Like many a fossorial snake, Sand Boas hold many surprises; this episode we explore some of those. First, an investigation into Dollo’s “Law”, then a couple of natural history notes providing some insight into Sand Boa diets. FULL REFERENCE LIST AVAILABLE AT: herphighlights.podbean.com

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Main Paper References:

Lobo, J. V., & Streepada, K. S. (2015). First report on Whitaker’s boa Eryx whitakeri feeding on common vine snake. Reptile Rap, 17.

Londei, T. (2015). Arabian sand boa Eryx jayakari (Squamata: Boidae) preying on Arabian toad-headed agama Phrynocephalus arabicus (Squamata: Agamidae): A nocturnal-to-diurnal species interaction. Herpetology Notes, 8, 155–15.

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, 64(1), 207–216. doi: 10.1111/j.1558-5646.2009.00790.x

Species of the Bi-Week:

Nguyen, H. N., Tran, B. V., Nguyen, L. H., Neang, T., Yushchenko, P. V., & Poyarkov, N. A. (2020). A new species of Oligodon Fitzinger, 1826 from the Langbian Plateau, southern Vietnam, with additional information on Oligodon annamensis Leviton, 1953 (Squamata: Colubridae). PeerJ, 8, e8332. doi: 10.7717/peerj.8332

Other Mentioned Papers/Studies:

Laird, M. K., Thompson, M. B., & Whittington, C. M. (2019). Facultative oviparity in a viviparous skink (Saiphos equalis). Biology Letters, 15(4), 20180827. doi: 10.1098/rsbl.2018.0827

Recknagel, H., Kamenos, N. A., & Elmer, K. R. (2018). Common lizards break Dollo’s law of irreversibility: genome-wide phylogenomics support a single origin of viviparity and re-evolution of oviparity. Molecular Phylogenetics and Evolution, 127, 579-588.

Music:

Intro/outro – Treehouse by Ed Nelson

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

In this Patreon special episode we delve into the underground lives of the ultimate oddities - worm lizards. Find out how they go about tackling their invertebrate prey, and hear about a brand new species.

FULL REFERENCE LIST AVAILABLE AT: herphighlights.podbean.com

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Main Paper References:

Baeckens, S., García‐Roa, R., Martín, J., Ortega, J., Huyghe, K., & Van Damme, R. (2017). Fossorial and durophagous: implications of molluscivory for head size and bite capacity in a burrowing worm lizard. Journal of Zoology, 301(3), 193-205.

López, P., Martín, J., & Salvador, A. (2013). Flexibility in feeding behaviour may compensate for morphological constraints of fossoriality in the amphisbaenian Blanus cinereus. Amphibia-Reptilia, 34(2), 241-247.

Species of the Bi-Week:

De Almeida, J. P. F. A., De Freitas, M. A., Da Silva, M. B., Valverde, M. C. C., Rodrigues, M. T., Pires, A. M., & Mott, T. (2018). A new four-pored Amphisbaena (Squamata: Amphisbaenidae) from northeastern Brazil. Zootaxa, 4514(4), 553-562.

Other Mentioned Papers/Studies:

Martín, J., Polo-Cavia, N., Gonzalo, A., López, P., & Civantos, E. (2012). Sexual dimorphism in the North African amphisbaenian Trogonophis wiegmanni. Journal of Herpetology, 46(3), 338-341.

Other Links/Mentions:

https://in2scienceuk.org/

Fundraiser for Ciliwung Herpetarium: https://bit.ly/3fJw6vj 

www.herpetofaunaindonesia.org 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4Mronxhn2sU Amphisbaenia alba

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LoyrON_kGKw Amphisbaena fuliginosa

Music:

Intro/outro – Treehouse by Ed Nelson

Species of the Bi-Week theme - Mike Mooney

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

May 22, 2020

069 Freezing Frogs

We’re back and exploring the toughest of frogs; those frogs braving the harsh northern conditions that literally freezes them to the bone. How do they manage this incredible feat? We head south for a Species of the Bi-week because not all frogs are as tough as the Wood Frog. FULL REFERENCE LIST AVAILABLE AT: herphighlights.podbean.com

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Main Paper References:

Costanzo JP. 2019. Overwintering adaptations and extreme freeze tolerance in a subarctic population of the wood frog, Rana sylvatica. Journal of Comparative Physiology B 189:1–15. DOI: 10.1007/s00360-018-1189-7.

Storey KB, Storey JM. 2017. Molecular Physiology of Freeze Tolerance in Vertebrates. Physiological Reviews 97:623–665. DOI: 10.1152/physrev.00016.2016.

Species of the Bi-Week:

Catenazzi A, Ttito A. 2019. Noblella thiuni sp. n., a new (singleton) species of minute terrestrial-breeding frog (Amphibia, Anura, Strabomantidae) from the montane forest of the Amazonian Andes of Puno, Peru. PeerJ 7:e6780. DOI: 10.7717/peerj.6780.

Other Mentioned Papers/Studies:

Ward M, Marshall BM, Hodges C, Montano Y, Artchawakom T, Waengsothorn S, Strine C. 2020. Nonchalant neighbours: Space use and overlap of the critically endangered elongated tortoise. OSF Preprints. DOI: 10.31219/osf.io/t34ax.

Music:

Intro/outro – Treehouse by Ed Nelson

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

We had the good fortune to be joined by herpetologist and author Scott Eipper for this special episode on Hoplocephalus. We also talk about Scott and his wife Tie’s new book on Aussie snakes, and of course we have a Species of the Bi-Week - this one is a robust new sand dweller.

Grab the new book by Scott and Tie Eipper here: https://bit.ly/2WewX0a 

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FULL REFERENCE LIST AVAILABLE AT: herphighlights.podbean.com

Main Paper References:

Shelton, M. B., Goldingay, R. L., & Phillips, S. S. (2018). Population ecology of a cryptic arboreal snake (Hoplocephalus bitorquatus). Australian Journal of Zoology, 65(6), 383-390.

Species of the Bi-Week:

Eskandarzadeh, N. et al. (2020) A new species of Eryx (Serpentes: Erycidae) from Iran. Zootaxa, 4767, 182-192. 

Other Mentioned Papers/Studies:

Mirza, Z. A., Bhosale, H. S., Phansalkar, P. U., Sawant, M., Gowande, G. G., & Patel, H. (2020). A new species of green pit vipers of the genus Trimeresurus Lacépède, 1804 (Reptilia, Serpentes, Viperidae) from western Arunachal Pradesh, India. Zoosystematics and Evolution, 96, 123.

Music:

Intro/outro – Treehouse by Ed Nelson

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

April 14, 2020

067 Flipping Frogs

A selection of papers are discussed in this episode. Starting with a big finding from Central America on the fate of snakes post-frog loss, and ending with a pair of more lighthearted natural history notes. Species of the Bi-week returns with a serpentine ocean dweller. FULL REFERENCE LIST AVAILABLE AT: herphighlights.podbean.com

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Main Paper References:

Anderson, C. V., & Liebl L. A. (2019) MICRURUS ALLENI (Allen’s Coralsnake). DIET. Herpetological Review 50(1), 162-163

Paniagua K. S. & Abarca J. G. (2016). Thanatosis in four poorly known toads of the genus Incilius from the highlands of Costa Rica. Mesoamerican Herpetology 3(1), 135–140.

Zipkin, E. F., DiRenzo, G. V., Ray, J. M., Rossman, S., & Lips, K. R. (2020). Tropical snake diversity collapses after widespread amphibian loss. Science, 367(6479), 814-816.

Species of the Bi-Week:

Nankivell, J. H., Goiran, C., Hourston, M., Shine, R., Rasmussen, A. R., Thomson, V. A., & Sanders, K. L. (2020). A new species of turtle-headed sea Snake (Emydocephalus: Elapidae) endemic to Western Australia. Zootaxa, 4758(1), 141–156. https://doi.org/10.11646/zootaxa.4758.1.6

Other Mentioned Papers/Studies:

Arias-Piedra, E., & Chaves-Cordero, G. A. (2013). Dermophis glandulosus. Predation by Micrurus alleni. Dermophis glandulosus. Depredación por Micrurus alleni. Herpetological Review., 44(4), 657-658.

Fernández, J., Vargas-Vargas, N., Pla, D., Sasa, M., Rey-Suárez, P., Sanz, L., ... & Lomonte, B. (2015). Snake venomics of Micrurus alleni and Micrurus mosquitensis from the Caribbean region of Costa Rica reveals two divergent compositional patterns in New World elapids. Toxicon, 107, 217-233.

Marshall BM, Strine CT. 2020. Make like a glass frog: In support of increased transparency in herpetology. OSF Preprints. DOI: 10.31219/osf.io/74frd.

Montgomery, C. E., Lips, K. R., & Ray, J. M. (2011). Ontogenetic shift in height of sleeping perches of Cope's Vine Snake, Oxybelis brevirostris. The Southwestern Naturalist, 358-362.

Music:

Intro/outro – Treehouse by Ed Nelson

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

Reptiles and amphibians are hard to find, so how can you be sure you haven’t missed any? We explore some reptile detectives, some of which are good boys. The Species of the Bi-Week is coming at you from the rainforests of Sri Lanka.

FULL REFERENCE LIST AVAILABLE AT: herphighlights.podbean.com

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Main Paper References:

Boback, S. M., Nafus, M. G., Yackel Adams, A. A., & Reed, R. N. (2020). Use of visual surveys and radiotelemetry reveals sources of detection bias for a cryptic snake at low densities. Ecosphere, 11(1). https://doi.org/10.1002/ecs2.3000

Jean-Marie, B., Raphael, G., Fabien, R., Aurélien, B., Sébastien, C., Nicolas, B., & Xavier, B. (2019). Excellent performances of dogs to detect cryptic tortoises in Mediterranean scrublands. Biodiversity and Conservation, 28(14), 4027–4045. https://doi.org/10.1007/s10531-019-01863-z

Species of the Bi-Week:

Wickramasinghe, L. J. M., Vidanapathirana, D. R., Pushpamal, V., & Wickramasinghe, N. (2020). A new species of Dryocalamus (Serpentes: Colubridae) endemic to the rainforests of southwestern Sri Lanka. Zootaxa, 4748(2), 248–260. https://doi.org/10.11646/zootaxa.4748.2.2

Other Mentioned Papers/Studies: King cobra preprint: https://www.biorxiv.org/content/10.1101/2020.03.24.006676v1

Egg swallowing bridle snake: https://www.researchgate.net/figure/A-inserting-the-upper-jaw-from-the-punctured-point-of-the-shell-B-C-swallowing-the_fig1_327623312

Music:

Intro/outro – Treehouse by Ed Nelson

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

March 24, 2020

065 Viper X Toad

This episode we take a look at the Gaboon Viper… or is that a toad? Looking at a couple of papers, we check out the characteristics of Gaboon Viper skin, and how a smart toad may be harnessing the looks of a viper to stay safe. Species of the Bi-week returns and continues our African toad journey. FULL REFERENCE LIST AVAILABLE AT: herphighlights.podbean.com

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Main Paper References:

Spinner M, Gorb SN, Balmert A, Bleckmann H, Westhoff G. (2014). Non-Contaminating Camouflage: Multifunctional Skin Microornamentation in the West African Gaboon Viper (Bitis rhinoceros). PLoS ONE 9:e91087. DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0091087.

Vaughan ER, Teshera MS, Kusamba C, Edmonston TR, Greenbaum E. (2019). A remarkable example of suspected Batesian mimicry of Gaboon Vipers (Reptilia: Viperidae: Bitis gabonica) by Congolese Giant Toads (Amphibia: Bufonidae: Sclerophrys channingi). Journal of Natural History 53:1853–1871. DOI: 10.1080/00222933.2019.1669730.

Species of the Bi-Week:

Ceríaco LMP, Marques MP, Bandeira S, Agarwal I, Stanley EL, Bauer AM, Heinicke MP, Blackburn DC. (2018). A new earless species of Poyntonophrynus (Anura, Bufonidae) from the Serra da Neve Inselberg, Namibe Province, Angola. ZooKeys 780:109–136. DOI: 10.3897/zookeys.780.25859.

Other Mentioned Papers/Studies:

Spinner M, Kovalev A, Gorb SN, Westhoff G (2013) Snake velvet black: hierarchical micro- and nanostructure enhances dark colouration in Bitis rhinoceros. Scientific Reports 3: 1846. doi: 10.1038/srep01846

Penner J, Fruteau C, Range F, Rödel M-O. (2008). Finding a needle in a haystack: new methods of locating and working with rhinoceros vipers (Bitis rhinoceros). Herpetological Review 39:310–314.

Wittenberg, R.D., Jadin, R.C., Fenwick, A.M. et al. (2015). Recovering the evolutionary history of Africa’s most diverse viper genus: morphological and molecular phylogeny of Bitis (Reptilia: Squamata: Viperidae). Organisms Diversity and Evolution 15, 115–125 https://doi.org/10.1007/s13127-014-0185-3

Music:

Intro/outro – Treehouse by Ed Nelson

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

Painted turtles - cute, and brightly coloured, but are they harbouring a dark secret? We first discuss identifying their gender, followed by talk of some unusual behaviour. Our Species of the Bi-Week is an Angolan lizard.

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Main Paper References:

Moldowan, P. D., Brooks, R. J., & Litzgus, J. D. (2017). Assessing head morphology dimorphism in the Midland Painted Turtle (Chrysemys picta marginata) using a photographic questionnaire. Chelonian Conservation and Biology, 16(1), 76-82.

Moldowan, P. D., Brooks, R. J., & Litzgus, J. (2020). Demographics of injuries indicate sexual coercion in a population of Painted Turtles (Chrysemys picta). Canadian Journal of Zoology, (ja).

Species of the Bi-Week:

Branch, W. R., Conradie, W., & Vaz Pinto, P. (2020). Another Angolan Namib endemic species: a new Nucras Gray, 1838 (Squamata: Lacertidae) from south-western Angola. Amphibian and Reptile Conservation, 13(2), 82–95 (e199).

Other Mentioned Papers/Studies:

Hawkshaw, D. M., Moldowan, P. D., Litzgus, J. D., Brooks, R. J., & Rollinson, N. (2019). Discovery and description of a novel sexual weapon in the world’s most widely-studied freshwater turtle. Evolutionary Ecology, 33(6), 889-900.

Silva, I., Crane, M., Marshall, B. M., & Strine, C. T. (2020). Revisiting reptile home ranges: moving beyond traditional estimators with dynamic Brownian Bridge Movement Models. BioRxiv, 23. doi:10.1101/2020.02.10.941278

Other Links/Mentions:

Sexing dolphins by their fins: https://www.nature.com/news/2008/081013/full/news.2008.1166.html

Music:

Intro/outro – Treehouse by Ed Nelson

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

 

February 20, 2020

063 Croc-o-motion

Crocodiles! What are they doing, running about, biting bones… We take a look at a couple of papers: one examining just how they run, the other examining their role in the study of fossil bones. Species of the Bi-week is back and we finally give the newly rediscovered caiman sub-species the attention it deserves…. And a bonus species! FULL REFERENCE LIST AVAILABLE AT: herphighlights.podbean.com

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Main Paper References:

Domínguez-Rodrigo, M., & Baquedano, E. (2018). Distinguishing butchery cut marks from crocodile bite marks through machine learning methods. Scientific Reports, 8(1), 5786. doi:10.1038/s41598-018-24071-1

Hutchinson, J. R., Felkler, D., Houston, K., Chang, Y.-M., Brueggen, J., Kledzik, D., & Vliet, K. A. (2019). Divergent evolution of terrestrial locomotor abilities in extant Crocodylia. Scientific Reports, 9(19302). doi:10.1038/s41598-019-55768-6

Species of the Bi-Week:

Balaguera-Reina, S. A. (2019). Rediscovering the Apaporis Caiman (Caiman crocodilus apaporiensis): Notes from a Long-Anticipated Expedition. Journal of Herpetology, 53(4), 310. doi:10.1670/19-028

Other Mentioned Papers/Studies:

Sahle, Y., El Zaatari, S. & White, T. D. (2017). Hominid butchers and biting crocodiles in the African Plio–Pleistocene. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. doi:10.1073/pnas.1716317114

Smales, L. R., Allain, S. J. R., Wilkinson, J. W., & Harris, E. (2020). A new species of Pseudoacanthocephalus (Acanthocephala: Echinorhynchidae) from the guttural toad, Sclerophrys gutturalis (Bufonidae), introduced into Mauritius, with comments on the implications of the introductions of toads and their parasites into the UK. Journal of Helminthology, 94.

Other Links/Mentions:

Cuban crocodile galloping: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=O78CxqRl7NE 

Freshwater croc galloping etc: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Co7bJlJliEs

Crocodilian movement discoveries: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TdaH73fD5dY

Music:

Intro/outro – Treehouse by Ed Nelson

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

They’re strange, they’re soft, they’re turtles - but where do they go? This episode is all about the comings and goings of softshell turtles living in the rivers of the USA. Species of the Bi-week is back, where we check out a slender character from Laos.

FULL REFERENCE LIST AVAILABLE AT: herphighlights.podbean.com

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Main Paper References:

Plummer, M. V., & O’Neal, C. S. (2019). Aerobic Pushups: Cutaneous Ventilation in Overwintering Smooth Softshell Turtles, Apalone mutica. Journal of Herpetology, 53(1), 27. https://doi.org/10.1670/18-038

Ross, J. P., Bluett, R. D., & Dreslik, M. J. (2019). Movement and Home Range of the Smooth Softshell Turtle (Apalone mutica): Spatial Ecology of a River Specialist. Diversity, 11(8), 124. https://doi.org/10.3390/d11080124

Species of the Bi-Week:

Luu, V. Q., Bonkowski, M., Nguyen, T. Q., Le, M. D., Calame, T., & Ziegler, T. (2018). A New Species Of Lycodon Boie, 1826 (Serpentes: Colubridae) From Central Laos. Revue Suisse de Zoologie, 125(2), 263–276. https://doi.org/10.5281/ZENODO.1414221

Other Mentioned Papers/Studies:

Cahn, A. R. (1937). The turtles of Illinois. Illinois Biological Monographs 16:1–218.

Fraser, K. C., Davies, K. T., Davy, C. M., Ford, A. T., Flockhart, D. T. T., & Martins, E. G. (2018). Tracking the conservation promise of movement ecology. Frontiers in Ecology and Evolution, 6(October), 150. https://doi.org/10.3389/FEVO.2018.00150

Other Links/Mentions:

Crocfest: https://www.facebook.com/crocfests 

Music:

Intro/outro – Treehouse by Ed Nelson

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

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