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 06. A species distribution model for the endemic Cyprus whip snake (Hierophis cypriensis) is consistent with a transient period isolated evolution in the Troodos Range

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pp. 175-181
Authors: Baier, Felix; Nicolaou, Haris & Rödder, Dennis

Abstract: The Cyprus whip snake (Hierophis cypriensis Schätti, 1985) is endemic to Cyprus and occurs in forested regions of the Troodos Range in the central part of the island, but surprisingly, has not been reported from such areas in the Kyrenia Range of northern Cyprus. Here, we provide the first comprehensive GPS-based assessment of the distribution of this endangered snake in Cyprus. We use species distribution modelling to demonstrate that areas with suitable habitat for the Cyprus whip snake are largely limited to the Troodos Range. The Kyrenia Range contains only a few grid cells of medium habitat suitability according to the environmental parameters assessed. The Mesaoria Plain, which lies between the two mountain ranges, likely functions as an ecological barrier with unsuitable habitat conditions. Consistent with this pattern of distribution, we hypothesise that this species was restricted to the Troodos Range during the early phases of speciation. Adaptation to environmental conditions in the Troodos Range may have prevented subsequent range extension to other ecological niches when the rest of the island emerged.

Keywords: COLUBRIDAE, DISTRIBUTION, KYRENIA RANGE, DISPERSAL, SPECIATION, MODEL, ADAPTATION

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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.