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.

Volume 7, Number 1, January 1997 Volume 7, Number 1, January 1997

pdf 01. The diet of the four lined snake (Elaphe quatuorlineata) in Mediterranean central Italy


Open Access


Authors: Dario Capizzi And Luca Luiselli

Abstract: The feeding habits of the four-lined snake (Elaphe quatuorlineata) were studied in a hilly, Mediterranean locality in central Italy (Tolfa mountains, province of Rome). The adult prey consisted exclusively of rodents (about 77% of the diet) and birds (including nestlings and eggs, about 23% of the diet). Birds represented the main part of the diet during spring-time (April, May and June), whilst rodents accounted for I 00% of the diet from July to November. The juveniles were found to prey exclusively on lacertid lizards. There was a significantly positive correlation between prey mass and predator mass, but the snakes tended to prey on organisms of small size in relation to themselves. Some general remarks on the snake assemblages of the Tolfa mountains are also presented.

pdf 02. Utilization of energy and nutrients in incubating eggs and post hatching yolk in a colubrid snake, Elaphe carinata


Open Access


Authors: Xiang Ji, Ping-yue Sun, Shui-yu Fu & Hua-song Zhang

Abstract: This paper reports data on the mobilization of some yolk and eggshell nutrients and their incorporation into hatchlings and post-hatching yolk in an oviparous colubrid snake, Elaphe carinata. The incubation time at 3 0±0.3°C averaged 50.5 days. During incubation, pliableshelled E. carinata eggs increased in wet mass. Dried shells from freshly laid eggs averaged 8.1 % of the entire egg dry mass. Freshly laid eggs had significantly heavier shells than did hatched eggs with the same wet mass at oviposition. Dry mass conversion from egg contents of the freshly laid egg to hatch ling averaged 81.1 %. During incubation, approximately 63. 7% of non-polar lipids and 72.1 % of energy in egg contents of the freshly laid egg were transferred to the hatchling, with 36.3% of non-polar lipids and 27.9% of energy used for embryogenesis. Shells from freshly laid eggs had a higher level of calcium but a lower level of magnesium than did shells from hatched eggs. Fully developed embryos could obtain all magnesium from yolk but withdrew approximately 30.5% of their total calcium requirements from sources other than yolk. A few days after hatching, a decrease in post-hatching yolk dry mass was accompanied by an increase in carcass dry mass. This confirms that post-hatching yolk could be used to support early growth of hatchlings.

pdf 03. Description of tadpoles of three species of Scinax (Anura Hylidae)


Open Access


Authors: Rafael O. De Sá , Richard Wassersug And Arturo I. Kehr

Abstract: Larval morphological characteristics have been used to cluster species of Scinax in seven species groups and to support the monophyly of some of these groups. However, our present knowledge of Scinax tadpoles is incomplete; currently, tadpoles of only 21 of the approximately 80 recognized species have been described. Herein, we describe and illustrate the external morphology and oral disc characteristics of larval Scinax berthae, S. nebulosa, and S. boesemani. The presence of a "labial arm" supporting the P3 tooth row in S. boesemani, and its absence from S. nebulosa, is discussed in the light of our limited knowledge of tadpoles of species of other Scinax.

pdf 04. Studies on morbidity and mortality in smooth snakes (Coronella spp )


Open Access


Authors: John E. Cooper And Owen Davies

Abstract: Data on morbidity and mortality in European smooth snakes, Coronella austriaca and C. girondica, were collated and a limited amount of clinical and pathological material was examined. There proved to be a paucity of published information and much of that available related to captive reptiles. Coronella spp. appeared to be susceptible to diseases that are well recognised in other reptiles in captivity - for example, pneumonia, ophthalmitis, nephritis, salpingitis and hepatitis. Mites were commonly associated with anaemia. Data from captivity are of some relevance to free-living populations, particularly when Coronella spp. are translocated or captured and studied in confinement. Information on health and disease needs to be collated and made available to those who are working on these species. There is also an urgent need to collect field data, not only in order to ascertain the prevalence of diseases and infections in free-living populations but also to establish databases on "normal" snakes. Protocols are presented to assist in the compilation and standardization of findings in live and dead specimens.

pdf 06. Temperature relationships of the tropical tree lizard (Urosaurus bicarinatus) from the Cañón del Zopilote, Guerrero, Mexico


Open Access


Authors: Julio A. Lemos-espinal , Geoffrey R. Smith And Royce E. Ballinger

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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.