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 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.

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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.