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 03. The effects of hydric and thermal properties of incubation substrate on embryonic development in the water snake, Natrix tessellata


Open Access


Authors: Razi Dmi'el , Gad Perry, Ann Belinsky And Ralph A. Ackerman

Abstract: We studied the effects of incubation substrate and its water content on egg water uptake, incubation duration, and hatchling mass in the diced water snake Natrix tessellata. Egg water uptake was highest in sand (the substrate with the highest thermal conductivity) and lowest in air (which had the lowest thermal conductivity). Water uptake was independent of initial egg mass. Incubation duration was correlated with substrate type and water content. Hatchling mass was independent of initial egg mass, but there was a weak negative correlation with total water uptake and with length of incubation. Wet mass of hatchlings incubated in air was greater than those incubated in sand or vermiculite. A greater increase of water uptake by eggs incubated in the most thermally conductive substrate (moist sand) suggests transport of water vapour, rather than liquid water, as the mechanism of transport across the membranes of parchment shelled eggs.

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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.