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. Effects of body temperature on the predatory behaviour of the lizard Psammodromus algirus hunting winged and wingless prey


Open Access


Authors: José A. Díaz

Abstract: The thermal dependence of predation success in the Mediterranean lacertid lizard Psammodromus algirus was studied using two types of prey (winged and wingless flies) that differed in their ability to escape predation at all Tbs (body temperatures) tested (25-27°C, 29- 32°C, and 34-37°C). Both number of failures and handling time decreased significantly at higher Tbs, and capture success was much higher for wingless flies; in fact, low Tbs were associated with a significant increase in capture success only in the case of winged flies. At low Tbs, winged flies could be efficiently seized by lizards only if pursued from a short distance. The attack distance was therefore larger for the less mobile (and less detectable) wingless flies at low Tbs, which suggests a trade-off between attack distance and capture success under conditions of impaired locomotor performance. Results of this study show that the escape abilities of prey are crucial to evaluate the effects of temperature on the performance of reptiles as predators.

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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.