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

2021 Impact Factor from Clarivate for the Herpetological Journal is 1.194, an increase of 0.332 from 2020.

pdf 14. Photo-identification of horseshoe whip snakes (Hemorrhois hippocrepis, Linnaeus, 1758) by a semi-automatic procedure applied to wildlife management


Open Access

pp. 304-307

Authors: Andreu Rotger, Victor Colomar, Jorge Enrique Moreno & Luis Parpal

Abstract: Photo-identification is an increasingly used method for the study of animal populations. Natural marks such as coloration or scale pattern to identify individuals provide an inexpensive and less invasive alternative to conventional tagging methods. Photo-identification has previously been used to distinguish individual snakes, usually by comparing the pileus region. Nevertheless, this method is seldom used in capture-recapture studies. We show the effectiveness of photo-identification in snakes using specific software for individual recognition applied to a wildlife control study of horseshoe whip snakes. Photos were analysed with Automatic Photo Identification Suite (APHIS), which allowed us to compare the variability of head scale patterns surrounding the parietal shields instead of the traditional method of using large scale groups of the pileus. APHIS correctly identified 100 % of recaptures of snakes. Although further studies are needed, the variability of the surrounding scales of the pileus region seems a robust method to identify and differentiate individuals.

Keywords: Photo-identification, capture-recapture, scale patterns, invasive snake, wildlife control

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.