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.

Volume 3, Number 4, October 1993 Volume 3, Number 4, October 1993

pdf 01. Multiple paternity and sperm storage in turtles


Open Access


Authors: David A. Galbraith

Abstract: Multiple paternity is the occurrence within a single clutch of offspring fathered by more than one male. This pattern may be an an adaptive feature of the mating system of turtles. Mating systems are the adaptive features of reproduction which contribute lo variation in the probability of a particular egg being fertilized by a particular sperm. Turtle populations have rarely been studied specifically in terms of multiple paternity or mating systems. Five features related to multiple paternity are discussed: spacing behaviour prior to courtship, mate-seeking and mate choice, agonistic encounters between individuals, sperm storage, and sperm competition. Several studies have examined movements and spacing behaviours in turtles, and have drawn inferences about mateseeking. At present, multiple paternity has been detected in clutches of loggerhead turtles (Caretta carella), wood turtles (Clemmys insculpta), and snapping turtles (Chelydra serpentina). In wood turtles, a relationship between male dominance and paternity has been detected through DNA fingerprinting. Sperm storage has been demonstrated in several species, but studies of sperm competition are Jacking. Directions for future research are considered.

pdf 02. Salmonellosis due to Salmonella houten in captive day geckos (genus Phelsuma Gray)


Open Access


Authors: Tricha J. Murphy And Alan A. Myers

Abstract: Two species of Sabnonella are reported from captive Phelsuma spp., one of which (Sabnonella houten), was pathogenic. Twelve geckos developed clinical signs of anorexia, diarrhoea, dehydration and cachexia. Ten died over a period of eight weeks and deaths occurred three to six weeks from the commencement of illness. Necropsy findings included dehydration, emaciation and liver necrosis. Sabnonella houten was isolated. The response of sick geckos to antibiotics and supportive therapy is discussed.

pdf 03. Diet and activity of Mabuya acutilabris (Reptilia Scincidae) in Namibia


Open Access


Authors: Ronald A. Castanzo And Aaron M. Bauer

AbstractMabuya acutilabris is a terrestrial African scincid lizard distributed from Little Namaqualand to the mouth of the Zaire (Congo) River. In the central portion of its range (near Kamanjab, Namibia) the species is active in early winter from 09.50 hr to 17.10 hr. These skinks spend much time basking, and 73 % of their surface activity occurs within 30 cm of clumps of vegetation where they construct shallow burrows . Single day movements of the skinks are short in both duration and distance, yet long-term movement may be considerable. Density of the species at the study site was at least 106/ha. Across its geographic range M. acutilabris is a generalist insectivore, with hemipterans and a variety of insect larvae constituting the most important prey classes .

pdf 04. The relationship between disturbance, respiration rate and feeding in common lizards (Lacerta vivipara)


Open Access


Authors: Roger Avery

Abstract: Slightly disturbing captive common lizards , Lacerta vivipara, by movement and noise while they are basking in laboratory arenas resulted in an increase in respiration frequency (Rf) and a decrease in the probability that a lizard would respond to the introduction of a potential prey item. Two categories of prey (crickets and mealworms) were presented at three locations defined in relation to the snout of a lizard; there were clear negative correlations between Rf and probability of feeding in all cases. Respiration frequency can thus be used as a means for determining whether a lizard in a feeding trial has been diverted by extraneous stimuli. This is important in investigations of foraging efficiency in relation to perceptual fields and movement patterns, in which it is necessary to know that experimental animals have not been diverted in this way.

pdf 05. Movement rates of the smooth snake Coronella austriaca (Colubridae) A radio telemetric study


Open Access


Authors: A. H. Gent And I. F. Spellerberg

Abstract: The movement behaviour of free ranging smooth snakes (Coronella austriaca) was studied by radio-telemetry. The species exhibits a low median hourly-movement rate (0.54 m h-1 , range = 0.00 to 44.26 m h-1, n = 1 074) and a correspondingly low dailymovement rate (median = 13.30 m day-1, range = 0.00 to 166.81 m day-1, n= 138). There were no significant differences in movement rates between the sexes. Smooth snakes do not generally occupy specific features (such as dens) and move through parts of sites at differing rates; some animals will remain within small areas for some while whilst others move through an area quite quickly .The effect of attachment of radio-transmitters on the behaviour of the snakes was investigated via a short laboratory study using time-lapse video recording. Only minor differences were observed between movement rates and behaviours of tagged and untagged animals and no differences were detected for changes in body weight over the period. These observations indicated that the attachment of a radio-transmitter did not significantly affect the behaviour of smooth snakes.

pdf 07. Test of an electronic individual tag for newts


Open Access


Authors: Mauro Fasola, Francesco Barbieri And Luca Canova

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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.