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 07. Egg gelatinous matrix protects Ambystoma gracile embryos from prolonged exposure to air


Open Access


Authors: Adolfo Marco And Andrew R. Blaustein

Abstract: Desiccation during water recession at oviposition sites can be a major cause of embryo death in clutches of aquatic amphibians. However, aquatic eggs of the north-western salamander, Ambystoma gracile, can survive out of water for at least 30 days in the field. Females lay eggs surrounded by a firm jelly matrix which presumably protects embryos from desiccation. In a field study, embryos from clutches located either in or out of the water showed no differences in size or stage at hatching. In laboratory experiments, where genetic effects were controlled, air exposure had no effect on embryo survival rate, size or stage at hatching. The ability of A. gracile to survive prolonged droughts or water recession during embryonic development may be shared by other amphibians.

Download Access:

The latest 20 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

NOTE: as of January 2017, all new editions of the HJ are ONLY available online via the BHS website. The BHS no longer has a commercial hosting agreement with Ingenta  -  although editions prior to end 2016 remain accessible on Ingenta .  Those editions are of course also accessible on the BHS website for subscribers with an active and valid membership.  Should you experience any difficulty accessing HJ editions via the website or have any queries in this regard, please contact