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  This is an Open Access Journal Open Access journal
ISSN (Print) 1013-4425 - ISSN (Online) 2682-955X
Published by Pensoft Homepage  [27 journals]
  • Hindlimb abnormality reduces locomotor performance in Pelobates cultripes
           metamorphs but is not predicted by larval morphometrics

    • Abstract: Herpetozoa 32: 125-131
      DOI : 10.3897/herpetozoa.32.e35654
      Authors : Francisco Javier Zamora-Camacho, Pedro Aragón : Locomotor performance is a fundamental feature commonly related to many animals’ fitness. In most cases, locomotor performance is closely related to morphology of the structures responsible for it, which is therefore under strong selective pressure. Hence, limb abnormality could hinder locomotion and, for that reason, be eradicated by selection, which could explain its overall low prevalence that makes proper research difficult. Here, we took advantage of the moderately high prevalence of hindlimb abnormality in a sample of Iberian spadefoot (Pelobates cultripes) metamorphs developed from tadpoles captured and transferred to the laboratory before selection could act against metamorph abnormality. We tested the hypothesis that limb abnormality impairs locomotor performance. Moreover, we measured several larval and metamorph morphometrics, and checked for differences between normal and abnormal-limbed individuals. We also assessed correlations between hindlimb ratio (hindlimb length/SVL) and jumping performance in normal and abnormal-limbed metamorphs. Larval traits measured could not predict hindlimb abnormality. In metamorphs, only hindlimb ratio differed between normal and abnormal-limbed individuals, being shorter in the latter. Abnormal-limbed metamorphs jumped considerably shorter distances than normal-limbed conspecifics. Therefore, selection against reduced locomotor performance could eliminate limb abnormality from populations. Hindlimb ratio was included in the model as a covariable, and thus controlled for. Consequently, other factors besides shorter hindlimbs, probably hindlimb abnormality itself, could play a role in worse jumping capability of abnormal-limbed individuals. Hindlimb ratio was positively related to jumping distance in both groups, although the relationship was weaker in abnormal-limbed metamorphs. HTML XML PDF
      PubDate: Fri, 31 May 2019 10:32:55 +030
  • Herpetofauna in a highly endangered area: the Tri├óngulo Mineiro region,
           in Minas Gerais State, Brazil

    • Abstract: Herpetozoa 32: 113-123
      DOI : 10.3897/herpetozoa.32.e35641
      Authors : Matheus de Oliveira Neves, André Yves, Elvis Almeida Pereira, Leandro Alves, Jacqueline Bonfim Vasques, Joaquim Fernandes Teixeira Coelho, Patricia Silva : The Brazilian Cerrado and Atlantic Forest shelter an especially rich herpetofauna and experience strong anthropogenic disturbances, which is also true for the western portion of Minas Gerais State. Herein, we present a list of the herpetofauna from the Triângulo Mineiro region in Minas Gerais State, southeastern Brazil. From 2012 to 2016, we sampled 28 localities along 23 municipalities in the region, using three sampling methods: active search, pitfall traps, and opportunistic records. We recorded 79 species, 44 amphibians and 35 reptiles. Three species (Bokermannohyla sazimai, Ololygon canastrensis, and Pithecopus azureus) are classified as “data deficient” (DD) according to the IUCN. One species (Proceratophrys moratoi) is classified as “critically endangered” (CR) according to the IUCN Red List, and “endangered” (EN) according to the national red list. However, we suggest listing P. moratoi in the “least concern” category. We also present the first record of Dendropsophus elianeae in Minas Gerais State, and distribution map of the species. Furthermore, we elucidate the composition of the herpetofauna in the Triângulo Mineiro region and contribute to future conservation plans for the region and the species. HTML XML PDF
      PubDate: Thu, 23 May 2019 10:47:52 +030
  • A long-term study of a snake community in north-western Tuscany (central
           Italy): population structure and density patterns

    • Abstract: Herpetozoa 32: 101-107
      DOI : 10.3897/herpetozoa.32.e35574
      Authors : Federico Storniolo, Sacha Menichelli, Marco A.L. Zuffi : We analysed a snake species community of a Mediterranean 0.2 ha ecotonal area during a 21 year time span, monitoring two colubrid and one viperid snake species. We carried out analyses in seven years (1997, 1999, 2002, 2004–2005, 2016–2017) that had similar sampling efforts and, in the last two years of short-term monitoring, we applied a recently proposed monitoring protocol of the Italian Environment Ministry. In total, we captured 172 distinct individuals, 61 whip snakes (Hierophis viridiflavus), 26 barred grass snakes (Natrix helvetica) and 85 asp vipers (Vipera aspis). Regarding the long-term monitoring period, whip snakes were captured on average about nine times per year, grass snakes were captured four times per year and asp vipers were found 12 times per year. Captures decreased in whip snakes, while increased in grass snakes and remained constant in asp vipers. In 2016 and 2017, we captured 10 whip snakes, 19 grass snakes and 31 asp vipers. Density estimates of snake species (0.5 H. viridiflavus/ha, 0.3 N. helvetica/ha and 0.7 V. aspis/ha) differ, to a certain extent, from published results for some other areas of central, northern and western Europe, perhaps depending on the approach applied for habitat suitability estimation. The average body size between two years differed neither for whip snakes nor for grass snakes, but it decreased significantly in asp vipers. HTML XML PDF
      PubDate: Wed, 22 May 2019 14:18:21 +030
  • Early onset of breeding season in the green toad Bufotes viridis in
           Western Poland

    • Abstract: Herpetozoa 32: 109-112
      DOI : 10.3897/herpetozoa.32.e35825
      Authors : Mikołaj Kaczmarski, Klaudia Szala, Janusz Kloskowski : Amphibians are highly sensitive to environmental changes such as climate warming. Here, we report unusually early oviposition in two spatially isolated urban subpopulations of the green toad Bufotes viridis Laurenti, 1768, in Poznań, Western Poland. To our knowledge, we report the earliest breeding date for Central and Eastern Europe, for areas of similar latitude. We ascribe the early onset of B. viridis reproduction to an exceptionally warm spring in Western Poland in 2017. B. viridis shows flexibility in the timing of reproductive activity, however, shifts in breeding phenology may have both beneficial and detrimental population consequences. HTML XML PDF
      PubDate: Wed, 22 May 2019 11:49:06 +030
  • Observation on rapid physiological color change in Giant tree frog
           Rhacophorus smaragdinus (Blyth, 1852) from Namdapha Tiger Reserve,
           Arunachal Pradesh, India

    • Abstract: Herpetozoa 32: 95-99
      DOI : 10.3897/herpetozoa.32.e36023
      Authors : Deepak CK, Arajush Payra, Basudev Tripathy, Kailash Chandra : Many poikilotherms have the ability to change body color for homeostatic regulation, conspecific communication or predator deterrence. Physiological color change is a rapid, reversible mode of color change regulated by neuromuscular or neuroendocrine system and has been observed in several anuran species. Here we report the occurrence of physiological color change in the tree frog Rhacophorus smaragdinus (Blyth, 1852) (Amphibia, Anura, Rhacophoridae) for the first time from Namdapha Tiger Reserve, Arunachal Pradesh, India. Probable proximate causes of the behavior are discussed along with an overview of physiological color change in species of the family Rhacophoridae and nature of color change observed. HTML XML PDF
      PubDate: Tue, 21 May 2019 09:56:55 +030
  • Tropidodipsas sartorii (Cope, 1863) (Squamata: Dipsadidae): an addition to
           the snake fauna from Guerrero, Mexico

    • Abstract: Herpetozoa 32: 91-93
      DOI : 10.3897/herpetozoa.32.e35911
      Authors : Jean C. Blancas-Hernández, Ricardo Palacios-Aguilar, Rufino Santos-Bibiano : We report for the first time on the presence of the snake Tropidodipsas sartorii in the Mexican state of Guerrero. According to distribution and morphological evidence, the specimen reported herein is a representative of the subspecies T. s. macdougalli. HTML XML PDF
      PubDate: Tue, 21 May 2019 09:04:36 +030
  • New data on the distribution of lizards in Caucasus

    • Abstract: Herpetozoa 32: 87-90
      DOI : 10.3897/herpetozoa.32.e35615
      Authors : Igor V. Doronin, Marina A. Doronina, David Bekoshvili : New data on the distribution of four species of lizards (Darevskia brauneri, D. daghestanica, Lacerta agilis ioriensis, L. strigata) in the Caucasus are presented. HTML XML PDF
      PubDate: Fri, 17 May 2019 12:21:19 +030
  • The frequency of body scarring in Caspian Whip Snakes (Dolichophis caspius
           Gmelin, 1789) in south-western Hungary

    • Abstract: Herpetozoa 32: 83-85
      DOI : 10.3897/herpetozoa.32.e35743
      Authors : Krisztián Frank, György Dudás : Animals can suffer injuries due to diseases, intraspecific aggression and, most of all, predation events. We present field data to provide numerical information about the injuries found in the largest Caspian Whip Snake (Dolichophis caspius) population in Hungary, near the northernmost portion of the species’ distribution range. HTML XML PDF
      PubDate: Wed, 15 May 2019 15:12:13 +030
  • Release calls of four species of Phyllomedusidae (Amphibia, Anura)

    • Abstract: Herpetozoa 32: 77-81
      DOI : 10.3897/herpetozoa.32.e35729
      Authors : Sarah Mângia, Felipe Camurugi, Elvis Almeida Pereira, Priscila Carvalho, David Lucas Röhr, Henrique Folly, Diego José Santana : Anurans emit a variety of acoustic signals in different behavioral contexts during the breeding season. The release call is a signal produced by the frog when it is inappropriately clasped by another frog. In the family Phyllomedusidae, this call type is known only for Pithecophus ayeaye. Here we describe the release call of four species: Phyllomedusa bahiana, P. sauvagii, Pithecopus rohdei, and P. nordestinus, based on recordings in the field. The release calls of these four species consist of a multipulsed note. Smaller species of the Pithecopus genus (P. ayeaye, P. rohdei and P. nordestinus), presented shorter release calls (0.022–0.070 s), with higher dominant frequency on average (1508.8–1651.8 Hz), when compared to the bigger Phyllomedusa (P. bahiana and P. sauvagii) (0.062–0.107 s; 798.7–1071.4 Hz). For phyllomedusid species, the release call might indicate a phylogenetic signal, because species of the same genus have similar acoustic traits. HTML XML PDF
      PubDate: Wed, 15 May 2019 11:03:48 +030
  • A skeletochronological estimate of age and growth in a large riparian frog
           from Madagascar (Anura, Mantellidae, Mantidactylus)

    • Abstract: Herpetozoa 32: 39-44
      DOI : 10.3897/herpetozoa.32.e35576
      Authors : Fabio M. Guarino, Angelica Crottini, Marcello Mezzasalma, Jasmin E. Randrianirina, Franco Andreone : We characterized the body size (as snout-vent length), age, sexual size dimorphism, and growth rate in a population of one of the larger riparian frog from Madagascar (Mantidactylus grandidieri) from a rainforest patch close to Vevembe, SE Madagascar. We identified a significant female-biased sexual size dimorphism. Age was estimated using phalangeal skeletochronology and was significantly higher in females than in males. Modal age class turned out to be 4 years in both sexes but a large percentage of adult females (75%) fell in the 5–6 years-old classes, while no male exceeded 4 years. We here report M. grandidieri as a medium-long-lived anuran species. Von Bertalanffy’s model showed similar growth trajectories between the sexes although the growth coefficient in females (k = 0.335) was slightly but not significantly higher than in males (k = 0.329). HTML XML PDF
      PubDate: Mon, 13 May 2019 15:45:13 +030
  • Diet of the Rufous Frog Leptodactylus fuscus (Anura, Leptodactylidae) from
           two contrasting environments

    • Abstract: Herpetozoa 32: 1-6
      DOI : 10.3897/herpetozoa.32.e35623
      Authors : Diego José Santana, Vanessa Gonçalves Ferreira, Gabriel Nassif Crestani, Matheus Oliveira Neves : The impact of urbanization on amphibians has received some attention in the conservation literature. Despite the various impacts on animal life, some species can persist along the cities structures by adjusting their natural histories. Leptodactylus fuscus is a common anuran species occurring in South America, which can commonly be found in urban environments. Herein, we compare the diet of L. fuscus between an urban and a wild environment. We collected 57 individuals of L. fuscus and analysed their diet, which differed significantly between the two sites. In the urban environment, Coleoptera were the prevalent prey items, whereas specimens from the wild site had a more diverse diet. HTML XML PDF
      PubDate: Mon, 13 May 2019 15:44:13 +030
  • Multiple origins of the common chameleon in southern Italy

    • Abstract: Herpetozoa 32: 11-19
      DOI : 10.3897/herpetozoa.32.e35611
      Authors : Roberto Basso, Maria Luisa Vannuccini, Luca Nerva, Giuseppe Mazza, Matteo Seno, Emiliano Mori : The common chameleon Chamaeleo chamaeleon is a Mediterranean lizard which has been introduced in many islands and its native origin in European countries is debated. Chameleons have been introduced in southern Italy, possibly from the Middle East and Tunisia. We conducted genetic analyses on mitochondrial DNA 16S gene on a larger sample. We observed a multiple origin for the Salento (Apulia, southern Italy) population, with individuals phylogenetically related to populations of North Africa and two areas in the Middle East. Some individuals may have been released before the 1950s and some others in the 1980s, improving the establishment success of this species. HTML XML PDF
      PubDate: Mon, 13 May 2019 15:42:48 +030
  • Tadpole of Leptopelis ragazzii (Boulenger, 1896), Shoa Forest Tree Frog
           (Anura, Arthroleptidae)

    • Abstract: Herpetozoa 32: 51-55
      DOI : 10.3897/herpetozoa.32.e35742
      Authors : Arthur Tiutenko, Oleksandr Zinenko : The tadpole of poorly studied Leptopelis ragazzii (Boulenger, 1896), a high-altitude tree frog species from the Ethiopian highlands, is described for the first time and compared with closely related sympatric species – L. gramineus (Boulenger, 1898) and L. vannutellii (Boulenger, 1898). HTML XML PDF
      PubDate: Mon, 13 May 2019 15:00:02 +030
  • Does carnivory pay off' Experiments on the effects of different types
           of diet on growth and development of Bufo bufo (Linnaeus, 1758) tadpoles
           and carry-over effects after metamorphosis

    • Abstract: Herpetozoa 32: 21-31
      DOI : 10.3897/herpetozoa.32.e35627
      Authors : Octavian Craioveanu, Cristina Craioveanu, Ioan Ghira, Vioara Mireșan, Tibor Hartel : Natural diets of anuran larvae vary widely in their relative amounts of nutrients. The proportion of these ingested nutrients has significant influence on larval and post-metamorphic performance. Here, we use the Common Toad to address the role of diet (exclusively carnivore, exclusively vegetarian and mixed) on growth and development of tadpoles and short-term carry-over effects on post-metamorphic animals. Larvae fed on an exclusively vegetarian diet performed better (faster growth and development) than larvae fed on exclusively carnivore and mixed diets. Larvae fed on the exclusively carnivore diet had the lowest performance. Regarding the carry-over effects of larval diets, although the body condition indices of the toadlets were similar in all treatments, there was a major difference in the survival rate. While toadlets, originating from larvae fed on a vegetarian diet, were more successful and had the lowest mortality, those fed on a carnivore diet had the highest mortality level. Our results suggest that a plant-based diet may contain all the necessary nutrients needed by Bufo bufo larvae. Furthermore, a diet based exclusively on food of animal origin might be detrimental for the larval performance and could have significant carry-over effects on the post-metamorphic animal. HTML XML PDF
      PubDate: Mon, 13 May 2019 14:59:55 +030
  • First record of Platyceps rhodorachis (Jan in de Filippi, 1865) from the
           Alay Mountains, southern Kyrgyzstan

    • Abstract: Herpetozoa 32: 73-76
      DOI : 10.3897/herpetozoa.32.e35624
      Authors : Daniel Jablonski, Andrei Bragin : We report recent observations of Platyceps rhodorachis (Jan in de Filippi, 1865) from Kyrgyzstan and the first species record from the Alay Mountains. It represents an important range extension in the Central Asiatic distribution of the species. HTML XML PDF
      PubDate: Mon, 13 May 2019 14:57:28 +030
  • Opening a turtle graveyard: Size distribution of dead individuals of
           Phrynops geoffroanus (Pleurodira, Chelidae)

    • Abstract: Herpetozoa 32: 33-37
      DOI : 10.3897/herpetozoa.32.e35658
      Authors : João Fabrício Mota Rodrigues, Natália Rizzo Friol, Wagnar C. Silva, Erica Demondes, Antonio Millas Pinto, Hugo Fernandes-Ferreira : Aquatic animals, such as freshwater turtles, are much dependent on the water bodies where they live. Here we describe the size distribution of a population of Phrynops geoffroanus complex that died after the total drought of the artificial water reservoir where it lived in Caatinga. Amongst the 438 animals we found dead in the Cedro water reservoir, we measured the maximum carapace length of 72 individuals. The population was mainly composed of adult individuals and dead turtles measured in areas that kept water for longer were larger than animals from areas that dried up early. HTML XML PDF
      PubDate: Mon, 13 May 2019 14:55:52 +030
  • Fluctuations in population abundance in two anurans from Central Serbia

    • Abstract: Herpetozoa 32: 65-71
      DOI : 10.3897/herpetozoa.32.e35660
      Authors : Bogdan Jovanović, Jelka Crnobrnja-Isailović : We monitored the population size of the agile frog (Rana dalmatina) and the common toad (Bufo bufo) from 2011 or 2012, respectively, to the year 2017 at a syntopic breeding site in the vicinity of Belgrade. Adult R. dalmatina population size had minor fluctuations during the years of study (from 351 to 108 frogs). On the contrary, the adult B. bufo population was widely fluctuating towards decline (from 1158 to 141 toads). In both species, population fluctuations were not significantly related to variation of meteorological parameters (air temperature, humidity, precipitation). Density dependence effects on population size were not detected in either species. Apart from possible effects of climate change, the indicated trend towards decline of the monitored B. bufo population could also be the outcome of common population fluctuations or of increasing anthropogenic impact (vicinity of settlement and agricultural land). More years of monitoring more than one population are required to obtain precise information. Nevertheless, our results seem to be coherent with other studies that recommend conservation action for this species. HTML XML PDF
      PubDate: Mon, 13 May 2019 14:51:58 +030
  • A case of communal egg-laying of Gonatodes albogularis (Sauria,
           Sphaerodactylidae) in bromeliads (Poales, Bromeliaceae)

    • Abstract: Herpetozoa 32: 45-49
      DOI : 10.3897/herpetozoa.32.e35663
      Authors : Valentina de los Ángeles Carvajal-Ocampo, María Camila Ángel-Vallejo, Paul David Alfonso Gutiérrez-Cárdenas, Fabiola Ospina-Bautista, Jaime Vicente Estévez Varón : The Neotropical Yellow-Headed Gecko Gonatodes albogularis commonly use cavities in the trees as a microhabitat for egg-laying. Here, we present the first record of this species in Colombia using the tank bromeliad Tillandsia elongata as nesting sites, along with the occurrence of communal egg-laying in that microhabitat. HTML XML PDF
      PubDate: Mon, 13 May 2019 14:50:30 +030
  • Distress calls of Leptodactylus knudseni Heyer, 1972 (Anura,

    • Abstract: Herpetozoa 32: 7-10
      DOI : 10.3897/herpetozoa.32.e35617
      Authors : Juan Fernando Cuestas Carrillo, Simone Dena : We describe distress calls of Leptodactylus knudseni recorded in Colombia and Brazil. These calls share similar acoustic features with previous records from other species of L. pentadactylus group. HTML XML PDF
      PubDate: Mon, 13 May 2019 14:49:07 +030
  • Broad seasonal changes in thermoregulation of Podarcis lilfordi (Squamata,
           Lacertidae) at Binicodrell islet (Menorca, Spain)

    • Abstract: Herpetozoa 32: 57-63
      DOI : 10.3897/herpetozoa.32.e35662
      Authors : Zaida Ortega, Abraham Mencía, Aline Giroux, Valentín Pérez-Mellado : Most lizards maintain quite constant body temperatures by behavioural means. Seasonal variations of environmental factors, such as temperature, sunlight exposure and wind intensity, influence lizard thermoregulatory abilities. Understanding how seasonal environmental shifts influence lizards’ thermoregulation helps us to know how they deal behaviourally with environmental changes, in general. We examined seasonal shifts (spring vs. summer) in behavioural thermoregulation in Podarcis lilfordi from Binicodrell islet (Menorca, Spain). Operative temperatures varied between microhabitats and seasons, being lower in spring than in summer, regardless of sunlight exposure. Lizard body temperatures were also lower in spring than in summer. Lizards used sunny microhabitats more frequently in spring and shaded areas in summer. Habitat thermal quality was similar during both seasons, but lizards thermoregulated less accurately in spring than in summer. Thermoregulatory effectiveness was low in spring (0.28) and moderate in summer (0.76). In comparison with previously published results, our findings showed the marked seasonal variation in the effectiveness of thermoregulation amongst island populations, which should be considered in future comparative studies. HTML XML PDF
      PubDate: Mon, 13 May 2019 10:17:46 +030
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Heriot-Watt University
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