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


Open Access

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

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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.