December 12, 2017

016 Slimy Salamander Sociality


Salamanders feature in episode 16, especially North American ones. We chat about the unusual inheritance strategies of Ambystoma, and territorial behaviour and polymorphism (multiple colour patterns) of red-backed salamanders. There will of course be a slippery surprise in our Species of the Bi-week. FULL REFERENCE LIST AVAILABLE AT



Main Paper References:

Bogart, James P., Jessica E. Linton, and Al Sandilands. 2017. “A Population in Limbo: Unisexual Salamanders (Genus Ambystoma) Decline without Sperm-Donating Species.” Herpetological Conservation and Biology 12 (1): 41–55.

Reiter, M. K., Anthony, C. D., & Hickerson, C. A. M. (2014). Territorial behavior and ecological divergence in a polymorphic salamander. Copeia, 2014(3), 481-488.

Species of the Bi-week:

Mccranie, J. R., & Rovito, S. M. (2014). New species of salamander (Caudata: Plethodontidae: Cryptotriton) from Quebrada Cataguana, Francisco Morazán, Honduras, with comments on the taxonomic status of Cryptotriton wakei. Zootaxa, 3795(1), 61-70.

Other Mentioned Papers/Studies:

Bi, K, and JP Bogart. 2010. “Time and Time Again: Unisexual Salamanders (Genus Ambystoma) Are the Oldest Unisexual Vertebrates.” BMC Evolutionary Biology 10: 238. doi:10.1186/1471-2148-10-238.

Cleveland, WS, and R McGill. 1984. “Graphical Perceptions: Theory, Experimentation, and Application to the Development of Graphical Methods.” Journal of the American Statistical Association 79 (387): 531–54.
Petruzzi, EE, PH Niewiarowski, and FB-G Moore. 2006. “The Role of Thermal Niche Selection in Maintenance of a Colour Polymorphism in Redback Salamanders (Plethodon Cinereus).” Frontiers in Zoology 3: 10. doi:10.1186/1742-9994-3-10.

Verrell, P. A., & Krenz, J. D. (1998). Competition for mates in the mole salamander, Ambystoma talpoideum: tactics that may maximize male mating success. Behaviour, 135(2), 121-138.

Music: Treehouse by Ed Nelson


Tom caught up with renowned amphibian man and Imperial College master's student Steve Allain at Venom Day 2017 at Bangor University. Steve's midwife toad project features heavily, along with his upcoming master's research and general amphibian happenings.


Steve's twitter: 

Steve's blog: 

November 28, 2017

015 Serpents of the Sea


Snakes of the sea. Yellow, striped, you name it. We look into some factors changing their colours, and how has the yellow-bellied sea snake become so widespread? Another Species of the Bi-week that’s entirely yellow but not entirely a species. FULL REFERENCE LIST AVAILABLE AT:


Main Paper References:

Brischoux, François, Cédric Cotté, Harvey B. Lillywhite, Frédéric Bailleul, Maxime Lalire, and Philippe Gaspar. 2016. “Oceanic Circulation Models Help to Predict Global Biogeography of Pelagic Yellow- Bellied Sea Snake.” Biology Letters 12: 6–9.

Goiran, Claire, Paco Bustamante, and Richard Shine. 2017. “Industrial Melanism in the Seasnake Emydocephalus Annulatus.” Current Biology. 1–4.

Species of the Bi-Week:

Bessesen, Brooke L., and Gary J. Galbreath. 2017. “A New Subspecies of Sea Snake, Hydrophis Platurus Xanthos, from Golfo Dulce, Costa Rica.” ZooKeys 686: 109–23.

Other Mentioned Papers/Studies:

Bonnet, Xavier, Marine J. Briand, François Brischoux, Yves Letourneur, Thomas Fauvel, and Paco Bustamante. 2014. “Anguilliform Fish Reveal Large Scale Contamination by Mine Trace Elements in the Coral Reefs of New Caledonia.” Science of the Total Environment 470–471. Elsevier B.V.: 876–82.

Chatelain, M., J. Gasparini, L. Jacquin, and A. Frantz. 2014. “The Adaptive Function of Melanin-Based Plumage Coloration to Trace Metals.” Biology Letters 10 (3): 20140164.

Cook, Timothée R., Xavier Bonnet, T. Fauvel, Richard Shine, and François Brischoux. 2016. "Foraging behaviour and energy budgets of sea snakes: insights from implanted data loggers." Journal of Zoology 298(2): 82-93.

Lillywhite, Harvey B., Coleman M. Sheehy Iii, François Brischoux, and Joseph B. Pfaller. 2015 "On the abundance of a pelagic sea snake." Journal of Herpetology 49(2): 184-189.

Pickwell, George V. 1971. "Knotting and coiling behavior in the pelagic sea snake Pelamis platurus (L.)." Copeia 1971(2): 348-350.

Reading, C. J., L. M. Luiselli, G. C. Akani, X. Bonnet, G. Amori, J. M. Ballouard, E. Filippi, G. Naulleau, D. Pearson, and L. Rugiero. 2010. “Are Snake Populations in Widespread Decline?” Biology Letters 6: 777–80.

Sanders, Kate L., Michael SY Lee, Terry Bertozzi, and Arne R. Rasmussen. 2013. "Multilocus phylogeny and recent rapid radiation of the viviparous sea snakes (Elapidae: Hydrophiinae)." Molecular phylogenetics and evolution 66(3): 575-591.

Shine, R., R. Reed, S. Shetty, and H. Cogger. 2002. "Relationships between sexual dimorphism and niche partitioning within a clade of sea-snakes (Laticaudinae)." Oecologia 133(1): 45-53.

Shine, Richard, Terri Shine, James M. Shine, and Benjamin G. Shine. 2005. “Synchrony in Capture Dates Suggests Cryptic Social Organization in Sea Snakes (Emydocephalus Annulatus, Hydrophiidae).” Austral Ecology 30 (7): 805–11.

Other Links/Mentions:

Yellow bellied sea snakes ‘knotting’ and feeding:

iHerp Magazine Issue 3:

Music – Treehouse by Ed Nelson

November 19, 2017

014 Crocs


Crocodylians have been around for a while and they know what they’re doing. In this episode we discuss what they do when they’re ticked off, and how the massive, fascinating, and largely unknown Tomistoma is getting on in SE Asia. As always, we end on a new species, and this time it’s a fractious new species of something crocodile-like. FULL REFERENCE LIST AVAILABLE AT:


Main Paper References:

Brien, Matthew L., Jeffrey W. Lang, Grahame J. Webb, Colin Stevenson, and Keith A. Christian. 2013. “The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly: Agonistic Behaviour in Juvenile Crocodilians.” PLoS ONE 8 (12).

Stuebing, R., R. Sommerlad, and A. Staniewicz. 2015. “Conservation of the Sunda Gharial Tomistoma Schlegelii in Lake Mesangat, Indonesia.” International Zoo Yearbook 49 (1): 137–49.

Species of the Bi-Week:

Foffa, Davide, Mark T. Young, Stephen L. Brusatte, Mark R. Graham, and Lorna Steel. 2017. “A New Metriorhynchid Crocodylomorph from the Oxford Clay Formation (Middle Jurassic) of England, with Implications for the Origin and Diversification of Geosaurini.” Journal of Systematic Palaeontology: 1–21.

Other Mentioned Papers/Studies:

Brochu, Christopher A. 2001. “Crocodylian Snouts in Space and Time: Phylogenetic Approaches Toward Adaptive Radiation.” American Zoologist 41 (November): 564–85.

Brown, Gregory, Richard Shine, Ruchira Somaweera, and Jonathan Webb. 2011. “Hatchling Australian Freshwater Crocodiles Rapidly Learn to Avoid Toxic Invasive Cane Toads.” Behaviour 148: 501–17.

Courchamp, Franck, and Corey J A Bradshaw. 2017. “100 Articles Every Ecologist Should Read.” Nature Ecology & Evolution.

Galdikas, B. M. 1985. "Crocodile predation on a proboscis monkey in Borneo." Primates, 26(4), 495-496.

Letnic, Mike, Jonathan K. Webb, and Richard Shine. 2008. “Invasive Cane Toads (Bufo Marinus) Cause Mass Mortality of Freshwater Crocodiles (Crocodylus Johnstoni) in Tropical Australia.” Biological Conservation 141 (7): 1773–82.

Milinkovitch, M. C., L. Manukyan, A. Debry, N. Di-Poi, S. Martin, D. Singh, D. Lambert, and M. Zwicker. 2013. “Crocodile Head Scales Are Not Developmental Units But Emerge from Physical Cracking.” Science 339 (6115): 78–81.

Smith, James G., and Ben L. Phillips. 2006. “Toxic Tucker: The Potential Impact of Cane Toads on Australian Reptiles.” Pacific Conservation Biology 12 (1): 40–49.

Yeager, C. P. 1991. "Possible antipredator behavior associated with river crossings by proboscis monkeys (Nasalis larvatus)." American Journal of Primatology, 24(1), 61-66.

Other Links/Mentions:

Tomistoma captive breeding success

Music – Treehouse by Ed Nelson

October 31, 2017

013 Frog Fungus


Everyone's favourite fungus is the topic of this week’s episode – Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis, otherwise known as Bd or Chytrid. We discuss some of the ways it spreads and a little about the frogs it affects. Species of the Bi-week is back and this time coming out of Amazonia. FULL REFERENCE LIST AVAILABLE AT:


Main Paper References:

Kolby, Jonathan E., Sara D. Ramirez, Lee Berger, Kathryn L. Richards-Hrdlicka, Merlijn Jocque, and Lee F. Skerratt. 2015. “Terrestrial Dispersal and Potential Environmental Transmission of the Amphibian Chytrid Fungus (Batrachochytrium Dendrobatidis).” PLoS ONE 10 (4): 1–13.

Barrio-Amorós, César L., Christoph I. Grünwald, Héctor Franz-Chávez, Ángela María Mendoza, and Brandon Thomas La Forest. 2016. “Notes on Natural History and Call Description of the Critically Endangered Plectrohyla Avia (Anura: Hylidae) from Chiapas , Mexico.” Amphibian and Reptile Conservation 10 (2): 11–17.

Species of the Bi-Week:

Peloso, Pedro L.V., Victor G.D. Orrico, Célio F.B. Haddad, Geraldo R. Lima-Filho, and Marcelo J. Sturaro. 2016. “A New Species of Clown Tree Frog, Dendropsophus Leucophyllatus Species Group, from Amazonia (Anura, Hylidae).” South American Journal of Herpetology 11 (1): 66–80.

Other Mentioned Papers/Studies:

Arnold, S.J., 1976. "Sexual behavior, sexual interference and sexual defense in the salamanders Ambystoma maculatum, Ambystoma tigrinum and Plethodon jordani." Ethology, 42(3): 247-300.

Blooi, Mark, An Martel, Francis Vercammen, and Frank Pasmans. 2013. “Combining Ethidium Monoazide Treatment with Real-Time PCR Selectively Quantifies Viable Batrachochytrium Dendrobatidis Cells.” Fungal Biology 117 (2): 156–62.

Gower, D.J., Doherty-Bone, T., Loader, S.P., Wilkinson, M., Kouete, M.T., Tapley, B., Orton, F., Daniel, O.Z., Wynne, F., Flach, E. and Müller, H., 2013. "Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis infection and lethal chytridiomycosis in caecilian amphibians (Gymnophiona)." EcoHealth, 10(2):173-183.

Iwai, N., 2013. "Morphology, function and evolution of the pseudothumb in the Otton frog." Journal of Zoology, 289(2): 127-133.

Kolby, Jonathan E., Sara D. Ramirez, Lee Berger, Dale W. Griffin, Merlijn Jocque, and Lee F. Skerratt. 2015. “Presence of Amphibian Chytrid Fungus (Batrachochytrium Dendrobatidis) in Rainwater Suggests Aerial Dispersal Is Possible.” Aerobiologia 31 (3): 411–19. doi:10.1007/s10453-015-9374-6.

Liew, Nicole, Maria J. Mazon Moya, Claudia J. Wierzbicki, Michael Hollinshead, Michael J. Dillon, Christopher R. Thornton, Amy Ellison, Jo Cable, Matthew C. Fisher, and Serge Mostowy. 2017. “Chytrid Fungus Infection in Zebrafish Demonstrates That the Pathogen Can Parasitize Non-Amphibian Vertebrate Hosts.” Nature Communications 8 (April). Nature Publishing Group: 15048.

Lips, Karen R. 2016. “Overview of Chytrid Emergence and Impacts on Amphibians.” Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences 371 (1709): 20150465.

Longcore, J.E., Pessier, A.P. and Nichols, D.K., 1999. "Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis gen. et sp. nov., a chytrid pathogenic to amphibians." Mycologia: 219-227.

Olson, Deanna H., David M. Aanensen, Kathryn L. Ronnenberg, Christopher I. Powell, Susan F. Walker, Jon Bielby, Trenton W.J. Garner, George Weaver, and Matthew C. Fisher. 2013. “Mapping the Global Emergence of Batrachochytrium Dendrobatidis, the Amphibian Chytrid Fungus.” PLoS ONE 8 (2).

Van Rooij, Pascale, Frank Pasmans, Yanaika Coen, and An Martel. 2017. “Efficacy of Chemical Disinfectants for the Containment of the Salamander Chytrid Fungus Batrachochytrium Salamandrivorans.” PloS One 12 (10): e0186269.

Other Links/Mentions:

Video of Plectrohyla Avia from Barrio-Amorós et al. (2016) -

Salamander courtship with pheromone transmission -

HARCC are mid fundraiser - go to

Music – Treehouse by Ed Nelson

October 17, 2017

012 Geckos Down Under


Following on from our interview with John McGrath, Australian geckos are our focus for episode 12. We talk about the influences on starred knob tail gecko habitat and why velvet geckos are important food for an elapid snake. Of course there is an Australian gecko for the Species of the Bi-Week. FULL REFERENCE LIST AVAILABLE AT:


Main Paper References:

Driscoll, Don A., Catherine A. Whitehead, and Juliana Lazzari. 2012. “Spatial Dynamics of the Knob-Tailed Gecko Nephrurus Stellatus in a Fragmented Agricultural Landscape.” Landscape Ecology 27 (6): 829–41.

Webb, Jonathan K., David A. Pike, and Richard Shine. 2008. “Population Ecology of the Velvet Gecko, Oedura Lesueurii in South Eastern Australia: Implications for the Persistence of an Endangered Snake.” Austral Ecology 33 (7): 839–47.

Species of the Bi-Week:

Hoskin, Conrad J., and Patrick Couper. 2013. “A Spectacular New Leaf-Tailed Gecko (Carphodactylidae: Saltuarius) from the Melville Range, North-East Australia.” Zootaxa 3717 (4): 543–58.

Other Mentioned Papers/Studies:

Blay, Nicola, and Isabelle M Côté. 2001. “Optimal Conditions for Breeding of Captive Humboldt Penguins (Spheniscus Humboldti): A Survey of British Zoos.” Zoo Biology 20: 545–55.

Brown, G. P., and Shine, R. 2007. "Like mother, like daughter: inheritance of nest-site location in snakes." Biology letters, 3(2): 131-133.

Croak BM, Pike DA, Webb JK, Shine R, 2010. "Using artificial rocks to restore nonrenewable shelter sites in human-degraded systems: colonization by fauna." Rest Ecol 18:428–438.

Gamble, T. 2010. "A review of sex determining mechanisms in geckos (Gekkota: Squamata)". Sexual Development, 4(1-2): 88-103.

James, Alexander N., Kevin J. Gaston, and Andrew Balmford. 1999. “Balancing the Earth’s Accounts.” Nature 401 (6751): 323–24.

Llewelyn, John, Ben L. Phillips, Greg P. Brown, Lin Schwarzkopf, Ross A. Alford, and Richard Shine. 2011. “Adaptation or Preadaptation: Why Are Keelback Snakes (Tropidonophis Mairii) Less Vulnerable to Invasive Cane Toads (Bufo Marinus) than Are Other Australian Snakes?” Evolutionary Ecology 25 (1): 13–24.

Oliver, P. M., Bauer, A. M., Greenbaum, E., Jackman, T., and Hobbie, T. 2012. "Molecular phylogenetics of the arboreal Australian gecko genus Oedura Gray 1842 (Gekkota: Diplodactylidae): Another plesiomorphic grade?." Molecular Phylogenetics and Evolution, 63(2): 255-264.

Shine R., Webb J. K., Fitzgerald M. and Sumner J. 1998. "The impact of bush-rock removal on an endangered snake species, Hoplocephalus bungaroides (Serpentes: Elapidae)." Wildl. Res. 25: 285–95.

Smith, A. L., Bull, C. M., and Driscoll, D. A. 2012. "Post-fire succession affects abundance and survival but not detectability in a knob-tailed gecko." Biological Conservation, 145(1): 139-147.

Werner, Y. L., Frankenberg, E., Volokita, M., and Harari, R. 1993. "Longevity of geckos (Reptilia: Lacertilia: Gekkonoidea) in captivity: an analytical review incorporating new data." Israel Journal of Zoology, 39(2): 105-124.

Music – Treehouse by Ed Nelson


In our first ever interview episode we talk to John McGrath, publisher of digital magazine iHerp Australia. We chat about his experiences in the magazine and publishing industry, and his history with reptiles and amphibians.


Read iHerp Magazine FREE here:

iHerp facebook:

iHerp twitter: 

Music: Treehouse by Ed Nelson

October 3, 2017

011 Survival of the Vipers


Vipers are found in numerous corners of the globe, and in this episode we explore a little about how they’ve managed it. Starting with pit viper’s use of their heat sensing abilities, moving on to viper reactions to climatic shifts, and finishing up with how they are doing now. Naturally our Species of the Bi-week is a new viper, this time from Africa. FULL REFERENCE LIST AVAILABLE AT:


Main Paper References:

Martínez-Freiría, F, P.-A. Crochet, S. Fahd, P. Geniez, J.C. Brito, and G. Velo-Antón. 2017. “Integrative Phylogeographic and Ecological Analyses Reveal Multiple Pleistocene Refugia for Mediterranean Daboia Vipers in North-West Africa.” Biological Journal of the Linnean Society 122 (2): 366–384.

Maritz, Bryan, Johannes Penner, Marcio Martins, Jelka Crnobrnja-Isailović, Stephen Spear, Laura R.V. Alencar, Jesús Sigala-Rodriguez, et al. 2016. “Identifying Global Priorities for the Conservation of Vipers.” Biological Conservation 204: 94–102.

Safer, Adam B., and Michael S. Grace. 2004. “Infrared Imaging in Vipers: Differential Responses of Crotaline and Viperine Snakes to Paired Thermal Targets.” Behavioural Brain Research 154 (1): 55–61.

Species of the Bi-Week:

Gower, David J., Edward O.Z. Wade, Stephen Spawls, Wolfgang Böhme, Evan R. Buechley, Daniel Sykes, and Timothy J. Colston. 2016. “A New Large Species of Bitis Gray, 1842 (Serpentes: Viperidae) from the Bale Mountains of Ethiopia.” Zootaxa 4093 (1): 41–63.

Other Mentioned Papers/Studies:

Alencar, Laura R.V., Tiago B. Quental, Felipe G. Grazziotin, Michael L. Alfaro, Marcio Martins, Mericien Venzon, and Hussam Zaher. 2016. “Diversification in Vipers: Phylogenetic Relationships, Time of Divergence and Shifts in Speciation Rates.” Molecular Phylogenetics and Evolution 105: 50–62.

Böhm, Monika, Ben Collen, Jonathan E M Baillie, Philip Bowles, Janice Chanson, Neil Cox, Geoffrey Hammerson, et al. 2013. “The Conservation Status of the World’s Reptiles.” Biological Conservation 157: 372–85.

Breidenbach, Carla Harvey. 1990. “Society for the Study of Amphibians and Reptiles Thermal Cues Influence Strikes in Pitless Vipers.” Journal of Herpetology 24 (4): 448–50.

Gracheva, E.O., Ingolia, N.T., Kelly, Y.M., Cordero-Morales, J.F., Hollopeter, G., Chesler, A.T., Sánchez, E.E., Perez, J.C., Weissman, J.S. and Julius, D., 2010. “Molecular basis of infrared detection by snakes.” Nature, 464 (7291): 1006.

Krochmal, A.R. and Bakken, G.S., 2003. “Thermoregulation is the pits: use of thermal radiation for retreat site selection by rattlesnakes.” Journal of Experimental Biology, 206(15): 2539-2545. OPEN ACCESS

Lourdais, O., Shine, R., Bonnet, X., Guillon, M. and Naulleau, G., 2004. “Climate affects embryonic development in a viviparous snake, Vipera aspis.” Oikos, 104 (3): 551-560.

Madsen, Thomas, Bo Stille, and Richard Shine. 1996. “Inbreeding Depression in an Isolated Population of Adders Vipera Berus.” Biological Conservation 75: 113–18.

Madsen, Thomas, Beata Ujvari, and Mats Olsson. 2004. “Novel Genes Continue to Enhance Population Growth in Adders (Vipera Berus).” Biological Conservation 120 (1): 145–47.

Madsen, Thomas, and Beata Ujvari. 2011. “The Potential Demise of a Population of Adders (Vipera Berus) in Smygehuk, Sweden.” Herpetological Conservation and Biology 6 (1): 72–74. OPEN ACCESS

Paulo, O. S., J. Pinheiro, A. Miraldo, M. W. Bruford, W. C. Jordan, and R. A. Nichols. 2008. “The Role of Vicariance vs. Dispersal in Shaping Genetic Patterns in Ocellated Lizard Species in the Western Mediterranean.” Molecular Ecology 17 (6): 1535–51.

Van Dyke, J.U. and Grace, M.S., 2010. “The role of thermal contrast in infrared-based defensive targeting by the copperhead, Agkistrodon contortrix.” Animal Behaviour, 79 (5): 993-999.

Williams, David, Wolfgang Wüster, and Bryan Grieg Fry. 2006. “The Good, the Bad and the Ugly: Australian Snake Taxonomists and a History of the Taxonomy of Australia’s Venomous Snakes.” Toxicon 48 (7): 919–30.

Music – Treehouse by Ed Nelson

September 19, 2017

010 Armoured Lizards


Episode 10 is all about Southern African armoured lizards of the family Cordylidae. Some live in groups - why? Why are they so damn spikey? These and other mysteries at least partially revealed. Plus, a brand new species of cordylid lizard from Angola and an aside about the tokay gecko trade. FULL REFERENCE LIST AVAILABLE AT:


Main Paper References:

Broeckhoven, Chris, Genevieve Diedericks, Cang Hui, Buyisile G. Makhubo, and P. le Fras N. Mouton. 2016. “Enemy at the Gates: Rapid Defensive Trait Diversification in an Adaptive Radiation of Lizards.” Evolution 70 (11): 2647–56.

Broeckhoven, Chris, and Pieter Le Fras Nortier Mouton. 2015. “Some like It Hot: Camera Traps Unravel the Effects of Weather Conditions and Predator Presence on the Activity Levels of Two Lizards.” PLoS ONE 10 (9): 1–15. OPEN ACCESS

Mouton, P le Fras N, Janine L Glover, and Alexander F Flemming. 2014. “Solitary Individuals in Populations of the Group-Living Lizard Ouroborus Cataphractus: Voluntary or Forced?” African Zoology 49 (2): 307–10.

Species of the Bi-Week:

Stanley, Edward L., Luis MP Ceriaco, Suzana Bandeira, Hilaria Valerio, Michael F. Bates, and William R. Branch. 2016. "A review of Cordylus machadoi (Squamata: Cordylidae) in southwestern Angola, with the description of a new species from the Pro-Namib desert." Zootaxa 4061(3): 201-226.

Other Mentioned Papers/Studies:

Ariefiandy, Achmad, Deni Purwandana, Aganto Seno, Claudio Ciofi, and Tim S. Jessop. 2013. “Can Camera Traps Monitor Komodo Dragons a Large Ectothermic Predator?” PLoS ONE 8 (3): 1–8. OPEN ACCESS

Brodie III, E.D., and E.D. Brodie Jr. 1999. “Costs of Exploiting Poisonous Prey: Evolutionary Trade-Offs in a Predator-Prey Arms Race.” Evolution 2 (53): 626–31. OPEN ACCESS

Buchanan, S. W., Timm, B. C., Cook, R. P., Couse, R., & Hazard, L. C. (2016). Surface Activity and Body Temperature of Eastern Hognose Snakes (Heterodon platirhinos) at Cape Cod National Seashore, Massachusetts USA. Journal of Herpetology.

Ivany, L C, W P Patterson, and K C Lohmann. 2000. “Cooler Winters as a Possible Cause of Mass Extinctions at the Eocene/Oligocene Boundary.” Nature 407 (6806): 887–90.

Lima, S. L. (1995). Back to the basics of anti-predatory vigilance: the group-size effect. Animal Behaviour, 49(1), 11-20.

Losos, Jonathan B., P.Le Fras N. Mouton, Ryan Bickel, Ian Cornelius, and Lanral Ruddock. 2002. “The Effect of Body Armature on Escape Behaviour in Cordylid Lizards.” Animal Behaviour 64 (2): 313–21.

Mouton, P., Flemming, A. F., & Kanga, E. M. (1999). Grouping behaviour, tail-biting behaviour and sexual dimorphism in the armadillo lizard (Cordylus cataphractus) from South Africa. Journal of Zoology, 249(1), 1-10.

Nijman, Vincent, and Chris R Shepherd. 2015. “TRAFFIC Report: Adding up the Numbers : An Investigation into Commercial Breeding of Tokay Gecko in Indonesia.” Petaling Jaya, Selangor, Malaysia. OPEN ACCESS

Stanley, Edward L.; Aaron M. Bauer; Todd R. Jackman, William R. Branch, P. Le Fras N. Mouton 2011. Between a rock and a hard polytomy: rapid radiation in the rupicolous girdled lizard (Squamata: Cordylidae). Molecular Phylogenetics and Evolution, 58(1): 53-70.

Truter, Johannes Christoff, Johannes Hendrik VanWyk, and Pieter le Fras Nortier Mouton. 2014. “An Evaluation of Daily, Seasonal and Population-Level Variation in the Thermal Preference of a Group-Living Lizard, Ouroborus Cataphractus (Sauria: Cordylidae).” Amphibia-Reptilia 35 (4): 391–403.

Zachos, J., Mark Pagani, Lisa Sloan, Ellen Thomas, and Katharina Billups. 2001. “Trends, Rhythms, and Aberrations in Global Climate 65 Ma to Present.” Science 292 (5517): 686–93.

Other links and mentions:

iHerp magazine -

Music – Treehouse by Ed Nelson

September 5, 2017

009 The Golden Mantella


The Golden Mantella frog is the subject of this fortnights episode. Starting with a little bit about how they live in the wilds of Madagascar; followed by the larger portion of the podcast looking at a couple of the studies that have come out of the captive breeding initiatives. Species of the Bi-week returns, and features a couple of newly described frogs from Papua New Guinea. FULL REFERENCE LIST AVAILABLE AT:


Main Paper References:

Passos, Luiza Figueiredo, Gerardo Garcia, and Robert John Young. 2017. “The Tonic Immobility Test: Do Wild and Captive Golden Mantella Frogs (Mantella Aurantiaca) Have the Same Response ?” PLoS ONE 12 (7): e0181972. OPEN ACCESS

Passos, Luiza Figueiredo, Gerardo Garcia, and Robert John Young. 2017. “Neglecting the Call of the Wild : Captive Frogs like the Sound of Their Own Voice.” PLoS ONE 12 (7): 1–11. OPEN ACCESS

Woodhead, C., Vences, M., Vieites, D.R., Gamboni, I., Fisher, B.L. and Griffiths, R.A., 2007. “Specialist or generalist? Feeding ecology of the Malagasy poison frog Mantella aurantiaca.” The Herpetological Journal 17 (4): 225-236.

Species of the Bi-Week:

Günther, Rainer, and Stephen Richards. 2016. “Description of Two New Species of the Microhylid Frog Genus Oreophryne (Amphibia: Anura: Microhylidae) from Southern Papua New Guinea.” Vertebrate Zoology 66 (2): 157–68. OPEN ACCESS

Other Mentioned Papers/Studies:

Bee, M.A., Perrill, S.A. and Owen, P.C. 1999. “Size assessment in simulated territorial encounters between male green frogs (Rana clamitans).” Behavioral Ecology and Sociobiology 45 (3-4): 177-184.

Biju, S.D., and Franky Bossuyt. 2003. “New Frog Family from India Reveals an Ancient Biogeographical Link with the Seychelles.” Nature 425 (2001): 711–14.

Bossuyt, Franky, and Kim Roelants. 2009. “Frogs and Toads (Anura).” In The Timetree of Life, edited by S. Blair Hedges and Sudhir Kumar, 357–64. Oxford: Oxford University Press.

Burghardt, Gordon M. 2013. “Environmental Enrichment and Cognitive Complexity in Reptiles and Amphibians: Concepts, Review, and Implications for Captive Populations.” Applied Animal Behaviour Science 147 (3–4): 286–98.

Gerhardt, H. C., and J. Rheinlaender. 1980. “Accuracy of Sound Localization in a Miniature Dendrobatid Frog.” Naturwissenschaften 67 (7): 362–63.

Günther, Rainer, Stephen J. Richards, David Bickford, and Gregory R. Johnston. 2012. “A New Egg-Guarding Species of Oreophryne (Amphibia, Anura, Microhylidae) from Southern Papua New Guinea.” Zoosystematics and Evolution 88 (2): 223–30.

Heying, Heather. 2001. “Mantella Laevigata (Climbing Mantella). Aborted Predation.” Herpetological Review 32 (1): 34–34. OPEN ACCESS

Janani, S. Jegath, Karthikeyan Vasudevan, Elizabeth Prendini, Sushil Kumar Dutta, and Ramesh K. Aggarwal. 2017. “A New Species of the Genus Nasikabatrachus (Anura, Nasikabatrachidae) from the Eastern Slopes of the Western Ghats, India.” Alytes 34 (1–4): 1–19. OPEN ACCESS

Johnson, J.A. and Brodie Jr, E.D. 1975. “The selective advantage of the defensive posture of the newt, Taricha granulosa.” American Midland Naturalist:.139-148. OPEN ACCESS

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