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

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.

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