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 06. Ranging behaviour and home range size of smooth snakes inhabiting lowland heath in southern England

2710 downloads

Open Access

pp. 241-247
Authors: Reading, C. J.

Abstract: Individually marked smooth snakes inhabiting a 10 ha area of lowland heath in southern England were studied between 1993–2011 and their movements estimated from capture data. During this period a total of 109 male and 82 female snakes were identified providing 177 inter-location distances from which to investigate overall, and seasonal, movements of adult and sub-adult males and females. The mean distances moved, between successive captures, by adult males was approximately 50% greater than that moved by adult females or sub-adult males and females. Monthly mean distances moved by adult females and sub-adult males and females were all very similar and, with the exception of May and July, were lower than those moved by adult males. During May, when mating occurs, the distance moved by adult males was almost identical to that of adult females suggesting a link with breeding.

The capture locations of 18 female and 18 male smooth snakes, whose range was assumed to be totally within the study area, also enabled home range areas to be estimated for these four categories of snake. The mean home range size of adult males (1.85 ha) was double that of adult females (0.87 ha), about four times larger than that of sub-adult males (0.46 ha) and approximately six times larger than that of sub-adult females (0.31 ha). The home range size of males increased sharply once sexual maturity was reached whilst that of females showed a more gradual increase as body length increased. The maximum home range sizes of adult male and female smooth snakes were 3.88 ha and 2.37 ha respectively. The movements and home range sizes of smooth snakes are compared with similar data found in other snake species

Keywords: CORONELLA AUSTRIACA, SEASONAL MOVEMENTS, CONVEX POLYGONS, HOME RANGE

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

Submissions:

For further information and submission guidelines please see our Journal Instructions to Authors

pdfBHS Ethics Policy

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.