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This fortnight we are delving into the peculiar world of caecilians. Fossorial amphibians that seldom show their faces on the surface. We chat about caecilians' strange adaptations and how a ten-year study has shed some light on their reproductive habits. The Species of the Bi-week is a suitably elongated and slimy critter. FULL REFERENCE LIST AVAILABLE AT: herphighlights.podbean.com

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Main Paper References:

Jared, C., Mailho-Fontana, P. L., Jared, S. G. S., Kupfer, A., Delabie, J. H. C., Wilkinson, M., & Antoniazzi, M. M. (2018). Life history and reproduction of the neotropical caecilian Siphonops annulatus (Amphibia, Gymnophiona, Siphonopidae), with special emphasis on parental care. Acta Zoologica, (March), 1–11. https://doi.org/10.1111/azo.12254

Jared, C., Mailho-Fontana, P. L., Marques-Porto, R., Sciani, J. M., Pimenta, D. C., Brodie, E. D., & Antoniazzi, M. M. (2018). Skin gland concentrations adapted to different evolutionary pressures in the head and posterior regions of the caecilian Siphonops annulatus. Scientific Reports, 8(1), 1–7. https://doi.org/10.1038/s41598-018-22005-5

Species of the Bi-Week:

Maddock, S. T., Wilkinson, M., & Gower, D. J. (2018). A new species of small, long-snouted Hypogeophis Peters, 1880 (Amphibia: Gymnophiona: Indotyphlidae) from the highest elevations of the Seychelles island of Mahé. Zootaxa, 4450(3), 359–375. https://doi.org/10.11646/zootaxa.4450.3.3

Other Mentioned Papers/Studies:

Jared, C. et al. (2005). Head co-ossification, phragmosis and defense in the casque-headed tree frog Corythomantis greeningi. Journal of Zoology, 265.

Sawaya, P. (1940) Sobre o veneno das glândulas cutâneas, a secreção e o coração de Siphonops annulatus. Bot. Fac. Fill. Ci. Let. Univ. São Paulo. Ser. Zool. 4, 207–270

Wilkinson, M., Kupfer, A., Marques-Porto, R., Jeffkins, H., Antoniazzi, M. M., & Jared, C. (2008). One hundred million years of skin feeding? Extended parental care in a Neotropical caecilian (Amphibia: Gymnophiona). Biology Letters, 4(4), 358–361. https://doi.org/10.1098/rsbl.2008.0217

Wilson, N. J., Stokes, A. N., Hopkins, G. R., Brodie, Jr., E. D., & Williams, C. R. (2014). Functional and physiological resistance of crayfish to amphibian toxins: tetrodotoxin resistance in the white river crayfish (Procambarus acutus). Canadian Journal of Zoology, 92(11), 939–945. https://doi.org/10.1139/cjz-2014-0128

Other Links/Mentions:

BBC Life in Cold Blood - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UCF4qmxdkkM

Video of caecilian babies eating the skin of their mother: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6K6szXrBHwM

Music:

Intro/outro – Treehouse by Ed Nelson

Other Music – The Passion HiFi, www.thepassionhifi.com

September 4, 2018

034 Hybrid Pythons

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The News Niche has come again. This episode we talk about invasive python genetics (just what are they?) and new conservation tools, with a Species of the Bi-Week that features not one but two new cobras. FULL REFERENCE LIST AVAILABLE AT: herphighlights.podbean.com

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Main Paper References:

Gumbs, R., Gray, C. L., Wearn, O. R., & Owen, N. R. (2018). Tetrapods on the EDGE: Overcoming data limitations to identify phylogenetic conservation priorities. PloS one, 13(4), e0194680.

Hunter, M. E., Johnson, N. A., Smith, B. J., Davis, M. C., Butterfield, J. S., Snow, R. W., & Hart, K. M. (2018). Cytonuclear discordance in the Florida Everglades invasive Burmese python (Python bivittatus) population reveals possible hybridization with the Indian python (P. molurus). Ecology and Evolution.

Species of the Bi-Week: WÜSTER, W., Chirio, L., Trape, J. F., Ineich, I., Jackson, K., Greenbaum, E., ... & Hall, C. (2018). Integration of nuclear and mitochondrial gene sequences and morphology reveals unexpected diversity in the forest cobra (Naja melanoleuca) species complex in Central and West Africa (Serpentes: Elapidae). Zootaxa, 4455(1), 68-98.

Other mentioned papers:

Hart, K. M., Cherkiss, M. S., Smith, B. J., Mazzotti, F. J., Fujisaki, I., Snow, R. W., & Dorcas, M. E. (2015). Home range, habitat use, and movement patterns of non-native Burmese pythons in Everglades National Park, Florida, USA. Animal Biotelemetry, 3(1), 8.

Hunter, M. E., Oyler-McCance, S. J., Dorazio, R. M., Fike, J. A., Smith, B. J., Hunter, C. T., ... & Hart, K. M. (2015). Environmental DNA (eDNA) sampling improves occurrence and detection estimates of invasive Burmese pythons. PloS one, 10(4), e0121655.

Hyslop, N. L., Meyers, J. M., Cooper, R. J., & Stevenson, D. J. (2014). Effects of body size and sex of Drymarchon couperi (eastern indigo snake) on habitat use, movements, and home range size in Georgia. The Journal of Wildlife Management, 78(1), 101-111.

Lynch, V. J., & Wagner, G. P. (2010). Did egg‐laying boas break Dollo's law? Phylogenetic evidence for reversal to oviparity in sand boas (Eryx: Boidae). Evolution: International Journal of Organic Evolution, 64(1), 207-216.

Pyron, R. A., & Burbrink, F. T. (2014). Early origin of viviparity and multiple reversions to oviparity in squamate reptiles. Ecology letters, 17(1), 13-21.

Shine, R. (2015). The evolution of oviparity in squamate reptiles: an adaptationist perspective. Journal of Experimental Zoology Part B: Molecular and Developmental Evolution, 324(6), 487-492.

Wang, Y., & Evans, S. E. (2011). A gravid lizard from the Cretaceous of China and the early history of squamate viviparity. Naturwissenschaften, 98(9), 739.

Zhu, F., Liu, Q., Che, J., Zhang, L., Chen, X., Yan, F., ... & Guo, P. (2016). Molecular phylogeography of white‐lipped tree viper (Trimeresurus; Viperidae). Zoologica Scripta, 45(3), 252-262.

Other links:

Captive and field Herpetology Issue 2: http://captiveandfieldherpetology.com/volume-2-issue-1-2018/

A Naturalist’s Guide to the Dangerous Creatures of Australia: https://www.nhbs.com/a-naturalists-guide-to-the-dangerous-creatures-of-australia-book

Music:

Intro/outro – Treehouse by Ed Nelson

Other Music – The Passion HiFi, www.thepassionhifi.com

August 21, 2018

033 Lost in Translocation

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Translocation is a popular method for reducing human-wildlife conflict, but does it work for snakes? We delve into a couple of new papers about translocation in venomous species. Our Species of the Bi-week is a viper with an unusual appetite. FULL REFERENCE LIST AVAILABLE AT: herphighlights.podbean.com

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Main paper references:

Devan-Song, A., Martelli, P., Dudgeon, D., Crow, P., Ades, G., & Karraker, N. E. (2016). Is long-distance translocation an effective mitigation tool for white-lipped pit vipers (Trimeresurus albolabris) in South China?. Biological Conservation, 204, 212-220.

Wolfe, A. K., Fleming, P. A., & Bateman, P. W. (2018). Impacts of translocation on a large urban-adapted venomous snake. Wildlife Research.

Species of the Bi-Week: Shi, J., G. Wang, X. Chen, Y. Fang, L. Ding, S. Huang, M. Hou, J. Liu, and P. Li. 2017. A new moth-preying alpine pit viper species from Qinghai-Tibetan Plateau (Viperidae, Crotalinae). Amphib. Reptil. 38: 517–532.

Other mentioned papers:

Barve, S., Bhaisare, D., & Giri, A. (2013). A preliminary study on translocation of “rescued” King Cobras (Ophiophagus hannah). Hamadryad, 36, 80-86.

Butler, H., Malone, B., & Clemann, N. (2005). The effects of translocation on the spatial ecology of tiger snakes (Notechis scutatus) in a suburban landscape. Wildlife Research, 32(2), 165-171.

Hart, K. M., Cherkiss, M. S., Smith, B. J., Mazzotti, F. J., Fujisaki, I., Snow, R. W., & Dorcas, M. E. (2015). Home range, habitat use, and movement patterns of non-native Burmese pythons in Everglades National Park, Florida, USA. Animal Biotelemetry, 3(1), 8.

Heiken, K. H., Brusch, G. A., Gartland, S., Escallón, C., Moore, I. T., and Taylor, E. N. (2016). Effects of long distance translocation on corticosterone and testosterone levels in male rattlesnakes. General and Comparative Endocrinology 237, 27–33. doi:10.1016/j.ygcen.
2016.07.023

Tulloch, A. I., Auerbach, N., Avery-Gomm, S., Bayraktarov, E., Butt, N., Dickman, C. R., ... & Lavery, T. H. (2018). A decision tree for assessing the risks and benefits of publishing biodiversity data. Nature ecology & evolution, 2(8), 1209-1217.

Zhu, F., Liu, Q., Che, J., Zhang, L., Chen, X., Yan, F., ... & Guo, P. (2016). Molecular phylogeography of white‐lipped tree viper (Trimeresurus; Viperidae). Zoologica Scripta, 45(3), 252-262.

Music:

Intro/outro – Treehouse by Ed Nelson

Other Music – The Passion HiFi, www.thepassionhifi.com

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Frogs come in loads of crazy colours - but the reasons why can be quite complicated. We try to get to grips with some fascinating new research which suggests frogs can be both cryptic and shockingly obvious. Of course we have an amphibian Species of the Bi-Week. FULL REFERENCE LIST AVAILABLE AT: herphighlights.podbean.com

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Main Paper References:

Barnett, JB, C Michalis, NE Scott-Samuel, and IC Cuthill. 2018. “Distance-Dependent Defensive Coloration in the Poison Frog Dendrobates Tinctorius , Dendrobatidae.” Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 201800826.

Lawrence, JP, M Mahony, and BP Noonan. 2018. “Differential Responses of Avian and Mammalian Predators to Phenotypic Variation in Australian Brood Frogs.” PLoS ONE 13 (4): 1–8.

Species of the Bi-Week:

Munir, M, A Hamidy, A Farajallah, and EN Smith. 2018. “A New Megophrys Kuhl and Van Hasselt (Amphibia: Megophryidae) from Southwestern Sumatra, Indonesia.” Zootaxa 4442 (3): 389.

Other Mentioned Papers/Studies:

Beckmann, Christa, and Richard Shine. 2012. “Do Drivers Intentionally Target Wildlife on Roads?” Austral Ecology 37 (5):629–32.

Maan, M. E., & Cummings, M. E. (2009). Sexual dimorphism and directional sexual selection on aposematic signals in a poison frog. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 106(45), 19072-19077.

Phillips, Ben, and Richard Shine. 2007. “When Dinner Is Dangerous: Toxic Frogs Elicit Species-Specific Responses from a Generalist Snake Predator.” The American Naturalist 170 (6):936–42.

Valkonen, J. K., Mäkelä, A., Mappes, J., & López‐Sepulcre, A. (In Press). Evaluating the potential for evolutionary mismatch in Batesian mimics: a case study in the endangered Smooth Snake (Coronella austriaca). Evolutionary Applications.

Wüster, W., C. S. E. Allum, I. B. Bjargardottir, K. L. Bailey, K. J. Dawson, J. Guenioui, J. Lewis, et al. 2004. “Do Aposematism and Batesian Mimicry Require Bright Colours? A Test, Using European Viper Markings.” Proceedings of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences 271 (1556):2495–99.

Xing, L., Caldwell, M. W., Chen, R., Nydam, R. L., Palci, A., Simões, T. R., ... & Wang, K. (2018). A mid-Cretaceous embryonic-to-neonate snake in amber from Myanmar. Science Advances, 4(7), eaat5042.

Other Links/Mentions:

BBC coverage of snake in amber – https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/science-environment-44872148

Blog of snake in amber - https://natureecoevocommunity.nature.com/users/87830-tiago-r-simoes/posts/36712-a-new-chapter-on-early-snake-evolution-the-tale-of-the-snake-in-amber

Music:

Intro/outro – Treehouse by Ed Nelson

Other Music – The Passion HiFi, www.thepassionhifi.com

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Another News Niche episode! We talk about all sorts of things this fortnight: Anolis rebuttals, tortoise criminality, mollusc munching snakes and a little about the snakebite crisis. Naturally the Species of the Bi-week is not neglected, with this week hosting more species than you can snake a slug at. FULL REFERENCE LIST AVAILABLE AT: herphighlights.podbean.com

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Main Paper References:

Bush, JM, and D Simberloff. 2018. “A Case for Anole Territoriality.” Behavioral Ecology and Sociobiology 72 (7): 111.

Kamath, A, and J Losos. 2018. “Reconsidering Territoriality Is Necessary for Understanding Anolis Mating Systems.” Behavioral Ecology and Sociobiology 72 (7): 106.

Golubović, A., Arsovski, D., Tomović, L., & Bonnet, X. (2018). Is sexual brutality maladaptive under high population density?. Biological Journal of the Linnean Society, 124(3), 394-402.

Stamps, JA. 2018. “Polygynandrous Anoles and the Myth of the Passive Female.” Behavioral Ecology and Sociobiology 72 (7): 107.

Yañez-Arenas, C, AT Peterson, P Mokondoko, O Rojas-Soto, and E Martínez-Meyer. 2014. “The Use of Ecological Niche Modeling to Infer Potential Risk Areas of Snakebite in the Mexican State of Veracruz.” PLoS ONE 9 (6).

Species of the Bi-Week:

Arteaga, A, D Salazar-Valenzuela, K Mebert, N Peñafiel, G Aguiar, JC Sánchez-Nivicela, RA Pyron, et al. 2018. “Systematics of South American Snail-Eating Snakes (Serpentes, Dipsadini), with the Description of Five New Species from Ecuador and Peru.” ZooKeys 766: 79–147.

Other Mentioned Papers/Studies:

Hoso, M, Y Kameda, S-P Wu, T Asami, M Kato, and M Hori. 2010. “A Speciation Gene for Left–Right Reversal in Snails Results in Anti-Predator Adaptation.” Nature Communications 1 (9): 133.

Hutter, C. R., Lambert, S. M., Andriampenomanana, Z. F., Glaw, F., & Vences, M. (2018). Molecular phylogeny and diversification of Malagasy bright-eyed tree frogs (Mantellidae: Boophis). Molecular phylogenetics and evolution.

Kamath, A, and J Losos. 2017. “The Erratic and Contingent Progression of Research on Territoriality: A Case Study.” Behavioral Ecology and Sociobiology 71 (6): 1–13.

Kamath, A, and JB Losos. 2018. “Estimating Encounter Rates as the First Step of Sexual Selection in the Lizard Anolis Sagrei.” Proceedings of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences 285 (1873): 20172244.

Le Galliard, J. F., Fitze, P. S., Ferrière, R., & Clobert, J. (2005). Sex ratio bias, male aggression, and population collapse in lizards. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 102(50), 18231-18236.

Sazima, I. (1989). Feeding behavior of the snail-eating snake, Dipsas indica. Journal of Herpetology, 23(4), 464-468.

Other Links/Mentions:

IUCN Redlist: http://www.iucnredlist.org

Rainforest trust: https://www.rainforesttrust.org

Music:

Intro/outro – Treehouse by Ed Nelson

Other Music – The Passion HiFi, www.thepassionhifi.com

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