There was no significant body size difference within species or among sites, and the diets of males and females were similar in both species. Our results revealed that habitat alteration drives some directional changes in the diet composition of these snakes: food niche breadth decreased in the two species from the least to the most altered study area, thus suggesting higher dietary generalism of snakes in natural areas. Food niche overlap values were similar interspecifically and intraspecifically, but tended to increase interspecifically with habitat alteration.

Keywords: ITALY, REPTILIA, NICHE BREADTH, NICHE OVERLAP, VEGETATION GRADIENT, FOOD HABITS

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IMPORTANT NOTE - JUNE 2020

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.