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

2020 Impact Factor for the Herpetological Journal is 0.862

pdf 02. Developmental arrest in Leptodactyus fascus tadpoles (Anura Leptodactylidae) I Descriptive analysis


Open Access


Authors: J. R. Downie

Abstract: Eggs of the neotropical frog Leptodactylus fuscus (Anura: Leptodactylidae) are laid in foamy masses in burrows close to sites of temporary pools. After about two days, tadpoles hatch into the foam, but after two days further development, ifno rain has fallen, the tadpoles enter a period of developmental arrest, maintained until rain falls and the nest is inundated. Results reported here document the developmental status of the arrested tadpoles, and compare this with tadpoles that enter water immediately. Arrest involves a gradual slowing and eventual cessation of cell proliferation, a slowing of hatching gland degeneration, a cessation of limb bud morphogenesis and slowing of yolk utilization from intestinal lining cells. Arrest is not simply the result of lack of food, since the intestinal lining contains abundant yolk particles when it begins. The period of developmental arrest is not unlimited: around 20 days after egg deposition, the resultant tadpoles undergo progressive weight loss and eventually die; death occurred on average 27.5 days after egg deposition,under laboratory conditions.

Download Access:

The latest 8 issues can be downloaded when logged in with a Herpetological Journal subscription membership.

Individual articles can be purchased for download.

Older issues and occasional Open Access articles are available for public download


For further information and submission guidelines please see our Journal Instructions to Authors

pdfBHS Ethics Policy


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.