Journal of herpetology

Published by Society for the Study of Amphibians and Reptiles
Online ISSN: 1937-2418
Print ISSN: 0022-1511,1808-9798
(A) Incubation temperature versus log transformed hemolytic complement (CH50 + 1) in Graptemys ouachitensis. Only males are produced at 24°C (black), only females at 33°C (white); and both sexes are produced at 29°C (gray). Bars denote standard errors. (B) Incubation temperature versus log transformed hemolytic complement (CH50 + 1) in Graptemys pseudogeographica. Only males are produced at 24°C and 26.5°C (black), only females are produced at 31.5°C (white); and both sexes are produced at 29°C (gray). Bars denote standard errors.  
The developmental environment can have lasting effects on posthatching phenotype in oviparous animals. Innate immune response is one important component of fitness in vertebrates because it provides a generalized defense against infection. In addition, because male vertebrates are at a higher risk of infection than females, males may benefit more from increased innate immunity than females. We determined the effects of incubation temperature on the innate immune response of hatchling map turtles (Graptemys) by incubating eggs at a range of male and female producing-temperatures and assessing plasma complement activity in the resulting hatchlings. We found a significant effect of incubation environment on circulating complement in hatchling Graptemys ouachitensis, with male-producing temperatures yielding the highest innate immune response. Most important, these results demonstrate that immune response is affected by developmental environment in a species with environmental sex determination, potentially resulting in sex differences in the ability to fend off pathogens.
The family Bufonidae is nearly cosmopolitan in distribution and contains 33 genera. The monotypic bufonid genus Atelophryniscus was described relatively recently from Honduras. This taxon was distinguished from Buto on the basis of its unusual gastromyzophorus tadpole. Stream-dwelling gastromyzophorus tadpoles are atypical within Bufonidae and when Atelophryniscus was described, this type of tadpole was unknown among members of the genus Buto. To investigate the phylogenetic placement of this taxon, we analyzed 83 previously published morphological characters for a sampling of Old and New World bufonids and included newly coded data. The data indicate that (1) there are no autapomorphies supporting the recognition of Atelophryniscus; (2) this taxon is embedded within the genus Buto; and (3) it is sister to Buto veraguensis of South America.
We studied the effects of tail loss on dominance relationships of captive male Anolis sagrei. Densities of free ranging male and female anoles were measured and used to establish the number of individuals to be placed in experimental enclosures. We placed two male and three female brown anoles in each of four outdoor enclosures. We observed males establish dominance and quantified aggressive interactions between the paired individuals. Territory size of the dominant male was determined by the minimum convex polygon method. After the dominance relationship between males was established, a portion of the dominant male's tail was removed. To simulate natural conditions, males were returned to their enclosures immediately after tail removal. We also measured the level of aggressiveness, and territory size of the dominant male after tail removal. Males that were dominant before tail removal remained dominant and did not change in aggressiveness after removal. Territory size of dominant males before and after tail removal did not differ. Our findings suggest that tail loss may be of minor consequence to an individual Anolis sagrei once it has established a territory. If tail autotomy resulted in a loss of territory and thereby, loss of reproductive opportunities, then benefits accrued from tail autotomy (increased survivorship) would be discounted by the diminished reproductive output.
Intraspecific variation in acoustic signals may reflect local variation in the intensity of natural and sexual selection and random drift. We examined intraspecific variation in the advertisement call of Spicospina flammocaerulea, a southwestern Australian frog species with a limited distribution, fragmented range, small population sizes, and specific breeding habitat requirements. Of the six populations examined, one in particular differed significantly in dominant frequency and body size. There was no relationship between among-population geographic distance and among-population divergence in call structure suggesting that the divergence is not caused by random drift. A correlation analysis detected a positive relationship between the size of males and females found in amplexus. However, there was no evidence of mated males differing in size from unmated males indicating that the differences in dominant frequency are unrelated sexual selection. Call structure variation may reflect differences in recruitment and resultant age structure of local populations.
The tadpole of Melanophryne carpish is described based on two specimens found in an arboreal, water-filled bromeliad in humid montane forest at 2,870 m in the eastern Andes of northern Peru (Departamento de San Martı´n). It differs from all known New World microhylid tadpoles in having unpigmented, keratinized, jaw sheaths. The lower labium is expanded and platelike. The body is depressed with eyes located dorsally, and the spiracle is ventral. The presence of jaw sheaths suggests that the larvae might feed while undergoing development in aerial plants. The tadpole of Nelsonophryne aequatorialis is described based on a series of 17 specimens in Gosner Stages 37–42, which were found in a water canal in a pasture at 2,535 m in southern Ecuador (Departamento de Azuay). These tadpoles lack jaw sheaths and have a ventral spiracle with medial subdivision evident anterior to the gut. The tadpoles of M. carpish and N. aequatorialis are compared to one another, as well as other microhylid larvae. The nature of characters used to describe microhylid larvae, especially their mouthparts, is discussed and clarified.
Altitudinal variation in larval growth and development rates in low- and high-altitude populations of two subtropical species of frog, Litoria chloris and Litoria pearsoniana was examined in the field using reciprocal transplant experiments. The larvae of both species raised at high altitudes (regardless of tadpole origin) had slower development rates than larvae raised at low altitudes. Slower growth rates were found in larvae from high altitudes in L. chloris, whereas a Similar (but not significant) trend was recorded in L. pearsoniana. Despite slower growth rates overall, tadpoles raised at high altitudes tended to be larger at each Gosner Development Stage than those raised at low altitudes independent of tadpole origin. These results suggest that most of the variation in growth and development rates in the two species was caused by environmental factors (water temperature) rather than genetic or maternal factors. Tadpole survival in either species did not appear to be significantly affected by environmental or genetic factors in this study.
We describe a new species of the hylid frog genus Scinax from the Peruvian Upper Amazonian Lowlands (area of Iquitos, Region Loreto, Peru). The new species belongs to the Scinax ruber clade and differs from all its members by having the dorsal skin slightly to coarsely shagreen, by lacking conspicuous ulnar and tarsal tubercles, and in life by having a distinct light olive-green coloration on dorsum, bright yellow flanks with distinct black spots, black posterior surfaces of thighs, and gold to bronze iris.
Dorsal and ventral views of life Pristimantis divnae (holotype). Photos by Jennifer Jacobs.
Lateral (A) and dorsal (B) views of head, and ventral views of hand (C) and foot (D) of Pristimantis divnae (holotype). Drawings by E. Lehr.
Collecting sites of Pristimantis divnae in southern Peru at the Los Amigos Conservation Concession (Madre de Dios) as indicated by a circle. Arrows point to major rivers for orientation.
Comparisons of Pristimantis divnae with other species from the Amazonian lowlands. Characters were taken from original species description and from the
We describe a new species of Pristimantis from the Amazonian lowlands in southern Peru (Madre de Dios Region). The new species has a snout–vent length of 22.8–23.4 mm in two adult males (females are unknown), a tympanum barely visible, a W-shaped scapular ridge, the iris bearing a dark vertical bar forming a cross or a T, a cream venter with brown blotches, and groin and concealed surfaces of shanks with a contrasting pattern consisting of yellow and black. It is tentatively assigned to the unistrigatus species Group and is most similar to Pristimantis diadematus and Pristimantis eurydactylus.
In most Anuran species, space use includes a lek mating system with defense of a calling site for only a short time period during an individual's lifespan. In contrast, territoriality over a longer time period by one or both of the sexes has been reported in all studied dendrobatid frogs. In most dendrobatid species, territories are defended for reproductive purposes, and typically, males vocalize from these territories to attract mates and repel rivals. It has been hypothesized that reproductive resources such as oviposition sites or tadpole deposition sites are defended. For reproductive resource defense to occur, reproductive units (eggs or tadpoles) must be deposited at sites where the territorial individual displays agonistic interaction with intruding individuals. Here, we challenge this assumption in a field study on the poison frog Dendrobates ventrimaculatus in French Guiana. We show that home-range size is affected by spatial distribution of bromeliads. Clutches of eggs were found to be predominantly deposited in bromeliads located inside the 50% Kernel core areas of activity within male territories, although tadpoles were deposited more frequently outside these core areas. Vocalization of males only occurred in agonistic interactions with other males or while courting a female. Our data show that (1) males of D. ventrimaculatus defend small territories containing their reproductive resources, (2) these resources are not limited in number, and (3) territories are not defended for characteristics supporting advertisement vocalization. We conclude that males defend territories to increase the success of courting a female without interruption by other males.
Five years of field observations suggest that amphibians inhabiting a sandhills community are able to circumvent a drift fence-pitfall trap enclosure as they move toward and away from an ephemeral pond. Trespass rates varied depending on species and showed no tendency to increase or decrease as the study progressed. Laboratory trials confirmed that frogs easily crossed the fence by walking up the side or hopping over it. Frogs crossed the fence readily regardless of sex or whether the frog was an adult or juvenile. Although striped newts did not climb over the fence in the laboratory, they may use tunnels to go under fences under field conditions. Other species may burrow directly under the fence. A priori assumptions about a species' ability to climb a fence, or that trespass rates do not vary temporally or among sites, are unwarranted and may lead to misinterpretations of the results from studies using drift fences and pitfall traps.
•Lizards in Ihe Anolis bimaculatus group from the northern Lesser Antilles have played an important role in theoretical and empirical developments in ecology, behavior, and evolution over the last four decades. Despite intense interest, the lack of a formal phylogenetic analysis for the bimaculatus group has limited comparative,and historical evolutionary analyses. Here we present a phylogenetic analysis of species relationships within the bimaculatus group based on separate and combined,analyses of mitochon- drial DNA and previously published allozyme,data. These analyses indicate that (1) the wattsi group of small anoles is a basal, well-supported monophyletic group; (2) the large anoles A. bimaculatus and A. leachi are not sister species•rather, there is a well-supported sister relationship between A. bimaculatus and A. gingivinus; (3) the A. marntoratus complex,from the Guadeloupean,archipelago is deeply differentiated and paraphyletic, with A. sabanus, A. lividus, and possibly A. oculatus nested within it; (4) the phylogenetic position of A. leachi is not well resolved, but a combined analysis of mtDNA and allozyme data favor placing A. leachi as the sister taxon to the {A. marmoratus, A. lividus, A. sabanus, A. oculatus) group; and (5) the phylogenetic position of A. nubilus remains uncertain pending additional data. The proposed phylogeny elucidates the evolutionary history and biogeography,of the bimaculatus group and allows a reassessment of the character displacement and taxon cycle/loop hypotheses. The Caribbean radiation of Anolis lizards is
Measurements (in mm) of selected characters of Telmatobius mayoloi tadpoles.
Comparison of maximum snout-vent length (SVL) of adults and total length of tadpoles (in mm) of Peruvian Telmatobiinae.
The tadpole of Telmatobius mayoloi from central Peru (Departamento de Ancash) is described based on specimens ranging from Gosner Stage 28–41. The tadpole of T. mayoloi is similar to other Telmatobius larvae with pond type morphology. Geographically closest to T. mayoloi are Telmatobius carrillae and Telmatobius rimac. The tadpole of T. mayoloi differs from the latter in reaching a maximum total length of 102.1 mm at Stage 38 whereas T. carrillae (maximum total length = 99.20 mm at Stage 39) and T. rimac (maximum total length = 77. 70 mm at Stage 36) are smaller. Furthermore, the snout of the tadpole of T. mayoloi is slightly narrower between the nares, and its tip is pointed compared to the broader snouts of T. carrillae and T. rimac. The tadpole of T. mayoloi is the fourth largest in Telmatobiinae; data comparing tadpole total lengths and adult snout–vent lengths of Peruvian Telmatobiinae are presented.
Dorsal view of the head of Chaunus veredas (A), showing the anterior interruption of the supraocular crest; Chaunus rubescens (B); Chaunus achavali (C); and Chaunus arenarum (D). Scale bars: 10mm. Photos by Natan Maciel.  
Measurements (in millimeters) for the type series of Chaunus veredas. Mean followed by standard deviation (SD) and ranges.
A new species of Chaunus, apparently related to Chaunus arenarum, Chaunus rubescens, and Chaunus achavali is described. The new species occupies Cerrado habitats in southwestern Piauı´ and Bahia states and in northwestern Minas Gerais state, Brazil. The species is characterized by anterior interruption of the supraocular crest; weakly developed cranial crests; short and robust limbs; several pointed spiculae on dorsum, head, and limbs; male coloration; small to medium size; and by the short and narrow head.
-^^? estimated the annual survivorship of two populations of the asp viper, Vipera aspis aspis, by recapturing known,adult individuals in the field over six and nine years respectively. The snakes at the two study sites in the Jura mountains,of northwestern,Switzerland were active between,mid-March and mid-October. Vipera a. aspis is easily captured by hand, has individually recognizable marks and is, there- fore, well suited for long-term mark-recapture studies. The maximum likelihood estimates of annual sur vivorship are about 0.75 in both populations. The probability that a snake will be recaptured in any given year is about 0.4 (habitat A) and about 0.33 (habitat B). Sampling effort within a year had little effect on the probability of recapture. Our best estimate of annual survival of 0.75 for the two habitats combined compares well with other previous estimates in viperids and in V aspis in particular. We found no detectable
Example of Spotted Salamander phalangeal bone cross-section of a five-year-old individual. The arrow labeled ''lm'' demonstrates the line of metamorphosis in this individual. Arrows labeled 1 to 5 show the postmetamorphic annuli, or annual lines of arrested growth (LAGs). Lighter gray areas between the LAGs are the interLAG areas measured to estimate relative growth rates.
Map of tagged frog 133 that returned home after relocation during August and September 1999. Asterisks indicate the original capture site and the solid line with arrow indicates the translocation direction and distance. The circles show the locations after relocation, and dotted lines show the assumed return path to the original capture site. The highlighted boxes show frog 133's locations in PIT surveys during 2000. Lake and stream numbers are in bold.
Mean percent growth (6 standard error) of Ambystoma maculatum across their first five years of life (N 5 32). Percent growth values represent the postmetamorphic growth in one year relative to the total growth across the first five years of life. The first year of postmetamorphic growth may have been any date from 1992 through 1995.
Map of tagged frog 350 that moved toward its capture site after relocation during August and September 1999. Asterisks indicate the original capture site, and the solid line with arrow indicates the translocation direction and distance. The circles show the locations after relocation, and dotted lines show the assumed return path. Frog 350 was also found in lakes 1 and 2 during PIT surveys in 2000 (highlighted box).
Lampropholis delicata is a small skink common in eastern Australia. The species is heliothermic and uses the ground litter layer. This study examined whether L. delicata showed preferences for particular structural features of the ground litter layer by observing their response to a number of pairwise choices of ground litter type. Lampropholis delicata showed a clear preference for a ground litter layer with an open structure. Difference in catch rates between pairwise comparisons was positively correlated with an index of habitat accessibility. It is suggested that this habitat preference is associated with the ability of the lizard to trade-off different activities. Selection of a habitat with some form of open structure may reduce the conflict between the need for foraging and basking, and the need to find shelter from predators. Habitat selection is an important component of animal ecology (Cody, 1985; Huey, 1991). Animals must ''trade-off'' costs and benefits associated with avoiding predators and competitors, and obtaining food and shelter. In spite of the significance of habitat selection, few experimental studies have determined the relative importance of key variables that might influence selection by terrestrial vertebrates (e.g., food,
The occurrence of mucocutaneous fungal infection in tadpoles of B. marinus in 2 separate outbreaks in ponds in north Queensland, Australia is reported. The first outbreak occurred in 1989, while the second in September 1995. Hyphal fungi grew in tuffs attached to the nostrils, mouthparts, skin of the head, and also occasionally on the hind legs and tails. Several fungi were isolated, with Aphanomyces sp. a likely pathogen. Starvation was likely because the infection primarily attacked the mouth, and could have prevented the tadpoles from eating. Infected tadpoles were less mature than healthy ones, suggesting that this was a disease of young tadpoles or the disease may have slowed their development.
Mating and male combat in blacksnakes, as described in the text. Shaded snake is the female. Drawn from 35 mm colour slides. (a) Position of snakes when first sighted. Male lying in water is copulating with female (shaded). (b) Arrival of additional male snake to previous trio. (c) Commencement of ritual combat between male blacksnakes. Copulating pair lie beneath rival males. (d) Male blacksnakes in combat, with copulating pair beneath. (e) Male blacksnakes in combat, after having fallen into the bypass channel. (f) Disruption of copulating pair of blacksnakes by extra ("short-tailed") male. Photograph taken as all three snakes fell from the bank into the water. 
We observed ritual combat and other agonistic behavior between male blacksnakes (Pseudechis porphyriacus) in a field population in central New South Wales. Combat bouts vary greatly in duration (2 to 30 minutes), and apparently function as male "strategies" to displace rival courting males. Direct attack and biting may serve to displace rival males in copulo. We briefly review published literature on male combat in snakes.
Frequency of Foraging by Gravid Green Turtles (Chelonia mydas) at Raine Island, Great Barrier Reef Author(s): Anton D. Tucker and Mark A. Read Source: Journal of Herpetology, Vol. 35, No. 3 (Sep., 2001), pp. 500-503 Published by: Society for the Study of Amphibians and Reptiles Stable URL: Accessed: 28/04/2009 13:34 Your
Map of upper Dusy Basin, Kings Canyon National Park, showing takes 1-11 and associated creeks 30.1, 30.2, 31, 32, and 33. Numbers in parentheses represent maximum depth measured in meters. Grid indicates lakes with trout.
Map of tagged frog locations during August 1997 for seven transmitters (076, 115, 236, 317, 456, 515, and 615) and magnifications displaying movement in September for transmittered frogs 415 (A), 477 (B), and 575 (C). Arrows show estimated movement route based on tracking fr ogs three times per day. The overland movements in both A and B were observed by researchers from the appr oximate middle point between lakes 4 and 6. GPS was used to track the exact paths represented by the dashed lines.
In a high-elevation (3470 m) lake basin (upper Dusy Basin) in Kings Canyon National Park, California, we used radio transmitters on 24 mountain yellow-legged frogs (Rana muscosa) to gather basic information on their movement patterns. Rana muscosa have declined throughout their range in the Sierra Nevada and restoration plans require information on their movement ecology. Our study indicates that R. muscosa had different movement patterns and habitat associations during the 1997 summer period (August and September) compared to October when winter dormancy began. In August, visual surveys found frogs in 10 of the 11 lakes in upper Dusy Basin. During August most tagged frogs moved little (mean movement 77 to over five day periods) and all were found in the lake or adjacent stream where they were originally tagged. During September, movement increased compared to August Frogs moved from the original capture lake mean distances of 145 m,and moved cumulative distances of 315-466 m. By October, frogs were again sedentary (mean distance moved 43 mt and frogs were found in three of the 11 lakes in the basin. Moreover, mean home ranges (adaptive kernel 90% contours) also were different throughout the summer and were highest for frogs tracked during September (5336.2 m2) compared to August (385 m2, and October (52.8 m2. Before this study it was assumed that R. muscosa over-wintered in the deepest portion of the lake, However, most lakes were frozen when our study ended, and tagged frogs were found nearshore under ledges and in deep underwater crevices suggesting that at least some R. muscosa over-winter in these nearshore areas. In this study, we found R. muscosa in different aquatic habitats over the course of their activity period and that they readily moved between these habitats using both aquatic and overland pathways. The movements appear to be associated with seasonal migrations between summer and over-wintering sites.
The Boreal Toad (Bufo boreas boreas) is widely distributed in the western United States but has declined in portions of its range. Research directed at conserving Boreal Toads has indicated that their movements are largely terrestrial and often limited after the breeding season. We used a combination of stream-based netting, PIT tagging, and radio telemetry to examine patterns in captures, movements, and habitat use of Boreal Toads associated with two stream valleys in western Montana. Netting produced 514 captures of 118 adult and 203 juvenile toads from 8 July to 19 August 2003. Juveniles dominated catches initially but declined throughout the summer, whereas adult catches showed less consistent temporal trends. Of the 122 PIT-tagged toads, nearly two-thirds were recaptured 1–7 times in hoop nets, and the median total distance moved was over 1 km downstream. The median distance moved by radio-tagged toads was 2.1 km (maximum, 12.0 km) or 2.9 km (maximum, 13.0 km) if movements before and after radios were affixed are included. Over 17% of relocations of radio-tagged toads were at upland sites, 56% were in riparian zones, and 26% were in or adjacent to water. We believe that Boreal Toads in this area are engaging in long-distance movements between overwintering, breeding, and summer growth sites. Downward redistribution via streams may be common in montane habitats and warrants examination in other regions.
Body temperatures of immature Clenonia mydas does not deviate significantly from water temperature in the range of 15-22.7 degrees C. Additionally, there was no correlation between Tb and body mass, indicating that larger turtles in the sampled range of sizes (9.2 - 39.5 kg) were not gaining a thermal advantage over smaller individuals.
Mean tongue-flick attack scores (TFAS(R)) for 15 Uma exsul responding to chemical stimuli from mealworm (MW), romaine lettuce (RL), cologne (CL), and deionized water (WA). Error bars represent 1.0 SE.
In lizards identification of food using chemical cues allows active foragers to locate hidden prey and omnivores and herbivores to identify palatable plant food, but ambush foragers identify food visually rather than chemically. Omnivores and herbivores derived from ambushing ancestors discriminate food chemicals from control substances. The only known exception is the omnivorous phrynosomatid lizard Sceloporus poinsettii, which lacks food chemical discrimination and which might have been constrained from evolving it by scarcity of chemoreceptors. We studied food chemical discrimination by the phrynosomatid Uma exsul, an omnivore whose diet is 25% plant by volume. In 60 s trials in which chemical cues from mealworms, romaine lettuce, cologne, and water were presented on cotton swabs, lizards responded more strongly to plant and animal chemicals than control stimuli. Food chemical discrimination by Uma exsul strengthens evidence that plant chemical discrimination evolves in tandem with plant diet and prey chemical discrimination also appears in omnivores or herbivores derived from ambush foragers. Confirmation of food chemical discrimination in U. exsul vitiates the evolutionary constraint hypothesis for S. poinsettii. That lizards tongue-flicked and bit infrequently, yet discriminated, is unusual, suggesting that lingually mediated plant chemical discrimination may have evolved recently, few tongue-flicks are needed to evaluate nutritive properties of plant foods, or plant chemical discrimination is an adaptively unimportant epiphenomenon of plant consumption. Because they do not search actively for prey or tongue-flick before attacking, phrynosomatids presumably evolve prey chemical discrimination by genetic correlation with plant chemical discrimination.
A population of Hyla boans was studied in central Amazonian rainforest during 15 years. The species differs from other intensively-studied gladiator frogs, Hyla rosenbergi and Hyla faber, in that males reach larger sizes than females, most reproduction is in the dry season, males call mainly from trees and rarely from nest basins, and most nest basins have aquatic connections to streams. Many adults (15% of females, 21% of males) were captured over more than one breeding season, and some were captured over five breeding seasons. Sizes of juveniles, and growth of one individual indicate that males require at least two years between hatching and entering the breeding population. Daily calling was bimodal, with peaks after dusk and before dawn. Rainfall reduced calling activity during the peak of the breeding season. The population at the site declined to zero density after nine years of study and the site still had not been recolonized six years later. The exponential rate of decline of the population (-0.58) was more than three times the exponential rate of increase (0.15) at the beginning of the study.
Box turtles commonly encounter graded terrain during their daily and seasonal movements. We videotaped and analyzed the voluntary locomotion of T. carolina on slopes of varying steepness. The mean (±SD) locomotor velocity for all slopes combined was 0.04 (±0.026) m/sec. The success (percentage of turtles completing tests) decreased at inclinations above 40°. At 60° no turtles were successful, and the laterally-sequenced gait was no longer maintained. The first nontraversable inclination was estimated with regression analysis to be 60°. Mean velocity decreased on extreme inclinations, and extrapolated to zero at a very similar angle of 57°. The percentage of turtles completing tests also decreased as the angle of declination increased, and the minimum downslope not traversable with a normal laterally-sequenced gait was calculated to be -51°. Turning and sliding replaced walking at the steepest declinations. The mean coefficient of friction, us, was calculated as 0.48 (±0.05). These box turtles surmounted steep inclines, but their ability to descend steep slopes was more limited. Definable limits, such as those reported here, document the potential effects of slope on turtle distribution.
Spatial locations of overwintering sites of 16 adult Phrynosoma hernandesi on the Central Plains Experimental Range, Weld County, Colorado. Study site is bisected north to southeast by a large dry wash. Point-centered squares and circles indicate overwintering site locations of males (N 5 3) and females (N 5 13), respectively. Open circles indicate locations of randomly sampled points (see Materials and Methods ). The star on the map inset shows the location of the study site in Colorado.  
Means with 95% confidence intervals for habitat characteristics of overwintering sites of adult Phrynosoma hernandesi (filled circles) and randomly selected sites (open circles).  
Scatter plots of maximum (open circles) and minimum (filled circles) air temperatures measured at Central Plains Experimental Range, Weld County, Colorado. Horizontal bar and vertical dashed line indicate the range of dates and mean date lizards entered into overwintering, respectively.  
Overwintering sites of three adult Phrynosoma hernandesi on the Central Plains Experimental Range, Weld County, Colorado. Each panel is representative of one of the three broad habitat types on the study site. Arrows point to the approximate belowground positions of overwintering lizards. (A) Female: upland habitat type; southwest-facing grassy hillside. (B) Female: wash bank habitat type; southeast-facing eroding wash bank; clumps of Yucca glauca present. This was the broad habitat type selected by most lizards for overwintering (see Results). (C) Female: wash bottom habitat type; southeast-facing wash bottom.  
Radio telemetry was used to track 16 adult Short-Horned Lizards (Phrynosoma hernandesi) to their individual overwintering sites on the Central Plains Experimental Range (CPER) in Weld County, Colorado. Above-ground habitat characteristics of overwintering sites and randomly selected points within the study area were assessed. All individuals entered overwintering between 29 August and 19 September with a mean estimated entrance date of 7 September. Arrival of the first subzero nighttime air temperatures occurred shortly thereafter on 16 September. No lizard left its normal area of use to overwinter, and there was no tendency to aggregate. Lizards did not necessarily overwinter on warmer south-facing slopes; the proportion of overwintering sites oriented southward (0.62) was not different from random. Most lizards (75%) selected overwintering sites in the banks of washes that had relatively steep slopes and at specific locations where substrate was relatively bare and penetrable. Overwintering sites also tended to have a greater coverage of Yucca glauca (0.02%) than the general study area (0.01%). Analyses of historical soil temperature data from the CPER revealed that lizards would have to overwinter at a subsoil depth of about 1 m to avoid freezing temperatures. Banks that contain suitable hibernation sites that are located within an individual's normal area of use may be the habitat feature most important to successful overwintering.
Two new species of frogs of the genus Colostethus from the Venezuelan highlands are described. Colostethus duranti, from the páramo and subpáramo La Culata, Estado Mérida, is distinguished from all other Venezuelan Colostethus by the presence of a transversal sacral flap above the vent and by its white and light blue dotted belly. Colostethus serranus from the cloud-forest area of El Morro, Estado Mérida, is distinguished by the lemon-yellow color of the belly and the pink to copper color of the ventral parts of the thighs. /// Dos nuevas especies de sapos del género Colostethus son descritas. Ambas especies provienen de ambientes altoandinos venezolanos. Colostethus duranti, de la región paramera y subparamera de La Culata, Estado Mérida, se distingue de los demás Colostethus venezolanos por la presencia de un pliegue sacral supraanal y por su particular coloración ventral que lleva gruesos puntos blancos y azules. Colostethus serranus, de la zona de Selva nublada de la región de El Morro, Estado Mérida, se distingue por su coloración ventral amarillo limón y por el color rosado o cobrizo de la parte ventral de los muslos.
Initial growth of crocodiles studied in N Australia in the wet season were 0.98mm/day snout-vent length and 1.7g/day body weight, almost double that of crocodiles during the dry season (0.56mm/day SVL and 0.53g/day). Such differences may be related to differences in salinity or temperature, or an interaction between them. Whatever the cause, they may accout for the preponderance of nesting in the early part of the wet season when the probability of flooding is greatest. -P.J.Jarvis
Closely related clonal and sexual populations may coexist in spite of the theorized lower potential for the evolution of clonal genotypes. Water frogs of the Rana esculenta complex have hemiclonal inheritance but most populations coexist with one of the recombinant parental species. We examine whether hemiclonal lineages may counterbalance their limitations of genetic variability by the adoption of one or more non-exclusive mechanisms: the general-purpose genotype or the frozen niche-variation model. Three coexisting hemiclones of the hybrid R. esculenta (GUT1, GUT2, GUT3) and both parental species (syntopic R. lessonae and allopatric R. ridibunda) were raised at two larval densities to examine morphological traits affecting jumping performance at the time of metamorphosis and size-independent jumping ability tested at three temperatures. Hind leg length and body mass at metamorphosis, traits that explain most of the variance in jumping performance, differed across hemiclones of R. esculenta. Metamorphs of hemiclone GUT1 had the longest hindlimbs and were bigger than metamorphs of the other hemiclones at low larval density but not at high density. Size adjusted jumping performance exhibited a significant genotype by larval density interaction. Metamorphs of GUT1 showed maximal jumping performance when raised at low larval density but at high density metamorphs of GUT2 were the best jumpers. In addition, within particular traits, differences were found between hemiclones across densities. These results appear to be consistent with both frozen niche-variation model and the general-purpose genotype model. Comparison with parental species revealed syntopic R. lessonae was smaller than hemiclones at metamorphosis but conversely exhibited better size-adjusted jumping performance when raised at low larval density. Temperature affected size-adjusted jumping performance only for frogs raised at low larval density but not for those raised at high larval densities. There was no significant temperature by hemiclone interaction.
Rheodytes leukops is a bimodally respiring turtle that extracts oxygen from the water chiefly via two enlarged cloacal bursae that are lined with multi-branching papillae. The diving performance of R. leukops was compared to that of Emydura macquarii, a turtle with a limited ability to acquire aquatic oxygen. The diving performance of the turtles was compared under aquatic anoxia (0 mmHg), hypoxia (80 mmHg) and normoxia (155 mmHg) at 15, 23, and 30degreesC. When averaged across all temperatures the dive duration of R. leukops more than doubled from 22.4 +/- 7.65 min under anoxia to 49.8 +/- 19.29 min under normoxic conditions. In contrast, aquatic oxygen level had no effect on the dive duration of E. macquarii. Dive times for both species were significantly longer at the cooler temperature, and the longest dive recorded for each species was 538 min and 166 min for R. leukops and E. macquarii, respectively. Both species displayed a pattern of many short dives punctuated by occasional long dives irrespective of temperature or oxygen regime. Rheodytes leukops, on average, spent significantly less time (42 +/- 2 sec) at the surface per surfacing event than did E. macquarii (106 +/- 20 sec); however, surface times for both species were not related to either water temperature or oxygen level.
Road edge versus interior transect gecko detection rates for Leucaena forest in Guam 1985-2012. Sample sizes ranged from 10.5-811.4 and totaled 4,933.7 person-hours. 
Detectability multipliers (1 / p) for total removal plots at NWFN, Guam, 1995-2012. These values represent a ring of glueboards surrounding the total removal plots (for skinks) and visual survey lines using the nearest two transects (geckos). Lower detectability multipliers reflect more-easily detected species. 
To obtain quantitative information about population dynamics from counts of animals, the per capita detectabilities of each species must remain constant over the course of monitoring. We characterized lizard detection constancy for four species over 17 yr from a single site in northern Guam, a relatively benign situation because detection was relatively easy and we were able to hold constant the site, habitat type, species, season, and sampling method. We monitored two species of diurnal terrestrial skinks (Carlia ailanpalai [Curious Skink], Emoia caeruleocauda [Pacific Bluetailed Skink]) using glueboards placed on the ground in the shade for 3 h on rainless mornings, yielding 10,286 skink captures. We additionally monitored two species of nocturnal arboreal geckos (Hemidactylus frenatus [Common House Gecko]; Lepidodactylus lugubris [Mourning Gecko]) on the basis of 15,212 sightings. We compared these count samples to a series of complete censuses we conducted from four or more total removal plots (everything removed to mineral soil) totaling 400 m (about 1% of study site) in each of the years 1995, 1999, and 2012, providing time-stamped quantification of detectability for each species. Unfortunately, the actual population trajectories taken by the four species were masked by unexplained variation in detectability. This observation of debilitating latent variability in lizard detectability under nearly ideal conditions undercuts our trust in population estimation techniques that fail to quantify venue-specific detectability, rely on pooled detection probability estimates, or assume that modulation in predefined environmental covariates suffices for estimating detectability.
Evidence is presented that the description of Testudo coriacea by Vandelli (1761) is nomenclaturally valid. Attention is drawn to the danger which would result, for the stability of zoological nomenclature, in applying the Rules of the International Code of Zoological Nomenclature in a too rigid and formal way to old, well-known, "classic" works. The works of Schlosser (1768), Boddaert (1770-1772) and De La Cepède (1788-1790) are given as examples of this danger.
Based on molecular and morphological data sets, we describe a new species of scincid lizard of the genus Lygosoma from Indochina, and redescribe true Lygosoma quadrupes (Linnaeus, 1766). The new species is small and slender, and represents the third member of the L. quadrupes complex, increasing the diversity of Lygosoma species recognized in Southeast Asia to 24. Based on the reevaluation of vouchered specimens from the type locality of L. quadrupes sensu Linnaeus (1766), the recognized geographic distribution of true L. quadrupes is restricted to the island of Java in Indonesia. With 10 species of Lygosoma recognized in Thailand, the country possesses considerable species-level diversity of these enigmatic, semifossorial skinks. In addition to being one of the smallest species in the genus, the new species can be distinguished from all congeners by features of its external morphology, including having small relative limb lengths, longer trunk length, and greater numbers of axilla-groin and paravertebral scale rows. Phylogenetic analyses support three divergent lineages corresponding to recognized and newly described members of the L. quadrupes complex. The descriptions underscore the need for continued and comprehensive biodiversity survey work throughout much of Southeast Asia, particularly in Indochina, where scincid diversity remains poorly understood.
With the recent designation of the holotype of Centrura flagellifer Bell as theneotype of Phymaturus palluma Molina by the International Commission on Zoological Nomenclature, the type locality of P. palluma became problematic. It is likely that Charles Darwin collected the holotype of C. flagellifer during his round trip journey between Santiago, Chile and Mendoza, Argentina. A detailed account of his journey is presented, as well as the conclusion that the type locality is Cordón del Portillo, Mendoza province, Argentina, where Darwin collected and briefly characterized a viviparous lizard. Here we provide a re-description of Darwin's specimen and two morphological characters that distinguish it from other populations in Chile and Argentina previously assigned to this species. In November 2009, specimens from the locality where Darwin collected his “viviparous lizard” were collected, confirming the identity of the type. This study also reveals that P. gynechlomus should be considered a junior synonym of P. palluma. Populations of Phymaturus of the palluma group farther to the north, from the Sierra de Uspallata and southern San Juan province, are determined to be different lineages and should be described formally. The name P. adrianae has been applied to the species that occurs in the Sierra de Uspallata, but we show here that it has not been formally named and is therefore a nomen nudum. Chilean populations previously considered to be P. palluma should be described formally.
Osteological differences between Thecadactylus rapicauda and Hemidactylus mabouia observed on (A) maxilla (left; lateral view [A2] and ventral view [A3]); (B) teeth (medial view); (C) frontal bone (dorsal view); (D) parietal bone (left; ventral view); (E) coronoid bone (right; lateral view); (F) dentary (right; lateral view). Abbreviations: a. c. f.: anterodorsal corner of the facial process, a. m. f.: anterior margin of the frontal, a. p. f.: anterior process of the frontal, al. c. p.: anterolateral corner of the parietal, al. p. c.: anterolateral process of the coronoid, al. p. p.: anterolateral premaxillary process, am. p. c.: anteromedial process of the coronoid, am. p. p.: anteromedial premaxillary process, c. f.: coronoid facet, m. e.: median extension of parietal, o. n.: osseous nares, p. r.: prefrontal recess, po. f.: post-frontal facet, t.: teeth.
Osteological differences between Thecadactylus rapicauda and Hemidactylus mabouia observed on (A) scapulocoracoid bone (left; lateral view), (B) ilium bone (left; lateral view), (C) humerus bone (left; ventral view). Abbreviations: av. l. c.: anteroventral lamina of the coracoid; dp. c.: deltopectoral crest, e.: entepicondyle, f. c. r.: first coracoid ray, s. c.: scapular ray, s. c. r.: second coracoid ray, t. i. b.: tubercle of the iliac blade.
Number of Gekkonidae remains identified from the different layers of Pointe Gros Rempart 6 paleontological deposit.
Fossil dentaries (A) and femora (B) of Thecadactylus rapicauda and Hemidactylus mabouia recovered in the Pointe Gros Rempart 6 assemblage.
Squamate remains from fossil-bearing deposits are difficult to identify on the basis of their morphology, because their modern relatives lack osteological description. In addition, intraspecific morphological variability of modern taxa is mostly understudied, making taxonomic identification of subfossil bones even more difficult. The aim of this study was to investigate osteological differences between two sympatric gecko species, Thecadactylus rapicauda and Hemidactylus mabouia, both currently occurring in the Lesser Antilles and in the subfossil assemblages of the region. Comparison of several modern museum specimens reveals the intraspecific osteological variability of these lizards and how difficult it is to distinguish between their bones, even though they are from two distant families. This study presents nine osteological characters, allowing for a fully reliable distinction of these two gecko species. These characters are applied to the specific identification of gecko species subfossil remains unearthed from the Pointe Gros Rempart 6 Hole (La Désirade Island, Guadeloupe). Our results confirm the past occurrence of T. rapicauda as well as the historical introduction of H. mabouia on La Désirade Island.
Some sea snakes and sea kraits (family Elapidae) can dive for upward of two hours while foraging or feeding, largely because they are able to absorb a significant percentage of their oxygen demand across their skin surfaces. Although cutaneous oxygen uptake is a common adaptation in marine elapids, whether its uptake can be manipulated in response to conditions that might alter metabolic rate is unclear. Our data strongly suggest that Yellow-Lipped Sea Kraits, Laticauda colubrina (Schneider, 1799), can modify cutaneous uptake in response to changing pulmonary oxygen saturation levels. When exposed to stepwise 20% decreases in aerial oxygen saturation from 100% to 40%, Yellow-Lipped Sea Kraits spent more time emerged but breathed less frequently. A significant graded increase in cutaneous uptake was seen between 100% and 60% saturation, likely attributable to subcutaneous capillary recruitment. The additional increase in oxygen uptake between 60% and 40% was not significant, indicating capillary recruitment is likely complete at pulmonary saturations of 60%. During a pilot trial, a single Yellow-Lipped Sea Krait exposed to an aerial saturation of 25% became severely stressed after 20 min, suggesting a lower saturation tolerance level between 40% and 25% for the species. Reducing subcutaneous perfusion could optimize swimming performance during foraging, whereas redirecting blood to skin surfaces would maximize dive times when subduing prey or avoiding aerial predators.
Wood Turtles (Glyptemys insculpta) occupy forested streams at midlatitudes in eastern North America and are listed as endangered by the International Union for Conservation of Nature, but few populations have been rigorously studied. We studied a population of Wood Turtles in Michigan for 18 yr, individually marking 260 different turtles (146 females, 88 males, and 26 unsexed juveniles), including 118 turtles that we followed for one or more years using radiotelemetry. We analyzed our encounter data using a Cormack-Jolly-Seber model in Program MARK; and we estimated total population size using a Bayesian integrated population model that combined Horvitz-Thompson estimates of annual population size, mark-recapture estimates of annual survival, and derived estimates of annual recruitment. Annual adult survival was 0.970 ± 0.016 SD and annual recruitment to age 15 (mean age of first capture) was 0.058 ± 0.019 SD. Over the 18-yr study, estimated population size grew from 770 (95% CI 631-928) to 1,196 (95% CI 977-1,444) individuals.
The Siamese Crocodile (Crocodylus siamensis) is critically endangered and, until a decade ago, few remaining wild populations were known to exist. Described here are the first in-depth surveys for C. siamensis in Laos with new field data on ecology and conservation. Small breeding populations of C. siamensis are confirmed to persist in Laos. During surveys between 2003 and 2008, C. siamensis was recorded in 13 sites of six river systems, where at least 36 individuals (1-11 per site) were documented. In all sites, crocodile densities and recruitment rates were extremely low. Eight nests were recorded among the first wild nests of C. siamensis to be reported. Perennial, thickly vegetated floodplain lakes are critical dry-season refugia and breeding habitats for C. siamensis in Laos. Opportunistic collection of crocodiles by local communities was observed, and at all sites there is increasing degradation of floodplain lakes for agriculture or economic development. National crocodile records were compiled and indicate that, historically, C. siamensis was widespread in lowland riverine and palustrine habitats of Laos, with most records from Central and South Laos in the Mekong Plain. These records also suggest that a severe range decline has occurred over the past century, although most wetlands remain unsurveyed for crocodiles. Crocodylus siamensis is probably now extirpated from the Lao Mekong and many other wetlands. Remnant C. siamensis populations in Laos are of global importance. All documented breeding sites, and most confirmed national records, are in rural lands outside the national protected area system, and conservation efforts will require community-based approaches.
Modifications of the jaw mechanism of the lizard, Dracaena guianensis (family Teiidae), for durophagy (feeding upon hard-shelled foods) are described on the basis of comparisons with its close relative Tupinambis. There is an enlargement of sites for jaw muscle attachments and strengthening of palatal architecture for the crushing mode of feeding. The distinctively flared quadrate allows for enlargement of the Add. mand. externus muscle, resulting in improvement of the mechanical advantage of the muscle as well as reinforcement of the jaw articulation. Study of the dentition in relation to size reveals that enlarged and flattened teeth are present even in smaller lizards and are not the result of ontogenetic alteration. The state of the constrictor dorsalis muscles and the intracranial joints indicate that cranial kinetic motions may occur during feeding. These findings indicate the need for re-evaluation of theories of the adaptive significance of cranial kinesis in lizards.
Top-cited authors
Paulo Christiano de Anchieta Garcia
  • Federal University of Santa Catarina
Gabriel Correa Costa
  • Auburn University in Montgomery
Hussam Zaher
  • University of São Paulo
Daniel Mesquita
  • Universidade Federal da Paraíba
Guarino R Colli
  • University of Brasília