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.

The 2017/18  impact factor of The Herpetological Journal is 1.268

ISSN 0268-0130

pdf 01. Surface ciliation and tail structure in direct-developing frog embryos: a comparison between Myobatrachus gouldii and Pristimantis (= Eleutherodactylus) urichi


Open Access

pp. 59-68
Authors: Nokhbatolfoghahai, Mohsen; Mitchell, Nicola J. & Downie, J. Roger

Abstract: Surface ciliation in two direct-developing anurans from unrelated lineages, the Australian myobatrachid Myobatrachus gouldii and the South American terraranan Pristimantis urichi, is shown to be broadly similar, persisting on some body regions until close to hatching, suggesting a common need for circulation of fluid inside the jelly layers. The tail of M. gouldii is tadpole-like at its maximum extent though considerably reduced in its axial core and musculature. Its surface epidermis is thin and highly folded in some areas, with blood vessels approaching very close to the surface, consistent with a respiratory role. The tail moves actively when well developed, which may assist with respiratory exchange. The tail in P. urichi has a novel construction, quite different from both M. gouldii and that reported for Caribbean lineage terraranans such as Eleutherodactylus coqui or E. nubicola. In P. urichi, the tail expands laterally and posteriorly, not dorsally and ventrally, and only has a short axial core at its base, suggesting very limited motility: it therefore seems not to be composed of axial core and dorsal/ventral fins. We suggest that this thin-walled vascular structure, applied close to the perivitelline membrane, facilitates respiratory exchange. Discovery of this novel structure suggests that the development of other terraranan embryos needs investigation.


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.