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 08. Capture of smooth newts (Lissotriton vulgaris) and great crested newts (Triturus cristatus) correlates with the lunar cycle

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Open Access

pp. 171-174
Authors: Deeming, D.C.

Abstract: This study examined the hypothesis that numbers of newts captured were correlated with the phase of the moon. During the spring of 2008 smooth newts and great crested newts were captured in bottle traps laid in two ponds at Riseholme Park, University of Lincoln, UK. Highest rates of capture for smooth newts were either side of the new moon but for great crested newts the highest rate was immediately before the new moon. Identification of individuals showed that during the observation period smooth newts regularly moved between aquatic and terrestrial habitats, but great crested newts appeared to leave ponds and did not return. This is the first report that numbers of newts captured are affected by the lunar cycle. Activity during the darkest nights may limit the risk of predation as individuals leave breeding ponds to forage on land or to move between ponds. These results have implications for surveys of newt breeding sites because lack of individual identification and trapping events at the wrong time of the month can both seriously undermine estimates of population sizes.

Keywords: SURVEYS, BOTTLE TRAPPING, PREDATION, PHASE OF THE MOON, ACTIVITY

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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.