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.

The 2017/18  impact factor of The Herpetological Journal is 1.268

ISSN 0268-0130

Volume 30, Number 1, January 2020 Volume 30, Number 1, January 2020

pdf 02. Revised classification of the genus Eryx Daudin, 1803 (Serpentes: Erycidae) in Iran and neighbouring areas, based on mtDNA sequences and morphological data


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pp. 2-12

Authors: Naeimeh Eskandarzadeh, Nasrullah Rastegar-Pouyani, Eskandar Rastegar-Pouyani, Fatemeh Todehdehghan, Mahdi Rajabizadeh, Mohammad Zarrintab, Fadhil Abbas Rhadi & Haji Gholi Kami

Abstract: Several attempts have recently been made to elucidate taxonomic status and phylogenetic relationships among the species and subspecies of sand boas of the genus Eryx throughout their distribution range, with no stable consensus about their taxonomy. Here the phylogenetic relationships among the populations of Eryx in Iran and adjacent areas are studied based on two mitochondrial markers (cytb and 16S). Sixteen morphological characters were examined for evaluation of morphological differences among major populations. Ecological niche modeling was applied to demonstrate the potential distribution of the populations in Iran. ENMtools was also used to measure the degree of niche overlap among the major populations in Iran. Based on phylogenetic reconstruction and considering the genetic distances with specimens from type localities, E. tataricus is a junior synonym of E. miliaris and the subspecies rank for E. m. nogaiorum seems to be invalid. Considering the genetic distance of populations in western Iran and Iraq, and the habitat and morphological differences among the populations of Eryx in western Iran, Iraq and Egypt, the population of Eryx in western Iran is suggested as a different species from E. jaculus, named here as Eryx sp. and the ones from Iraq as Eryx cf. jaculus. Here, the evaluation and revision of taxonomic status, distribution ranges and descriptions of morphological characters of the studied species have been done.

Keywords: Eryx, taxonomy, phylogeny, mitochondrial markers, morphology, niche modeling, niche overlap

pdf 02a. Supplementary Materials for pp.2-12


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Authors: Naeimeh Eskandarzadeh et al.

pdf 03. How does captivity affect skin colour reflectance of golden mantella frogs?


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pp. 13-19

Authors: Luiza F Passos, Gerardo Garcia & Robert Young

Abstract:  Coloration is an important trait for social communication in amphibians, being used in intra- and intersexual signalling to express information about individual body condition and health state, amongst other things. The striking colour pattern exhibited by some anuran species are also used in “aposematic” signals to advertise unpalatability to predators. The aim of this study was to investigate how the captive environment affects the colour of golden mantella frogs by comparing captive reared frogs with wild conspecifics. A USB-2000 portable diode-array spectrometer and a xenon strobe light source were used to perform spectrophotometric measurements on captive and wild populations. Hue, chroma and brightness of skin colour were analysed as well as body condition using the scaled mass index. Analyses showed variation among populations, but significant differences were only found between captive and wild populations. Generalised linear mixed models were used to evaluate the effects of body condition on colour variation and showed that animals with lower body condition from one captive population had significantly different coloration than their wild counterparts. Importantly, one captive population was not greatly different in coloration from their wild counterparts – demonstrating that this problem is not inevitable in captivity. These results can have important implications for reintroduction programmes.

Keywords: amphibians, body condition, coloration, conservation

pdf 04. Temporal trends in Podarcis muralis and Lacerta bilineata populations in a fragmented landscape in western France: Results from a 14 year time series


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pp. 20-26

Authors: Roger Meek

Abstract: Identifying population changes is a prerequisite for any conservation efforts, but to evaluate trends requires long-term data sets. In this paper, changes in population numbers in two species of European lizards, Lacerta bilineata and Podarcis muralis, are described. The results are based on counts of mortalities and live lizard presence on roads collected over a 14 year period, which indicated wide annual fluctuations in numbers in both species, with inter-specific annual trends
strongly correlated. Snout to vent lengths (SVL) in L. bilineata were generally longer when annual numbers were higher but not in P. muralis. Regression analysis of the logarithmic transforms of annual lizard numbers as dependent variables and year as the independent variable indicated that despite population fluctuations, numbers of both species were stable or increased during the period of observation. Jackknife analysis identified unusually high numbers of L. bilineata in 2012 and P. muralis in 2010, but data from these years had minimal influence on the general trends with the peudo-regression coefficients generated from the Jackknife analysis in agreement with the true regressions. The results were therefore congruent, indicating annual fluctuations in both species were underpinned by long-term population stability.

Keywords: lizards, Lacerta bilineata, Podarcis muralis, population changes, road ecology

pdf 05. Anuran species in Brazil's protected areas network


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pp. 27-34

Authors: Alessandro Ribeiro Morais, Tainã Lucas Andreani, Rhayane Alves, Carolina Emília dos Santos, Jhonatan Barros, Wadson Rodrigues Rezende & Priscila Lemes

Abstract: Amphibians are one of the most threatened among the vertebrates species and urgently require conservation protection and planning. The establishment of protected areas (PAs) is one of the most important strategies in protecting biodiversity, as they offer a partial solution to habitat modification. Our main objective was to analyse the temporal and spatial trends in the anuran species inventories of PAs in Brazil, therefore providing an extensive list of anuran species in the Brazilian PAs network for the first time. We considered a combination of keywords while using the data on “Scopus”, “Scielo”, and “Web of Science”. We found 115 papers that published anuran species lists for 101 Brazilian protected areas. Overall, we registered 605 species distributed in 20 families. Only seven out of the 605 anuran species registered in the present study are threatened by extinction and 40 are listed as Data Deficient. The number of anuran species inventories in Brazilian protected areas has increased over time (r = 0.17; r2 = 0.267; p<0.01), with its peak in 2011 (n = 15 inventories). The majority of the species inventories were conducted in protected areas located in the Atlantic Forest (55.45 %). The number of anuran species per protected area varied from seven to 80; however, we did not find any relationship between the species richness and size of the protected areas (r2 = 0.027; r = 0.165; p = 0.092). Our results can be useful to fill the gaps and integrate knowledge; and this reinforces the importance of the present study in contributing to the knowledge and conservation of anuran species in Brazil.

Keywords: Brazilian biomes, species list, inventory, temporal and spatial trends

pdf 05a. Supplementary Materials for pp.27-34


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Authors: Alessandro Ribeiro Morais et al.

pdf 06. Multiscale endemism analysis for amphibians of Paraguay


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pp. 35-46

Authors: Hugo Cabral, M. Dolores Casagranda, Francisco Brusquetti, Flavia Netto, Vanda Ferreira & Esteban Lavilla

Abstract: Although there are many studies that analyse and describe the distribution patterns of diverse organisms in South America at different scales, Paraguay has been poorly assessed from a biogeographic point of view. Some of the available contributions on the biogeography of Paraguay are based on different taxonomic groups, such as mammals, birds, reptiles, and plants, describing relationships between species and their habitats by using indices of similarity and cluster analysis. The main objective of this contribution is to identify areas of endemism based on the distribution of the 87 amphibian species known from Paraguay, and to compare the results with the three schemes of ecoregion proposed for the country. Eight areas of endemism were identified at different size of grids/scales, congruent with Dry Chaco, Atlantic Forest, Cerrado, Grasslands of Mesopotamia, Ñeembucú, and the Great American Chaco ecoregions.

Keywords: Anura, Areas of Endemism, Biogeography, Distribution data, NDM/VNDM, South America

pdf 06a. Supplementary Materials for pp. 35-46


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Authors: Hugo Cabral et al.

pdf 07. A review of mono- and bispecific genera of Amphibians worldwide


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pp. 47-51

Authors: Giovanni Amori, Marco A. Bologna & Luca Luiselli

Abstract: Monospecific and bispecific genera are of particular interest in studies of taxonomic diversity and speciation evolution. Here, the distribution patterns of mono- and bispecific amphibians worldwide are investigated, with some discussion of on the conservation implications also presented. Based on an online database search (available from the American Museum of Natural History, New York), we found that the mean number of mono- and bispecific genera was similar among zoogeographic regions, with a total of 120 mono- (95 Anura, 17 Caudata, 8 Gymnophiona) and 65 bispecific (48 Anura, 10 Caudata, 7 Gymnophiona) genera. Out of 73 known amphibian families worldwide, only 35.6 % of them do not contain any mono- or bispecific genera. The frequency of mono- or bispecific genera by family was not significantly different among Anura, Caudata and Gymnophiona. There was a general tendency for the number of mono- and bispecific genera of amphibians to be positively correlated with the total number of genera in that family. In Anura, there was a preponderance of mono-specific genera in Afrotropical and Neotropical regions. Concerning bispecific genera, there was a clear preponderance in the Neotropical region for anurans. There was a positive correlation between the number of threatened genera (according to the IUCN Red List) in both the mono- and bispecific groups and the relative number of species in each taxon, thus showing that taxonomical speciosity clearly influences the frequency of occurrence of mono- and bispecific taxa in each family and order. In this
regard, Anura dominated in both the number of worldwide described mono- and bispecific taxa as well as in that of the threatened ones according to IUCN Red List.

Keywords: Anura, Caudata, Gymnophiona, monospecific genera, bispecific genera, biogeography, conservation

pdf 07a. Supplementary Materials for pp.47-51


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Authors: Giovanni Amori et al.

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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.