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We back for another invertebrate versus amphibian episode. But this time we’re focusing on carabid beetles and their relentless consumption all amphibian life. They have managed to turn the tables on their would be predator in a remarkable case of role-reversal. Species of the Bi-week is a beautiful frog with a fittingly macabre name. FULL REFERENCE LIST AVAILABLE AT: herphighlights.podbean.com

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Main Paper References:

Wizen, G., and A. Gasith. 2011. “Predation of amphibians by carabid beetles of the genus Epomis found in the central coastal plain of Israel.” Zookeys 100: 181–191.

Wizen, G., and A. Gasith. 2011. “An unprecedented role reversal: Ground beetle larvae (Coleoptera: Carabidae) lure amphibians and prey upon them.” PLoS One 6: 1–6.

Species of the Bi-Week:

Dias, I. R., C. F. B. Haddad, A. J. S. Argôlo, and V. G. D. Orrico. 2017. “The 100th: An appealing new species of Dendropsophus (Amphibia: Anura: Hylidae) from northeastern Brazil R. Castiglia.” PLoS One 12: e0171678.

Other Mentioned Papers/Studies:

Barkai A, McQuaid C (1988) Predator–prey role reversal in marine benthic ecosystems. Science 242: 62–64.

Beckmann, C, and R Shine. 2011. “Toad’s Tongue for Breakfast: Exploitation of a Novel Prey Type, the Invasive Cane Toad, by Scavenging Raptors in Tropical Australia.” Biological Invasions 13 (6): 1447–55.

Brodie Jr., ED. 1977. “Hedgehogs Use Toad Venom in Their Own Defence.” Nature 268 (5621): 627–28.

Choh, Y., Takabayashi, J., Sabelis, M. W., & Janssen, A. (2014). Witnessing predation can affect strength of counterattack in phytoseiids with ontogenetic predator–prey role reversal. Animal Behaviour, 93, 9-13.

Escoriza, D., L. Mestre, G. Pascual, and J. Buse. 2017. “First case of attack of an adult Bufo spinosus Daudin, 1803 by a carabid beetle larva of Epomis circumscriptus (Duftschmid, 1812).” Bol. Asoc. Herpetol. Esp. 28: 2006–2008.

Petschenka, G, S Fandrich, N Sander, V Wagschal, M Boppré, and S Dobler. 2013. “Stepwise Evolution of Resistance to Toxic Cardenolides via Genetic Substitutions in the Na+/K+-ATPase of Milkweed Butterflies (Lepidoptera: Danaini).” Evolution 67 (9): 2753–61.

Scudder, GGE, and J Meredith. 1982. “The Permeability of the Midgut of Three Insects to Cardiac Glycosides.” Journal of Insect Physiology 28 (8): 689–94.

Ujvari, B, NR Casewell, K Sunagar, K Arbuckle, W Wüster, N Lo, D O’Meally, et al. 2015. “Widespread Convergence in Toxin Resistance by Predictable Molecular Evolution.” Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences 112 (38): 11911–11916.

Wilson, NJ, AN Stokes, GR Hopkins, ED Brodie, Jr., and CR Williams. 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): 939–45.

Voyles, J, DC Woodhams, V Saenz, AQ Byrne, R Perez, G Rios-sotelo, MJ Ryan, et al. 2018. “Shifts in Disease Dynamics in a Tropical Amphibian Assemblage Are Not due to Pathogen Attenuation.” Science 359: 1517–19.

Other Links/Mentions:

Epomis circumscriptus attacking and preying upon Bufo viridis – http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wFJ_CXJ0qPo

Epomis circumscriptus attacking and preying upon Hyla savignyi – http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RMkFb5n97cU

Trophic interactions between Epomis adults and Triturus vittatus –  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JA46dbEpluI

Videos from Wizen and Gasith 2011 PLoS One  – http://journals.plos.org/plosone/article?id=10.1371/journal.pone.0025161

Photos from paper two: http://www.tau.ac.il/lifesci/departments/zoology/Amphibia/new.html

Rats vs toads: https://www.facebook.com/groups/ukargs/permalink/2092225931007478/

Music:

Intro/outro – Treehouse by Ed Nelson

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

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This bi-week we decided to do things a little differently. No main theme, we just read random stuff and chatted about it. Featuring some exciting new developments in the crab vs snake continuum, and some methodological issues to keep an eye on. Huge thank you to our Patreons - if you enjoy the podcast please consider donating at www.patreon.com/herphighlights

FULL REFERENCE LIST AVAILABLE AT: herphighlights.podbean.com

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References:

Akçakaya, H. Resit, Elizabeth L. Bennett, Thomas M. Brooks, Molly K. Grace, Anna Heath, Simon Hedges, Craig Hilton-Taylor, et al. 2018. “Quantifying Species Recovery and Conservation Success to Develop an IUCN Green List of Species.” Conservation Biology, 1–15.

Alexander, G. J. Reproductive biology and maternal care of neonates in southern African python (Python natalensis). Journal of Zoology. IN PRESS

Dolia, Jignasu. 2018. “Notes on the Distribution and Natural History of the King Cobra (Ophiophagus Hannah Cantor, 1836) from the Kumaon Hills of Uttarakhand, India.” Herpetology Notes 11:217–22.

Fraser, Hannah, Timothy H. Parker, Shinichi Nakagawa, Ashley Barnett, and Fiona Fidler. 2018. “Questionable Research Practices in Ecology and Evolution.” Pre-Print. https://doi.org/10.17605/OSF.IO/AJYQG.

Garnett, S. T., & Christidis, L. (2017). Taxonomy anarchy hampers conservation. Nature News, 546(7656), 25.

Jayne, B. C., Voris, H. K., & Ng, P. K. (2018). How big is too big? Using crustacean-eating snakes (Homalopsidae) to test how anatomy and behaviour affect prey size and feeding performance. Biological Journal of the Linnean Society, 123(3), 636-650.

Loss, Scott R., and Peter P. Marra. 2018. “Merchants of Doubt in the Free-Ranging Cat Conflict.” Conservation Biology 32 (2):265–66.

Thomson, Scott A., Richard L. Pyle, Shane T. Ahyong, Miguel Alonso-Zarazaga, Joe Ammirati, Juan Francisco Araya, John S. Ascher, et al. 2018. “Taxonomy Based on Science Is Necessary for Global Conservation.” PLOS Biology 16 (3):e2005075.

Other Links/Mentions:

Video of Pareas carinatus eating a snail - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gcis86ZSwhE

Supplementary material from Alexander 2018 (including videos of baby pythons): https://zslpublications.onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/abs/10.1111/jzo.12554

Music:

Intro/outro – Treehouse by Ed Nelson

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

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We kick off this episode with the announcement of our move onto Patreon: https://www.patreon.com/herphighlights . Research chat this time is all British snakes. We may not have the most extensive array of snake-life in the Britain, but that doesn't mean that there can’t be some exciting herpetofaunal research. This fortnight we are looking at a couple of papers on smooth and grass snakes. And a slight change to the Species of the Bi-week. FULL REFERENCE LIST AVAILABLE AT: herphighlights.podbean.com

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Main Paper References:

Reading, C, and G Jofré. 2013. “Diet Composition Changes Correlated with Body Size in the Smooth Snake, Coronella Austriaca, Inhabiting Lowland Heath in Southern England.” Amphibia-Reptilia 34 (4): 463–70.

Sewell, D, JMR Baker, and RA Griffiths. 2015. “Population Dynamics of Grass Snakes (Natrix natrix) at a Site Restored for Amphibian Reintroduction.” Herpetological Journal 25 (July): 155–61.

Species of the Bi-Week:

Kindler, C, M Chèvre, S Ursenbacher, W Böhme, A Hille, D Jablonski, M Vamberger, and U Fritz. 2017. “Hybridization Patterns in Two Contact Zones of Grass Snakes Reveal a New Central European Snake Species.” Scientific Reports 7 (1): 1–12.

Other Mentioned Papers/Studies:

Buckley, J, and J Foster. 2005. “Reintroduction Strategy for the Pool Frog Rana Lessonae in England.” English Nature Research Report.

Glaudas, X, and GJ Alexander, 2017. “Food supplementation affects the foraging ecology of a low-energy, ambush-foraging snake.” Behavioral ecology and sociobiology, 71(1), 5.

Glaudas, X, TC Kearney, and GJ Alexander. 2017. “Museum specimens bias measures of snake diet: a case study using the ambush-foraging puff adder (Bitis arietans).” Herpetologica, 73(2), 121-128.

Madsen, T. 1984. “Movements, Home Range Size and Habitat Use of Radio-Tracked Grass Snakes (Natrix Natrix) in Southern Sweden.” Copeia 1984 (3): 707–13.

Reading, CJ, and GM Jofré. 2009. “Habitat Selection and Range Size of Grass Snakes Natrix natrix in an Agricultural Landscape in Southern England.” Amphibia-Reptilia 30 (3): 379–88.

Wasko, DK, and M Sasa. 2012. “Food Resources Influence Spatial Ecology, Habitat Selection, and Foraging Behavior in an Ambush-Hunting Snake (Viperidae: Bothrops Asper): An Experimental Study.” Zoology 115 (3): 179–87.

Wisler, C, U Hofer, and R Arlettaz. 2008. “Snakes and Monocultures: Habitat Selection and Movements of Female Grass Snakes (Natrix natrix l.) in an Agricultural Landscape.” Journal of Herpetology 42 (2): 337–46.

Thomson, SA, RL Pyle, ST Ahyong, M Alonso-Zarazaga, J Ammirati, JF Araya, JS Ascher, et al. 2018. “Taxonomy Based on Science Is Necessary for Global Conservation.” PLOS Biology 16 (3): e2005075.

Other Links/Mentions:

The grass snake and the frog video - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4Sa_G9Hhf3o

Music:

Intro/outro – Treehouse by Ed Nelson

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

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Unsurprisingly, water snakes love water. But what happens when this precious resource dries out? This week we discuss the effects of drought on various American water snakes, and pay homage to a newly described Mesoamerican snake. FULL REFERENCE LIST AVAILABLE AT: herphighlights.podbean.com

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Main Paper References:

Rose, JP, and BD Todd. 2017. “Demographic Effects of Prolonged Drought on a Nascent Introduction of a Semi-Aquatic Snake.” Biological Invasions 19 (10): 2885–98. doi:10.1007/s10530-017-1491-4.

Vogrinc, PN, AM Durso, CT Winne, and JD Willson. 2018. “Landscape-Scale Effects of Supra-Seasonal Drought on Semi-Aquatic Snake Assemblages.” Wetlands.

Species of the Bi-Week:

Campbell, JA. 2015. “A New Species of Rhadinella (Serpentes: Colubridae) from the Pacific Versant of Oaxaca, Mexico.” Zootaxa 3918 (3): 397.

Other Mentioned Papers/Studies:

Brown, GP, and PJ Weatherhead. 1999. “Growth and Sexual Size Dimorphism in Northern Water Snakes (Nerodia Sipedon).” Copeia 1999 (3): 723.

Fernández, M., Hamilton, H., Alvarez, O., & Guo, Q. (2012). Does adding multi-scale climatic variability improve our capacity to explain niche transferability in invasive species?. Ecological modelling, 246, 60-67.

Fuller, TE, KL Pope, DT Ashton, and HH Welsh. 2011. “Linking the Distribution of an Invasive Amphibian (Rana Catesbeiana) to Habitat Conditions in a Managed River System in Northern California.” Restoration Ecology 19 (201): 204–13.

King, RB, JM Ray, and KM Stanford. 2006. “Gorging on Gobies: Beneficial Effects of Alien Prey on a Threatened Vertebrate.” Canadian Journal of Zoology 84 (1): 108–15.

Mahoney, P. J. et al. (2015) ‘Introduction effort, climate matching and species traits as predictors of global establishment success in non-native reptiles’, Diversity and Distributions, 21(1), pp. 64–74.

Mazzotti, F. J., Cherkiss, M. S., Hart, K. M., Snow, R. W., Rochford, M. R., Dorcas, M. E., & Reed, R. N. (2011). Cold-induced mortality of invasive Burmese pythons in south Florida. Biological Invasions, 13(1), 143-151.

McClelland, P, JT Reardon, F Kraus, CJ Raxworthy, and C Randrianantoandro. 2015. “Asian Toad Eradication Feasibility Report for Madagascar.” Te Anau, New Zealand.

Pounds, JA, MPL Fogden, and JH Campbell. 1999. “Biological Response to Climate Change on a Tropical Mountain.” Nature 398 (6728): 611–15.

Rose, JP, and BD Todd. 2014. “Projecting Invasion Risk of Non-Native Watersnakes (Nerodia Fasciata and Nerodia Sipedon) in the Western United States.” Edited by Benedikt R. Schmidt. PLoS ONE 9 (6): e100277.

Music:

Intro/outro – Treehouse by Ed Nelson

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

February 20, 2018

021 Frugivorous Monitors

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Monitor lizards are renowned savengers... or so is widely thought. There are a few species that have cast aside the scavenger ways of their compatriots, opting for more relaxed arboreal lifestyles, spending their days high in the tree tops foraging for fruit. These frugivorous monitor lizards are are joined by a serpentine Species of the Bi-week. FULL REFERENCE LIST AVAILABLE AT: herphighlights.podbean.com

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Main Paper References:

Bennett, D. 2014. “The Arboreal Foraging Behavior of the Frugivorous Monitor Lizard Varanus Olivaceus on Polillo Island.” Biawak 8 (1): 15–18.

Law, SJ, SR De Kort, D Bennett, and M Van Weerd. 2016. “Morphology, Activity Area, and Movement Patterns of the Frugivorous Monitor Lizard Varanus Bitatawa.” Herpetological Conservation and Biology 11 (3): 467–75.

Species of the Bi-Week:

Brown, RM, U Smart, AE Leviton, and EN Smith. 2018. “A New Species of Long-Glanded Coralsnake of the Genus Calliophis (Squamata: Elapidae) from Dinagat Island, with Notes on the Biogeography and Species Diversity of Philippine Calliophis and Hemibungarus.” Herpetologica 74 (1): 89–104.

Other Mentioned Papers/Studies:

Bennett, D. 2014. “A Dubious Account of Breeding Varanus Olivaceus in Captivity at the Paradise Reptile Zoo in Mindoro, Philippines.” Biawak 8 (1): 12–14.

Bennett, D, and T Clements. 2014. “The Use of Passive Infrared Camera Trapping Systems in the Study of Frugivorous Monitor Lizards.” Biawak 8 (1): 19–30.

Gunawardena, S. A. 2016. “Forensic Significance of Monitor Lizard Scavenging Activity on Human Corpses.” Biawak 10 (2): 45-47.

Koch, A., and E. Arida. 2017. “A coconut-eating monitor lizard? On an unusual case of frugivory in the melanistic Sulawesi water monitor (Varanus togianus).” Herpetological Bulletin 139: 41.

Sugiura, S, and T Sato. 2018. “Successful Escape of Bombardier Beetles from Predator Digestive Systems.” Biology Letters 14 (2): 20170647.

Sy, E. Y. 2012. “First record of Varanus bitatawa in the Philippine pet trade.” Biawak 6 (2): 73.

Other Links/Mentions:

Smallest monitor lizard article/video: http://www.australiangeographic.com.au/blogs/creatura-blog/2015/05/australian-lizard-the-worlds-smallest-monitor

Music:

Intro/outro – Treehouse by Ed Nelson

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

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