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

Episode-62-Art-2000px.png

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

December 17, 2019

061 Vertical Herps

Amphibians can make use of all sorts of places: from underground grottos to the tips of trees –but are there any patterns in where amphibians take to the trees? This episode we discuss a paper exploring just that, followed by an example of some civil serpents. This weeks Species of the Bi-week is tiny and cute. FULL REFERENCE LIST AVAILABLE AT: herphighlights.podbean.com

Episode-61-Art-2000px.png

Main Paper References:

Oliveira, B. F., & Scheffers, B. R. (2019). Vertical stratification influences global patterns of biodiversity. Ecography, 42(2), 249-249.

Barnes, C. H., Farren, W., Strine, C. T., Hill III, Jacques., Waengsothorn, S., & Suwanwaree, P. (2019). Are the habitat niches of female green pit vipers Cryptelytrops macrops and Viridovipera vogeli partitioned by vertical stratification?. Herpetological Bulletin, (149).

Species of the Bi-Week:

Santa-Cruz, R., von May, R., Catenazzi, A., Whitcher, C., López Tejeda, E., & Rabosky, D. L. (2019). A New Species of Terrestrial-Breeding Frog (Amphibia, Strabomantidae, Noblella) from the Upper Madre De Dios Watershed, Amazonian Andes and Lowlands of Southern Peru. Diversity, 11(9), 145.

Other Mentioned Papers/Studies:

Scheffers, B. R., Phillips, B. L., Laurance, W. F., Sodhi, N. S., Diesmos, A., & Williams, S. E. (2013). Increasing arboreality with altitude: a novel biogeographic dimension. Proceedings of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences, 280(1770), 20131581.

Strine, C., Barnes, C., Crane, M., Silva, I., Suwanwaree, P., Nadolski, B., … Hill, J. (2015). Sexual dimorphism of tropical green pit viper Trimeresurus (Cryptelytrops) macrops in Northeast Thailand. Amphibia-Reptilia, 36(4), 327–338. https://doi.org/10.1163/15685381-00003010

Other Links/Mentions:

Posts concerning the resignation of Diversity and Distributions editorial staff:

https://retractionwatch.com/2018/11/28/majority-of-journals-editorial-board-resigns-after-publishers-handling-of-letter-about-move-to-open-access/

https://oanarchy.wordpress.com/2018/09/04/to-the-editors-diversity-and-distributions-and-wiley-publishers/

Music:

Intro/outro – Treehouse by Ed Nelson

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

December 11, 2019

060 High-calibre Hydromantes

Episode 60 is a Patreon episode about salamanders from the genus Hydromantes. These little characters have some interesting adaptations, and evolve nearly as quickly as they can shoot one of their appendages. Our Species of the Bi-Week is a lizard that looks like a crocodilian. 

FULL REFERENCE LIST AVAILABLE AT: herphighlights.podbean.com

Episode-60-Art-2000px.png

Main Paper References:

Salvidio, S., Crovetto, F., & Adams, D. C. (2015). Potential rapid evolution of foot morphology in Italian plethodontid salamanders (Hydromantes strinatii) following the colonization of an artificial cave. Journal of evolutionary biology, 28(7), 1403-1409.

Deban, S. M., & Richardson, J. C. (2011). Cold‐blooded snipers: thermal independence of ballistic tongue projection in the salamander Hydromantes platycephalus. Journal of Experimental Zoology Part A: Ecological Genetics and Physiology, 315(10), 618-630.

Species of the Bi-Week:

Campbell, J. A., Solano-Zavaleta, I., Flores-Villela, O., Caviedes-Solis, I. W., & Frost, D. R. (2016). A New Species of Abronia (Squamata: Anguidae) from the Sierra Madre del Sur of Oaxaca, Mexico. Journal of Herpetology, 50(1), 149-156.

Other Mentioned Papers/Studies:

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

Deban, S. M., Wake, D. B., & Roth, G. (1997). Salamander with a ballistic tongue. Nature, 389(6646), 27.

Cureton, J. C., & Broughton, R. E. (2014). Rapid morphological divergence of a stream fish in response to changes in water flow. Biology letters, 10(6), 20140352.

Stuart, Y. E., Campbell, T. S., Hohenlohe, P. A., Reynolds, R. G., Revell, L. J., & Losos, J. B. (2014). Rapid evolution of a native species following invasion by a congener. Science, 346(6208), 463-466.

Vieites, D. R., Min, M. S., & Wake, D. B. (2007). Rapid diversification and dispersal during periods of global warming by plethodontid salamanders. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 104(50), 19903-19907.

Other Links/Mentions:

Salamanders rolling downhill: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PK_Jb-LvfC0

Rediscovered Fernandina giant tortoise: https://www.nationalgeographic.com/animals/2019/02/extinct-fernandina-giant-tortoise-found/

Recently rediscovered Abronia species https://www.facebook.com/groups/NAFHA/permalink/2997101796985144/

Music:

Intro/outro – Treehouse by Ed Nelson

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

 

In a slightly shambolic episode we mix up the format, this Bi-week we take a look at some lost species and their recent rediscoveries. FULL REFERENCE LIST AVAILABLE AT: herphighlights.podbean.com

Episode-59-Art-2000px.png

References:

1) Jackson’s climbing salamander (Bolitoglossa jacksoni)

https://www.nationalgeographic.com/news/2017/10/salamanders-extinct-species-rediscovery-guatemala/

https://www.globalwildlife.org/jacksons-climbing-salamander/

https://amphibiaweb.org/cgi/amphib_query?where-genus=Bolitoglossa&where-species=jacksoni

2) Pygmy blue tongue skink (Tiliqua adelaidensis)

Milne, T., Bull, C. M., & Hutchinson, M. N. (2003). Use of burrows by the endangered pygmy blue-tongue lizard, Tiliqua adelaidensis (Scincidae). Wildlife Research, 30(5), 523-528.

Milne T, Bull CM, Hutchinson M (2003). "Fitness of the endangered pygmy blue tongue lizard Tiliqua adelaidensis in artificial burrows". Journal of Herpetology. 37 (4): 762–765.

Funny skink video: https://www.abc.net.au/news/2016-02-24/monarto-zoos-pygmy-blue-tongue-lizard-breeding-success/7195136?section=sa 

3) Palawan Forest Turtle (Siebenrockiella leytensis)

https://www.turtleconservancy.org/programs/palawan

https://www.pna.gov.ph/articles/1042202

4) Bornean rainbow toad (Ansonia latidisca)

https://www.researchgate.net/profile/Leticia_Ochoa-Ochoa/publication/216019689_Planning_amphibian_conservation_in_Mexico/links/0f317535a27be25d88000000/Planning-amphibian-conservation-in-Mexico.pdf#page=6

5) Albany Adder (Bitis albanica)

https://www.nationalgeographic.com/news/2017/05/albany-adder-venomous-snake-extinct/

https://www.africansnakebiteinstitute.com/snake/albany-adder-2/

6) Inland taipan (Oxyuranus microlepidota)

https://web.archive.org/web/20090613092123/http://www.qm.qld.gov.au/features/snakes/taipan/rediscovery.asp 

7) Armoured Mistfrog, Armoured Frog (Litoria lorica)

https://amphibiaweb.org/species/1269

8) Arakan Forest Turtle (Heosemys depressa)

Platt, S. G., Myo, K. M., Ko, W. K., Maung, A., & Rainwater, T. R. (2010). Field observations and conservation of Heosemys depressa in the Rakhine Yoma Elephant Range of western Myanmar. Chelonian Conservation and Biology, 9(1), 114-119.

9) Allan's lerista, Greater Robust Fine-lined Slider, Retro slider (Lerista allanae)

https://theconversation.com/australian-endangered-species-retro-slider-12076

http://www.environment.gov.au/cgi-bin/sprat/public/publicspecies.pl?taxon_id=1378

10) Cropan’s boa (Corallus cropanii) 

https://www.nationalgeographic.com/news/2017/02/snakes-boa-rediscovered-brazil/ 

11) Andayapa Andes Toad (Rhaebo olallai)

https://www.globalwildlife.org/blog/tiny-lost-and-found-toad-becomes-harbinger-of-hope/

Other lost species: https://www.globalwildlife.org/search-for-lost-species/

Music:

Intro/outro – Treehouse by Ed Nelson

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

November 5, 2019

058 Night of the Gecko

 

Geckos! In Hawai'i? We know what you're thinking - not by natural biogeographic processes! And you're right, they are there because they are invasive species brought by humans. In this Patreon-chosen episode, we explore some of the more unusual species the island has to offer. Our Species of the Bi-Week is a splendid lizard with an even more splendid name.

Check out the Ross McGibbon reptile calendar: http://rmrphotography.com.au/2020-calendar-1/

FULL REFERENCE LIST AVAILABLE AT: herphighlights.podbean.com

Main Paper References:

Bucol, A., & Alcala, A. (2013). Tokay gecko, Gekko gecko (Sauria: Gekkonidae) predation on juvenile house rats. Herpetol. Notes, 6, 307-308.

Seifan, T., Federman, A., Mautz, W. J., Smith, K. J., & Werner, Y. L. (2010). Nocturnal foraging in a diurnal tropical lizard (Squamata: Gekkonidae: Phelsuma laticauda) on Hawaii. Journal of Tropical Ecology, 26(2), 243-246.

Goldberg, S. R., & Kraus, F. (2011). Notes on Reproduction of the Gold Dust Day Gecko, Phelsuma laticauda (Gekkonidae) from Hawaii. Current herpetology, 30(1), 79-81.

Species of the Bi-Week:

Ratsoavina, F. M., Raselimanana, A. P., Scherz, M. D., Rakotoarison, A., Razafindraibe, J. H., Glaw, F., & Vences, M. (2019). Finaritra! A splendid new leaf-tailed gecko (Uroplatus) species from Marojejy National Park in north-eastern Madagascar. Zootaxa, 4545(4), 563-577.

Other Mentioned Papers/Studies:

Heiss, R. S., Clark, A.B., & McGowan, K.J. (2009) “Growth and Nutritional State of American Crow Nestlings Vary between Urban and Rural Habitats.” Ecological Applications 19(4): 829–39. https://doi.org/10.1890/08-0140.1.

Wood, K. R., Burney, D. A., Allison, A., & Fisher, R. (2013). Emoia impar (Squamata, Scincidae): not extinct in the Hawaiian Islands. Oryx, 47(3), 328-328.

Other Links/Mentions:

Satanic leaf tailed gecko leaf-tail movement pairing: https://youtu.be/JGqYqZnqPRA

Phelsuma battle: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sZb3xi3OZKs

Our patreon: https://www.patreon.com/herphighlights

Music:

Intro/outro – Treehouse by Ed Nelson

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

October 25, 2019

057 Pit Viper Proportions

Patreon episode - what’s up with Central American vipers? More specifically how is there size and shape impacted by location and interspecific interactions? We check out a couple of papers looking to explore just that. The Species of the Bi-week is a new moderately small insular viper. FULL REFERENCE LIST AVAILABLE AT: herphighlights.podbean.com

Episode-57-Art-2000px.png

Main Paper References:

Jadin, R. C., Mihaljevic, J. R., & Orlofske, S. A. (2019). Do New World pitvipers “scale‐down” at high elevations? Macroecological patterns of scale characters and body size. Ecology and evolution, 9(16), 9362-9375.

Meik, J. M., Setser, K., Mocino-Deloya, E., & Lawing, A. M. (2012). Sexual differences in head form and diet in a population of Mexican lance-headed rattlesnakes, Crotalus polystictus. Biological Journal of the Linnean Society, 106(3), 633-640.

Species of the Bi-Week:

Barbo, F. E., Gasparini, J.L., Almeida, A., Zaher, H., Grazziotin, F., Gusmão, R.B., Ferrarini, J. and Sawaya R. (2016). Another new and threatened species of lancehead genus Bothrops (Serpentes, Viperidae) from Ilha dos Franceses, Southeastern Brazil. Zootaxa, 4097(4), 511-529.

Other Mentioned Papers/Studies:

Strine, C., Barnes, C., Crane, M., Silva, I., Suwanwaree, P., Nadolski, B., … Hill, J. (2015). Sexual dimorphism of tropical green pit viper Trimeresurus (Cryptelytrops) macrops in Northeast Thailand. Amphibia-Reptilia, 36(4), 327–338. https://doi.org/10.1163/15685381-00003010

Mackessy, S., Leroy, J., Mociño-Deloya, E., Setser, K., Bryson, R., & Saviola, A. (2018). Venom ontogeny in the mexican lance-headed rattlesnake (Crotalus polystictus). Toxins, 10(7), 271. 

Other Links/Mentions:

Association of Zoos pdf: https://ams.aza.org/iweb/upload/RCP_Snake2016-76b7ff18.pdf

Music:

Intro/outro – Treehouse by Ed Nelson

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

October 10, 2019

056 The Ecology of Snakebite

Snakebite is a worldwide phenomenon which has dramatic consequences for human health. But how does the ecology of snakes influence its incidence and severity? We first look at snakebite globally, and then focus in on a famous island. Our Species of the Bi-Week is a recently described tree-dwelling serpent. 

FULL REFERENCE LIST AVAILABLE AT: herphighlights.podbean.com

Episode-56-Art-2000px.png

Main Paper References:

Longbottom, J., Shearer, F. M., Devine, M., Alcoba, G., Chappuis, F., Weiss, D. J., … Pigott, D. M. (2018). Vulnerability to snakebite envenoming: A global mapping of hotspots. The Lancet, 392(10148), 673–684. https://doi.org/10.1016/S0140-6736(18)31224-8

Yue, S., Bonebrake, T. C., & Gibson, L. (2019). Human-snake Conflict Patterns in a Dense Urban-Forest Mosaic Landscape. Herpetological Conservation and Biology, 14(1), 143–154.

Species of the Bi-Week:

Branch, W. R., Bayliss, J., Bittencourt-Silva, G. B., Conradie, W., Engelbrecht, H. M., Loader, S. P., … Tolley, K. A. (2019). A new species of tree snake (Dipsadoboa, Serpentes: Colubridae) from ‘sky island’ forests in northern Mozambique, with notes on other members of the Dipsadoboa werneri group. Zootaxa, 4646(3), 541–563. https://doi.org/10.11646/zootaxa.4646.3.6

Other Mentioned Papers/Studies:

Akani, G. C., Eyo, E., Odegbune, E., Eniang, E. A., & Luiselli, L. (2002). Ecological patterns of anthropogenic mortality of suburban snakes in an African tropical region. Israel Journal of Zoology, 48(1), 1–11. https://doi.org/10.1092/NL55-UK13-XXQ9-NCYE

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. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.biocon.2016.10.013

Fourcade, Y., Besnard, A. G., & Secondi, J. (2018). Paintings predict the distribution of species, or the challenge of selecting environmental predictors and evaluation statistics. Global Ecology and Biogeography, 27(2), 245–256. https://doi.org/10.1111/geb.12684

Wilson, K., Hanks, E., & Johnson, D. (2018). Estimating animal utilization densities using continuous-time Markov chain models. Methods in Ecology and Evolution, 9(5), 1232–1240. https://doi.org/10.1111/2041-210X.12967

Other Links/Mentions:

https://theconversation.com/unsuitable-antivenoms-are-being-sold-in-africa-costing-lives-83658

Habib AG, Abubakar SB. (2011) Factors affecting snakebite mortality in north-eastern Nigeria. Int Health, 3, 50–55.

Iftime, Alexandru and Iftime, O. (2014): Thanatosis and autohaemorrhaging in the Aesculapian Snake Zamenis longissimus (LAURENTI, 1768), Herpetozoa 26, 3/4, 173-4. 

Music:

Intro/outro – Treehouse by Ed Nelson

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

After an unscheduled delay we are back. What better way to return than a look into the lives and diets of water snakes - mysterious creatures of the wetlands, all consuming, and surprisingly numerous. We have a lumpy frog for the Species of the Bi-week. FULL REFERENCE LIST AVAILABLE AT: herphighlights.podbean.com

Main Paper References:

Virgin, E. E., & King, R. B. (2019). What Does the Snake Eat? Breadth, Overlap, and Non-native Prey in the Diet of Three Sympatric Natricine Snakes. Herpetological Conservation and Biology, 11.

Willson, J. D., & Winne, C. T. (2016). Evaluating the functional importance of secretive species: A case study of aquatic snake predators in isolated wetlands. Journal of Zoology, 298(4), 266–273. https://doi.org/10.1111/jzo.12311

Species of the Bi-Week:

Yánez-Muñoz, M. H., Veintimilla-Yánez, D., Batallas, D., & Cisneros-Heredia, D. F. (2019). A new giant Pristimantis (Anura, Craugastoridae) from the paramos of the Podocarpus National Park, southern Ecuador. ZooKeys, 852, 137–156. https://doi.org/10.3897/zookeys.852.24557

Other Mentioned Papers/Studies:

Brooks, S. E., Allison, E. H., & Reynolds, J. D. (2007). Vulnerability of Cambodian water snakes: Initial assessment of the impact of hunting at Tonle Sap Lake. Biological Conservation, 139(3–4), 401–414. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.biocon.2007.07.009

Other Links/Mentions:

“Fantastic Voyage” Trailer, 20th Century Fox: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dO5E4wkg0hA

Music:

Intro/outro – Treehouse by Ed Nelson

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

July 30, 2019

054 Venom Variation

Venom can be deadly, but not all venoms are created equal. They serve different purposes and have evolved for different reasons. In this episode we discuss a couple of new papers around the theme of venom, and finish off with a venomous new species for our Species of the Bi-week.

Episode-54-Art-2000px.png

Main Paper References:

Goetz, S. M., Piccolomini, S., Hoffman, M., Bogan, J., Holding, M. L., Mendonça, M. T., & Steen, D. A. (2019). Serum-based inhibition of pitviper venom by eastern indigo snakes (Drymarchon couperi). Biology Open, 5.

Healy, K., Carbone, C., & Jackson, A. L. (2019). Snake venom potency and yield are associated with prey-evolution, predator metabolism and habitat structure. Ecology Letters, 22(3), 527–537. https://doi.org/10.1111/ele.13216

Species of the Bi-Week:

Captain, A., Deepak, V., Pandit, R., Bhatt, B., & Athreya, R. (2019). A new species of pitviper (Serpentes: Viperidae: Trimeresurus Lacepède, 1804) from West Kameng District, Arunachal Pradesh, India. Russian Journal of Herpetology, 26, 13.

Other Mentioned Papers/Studies:

Barlow, A., Pook, C. E., Harrison, R. A., & Wüster, W. (2009). Coevolution of diet and prey-specific venom activity supports the role of selection in snake venom evolution. Proceedings of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences, 276(1666), 2443-2449.

Malhotra, A., & Thorpe, R. S. (2004). A phylogeny of four mitochondrial gene regions suggests a revised taxonomy for Asian pitvipers (Trimeresurus and Ovophis). Molecular Phylogenetics and Evolution, 32(1), 83–100. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.ympev.2004.02.008

Music:

Intro/outro – Treehouse by Ed Nelson

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

July 16, 2019

053 In Defense of Eggs

A slightly hap-hazard episode looking at some brave lizards facing down an ever present snake menace. Lizards have to stop nest raiding some-how and a couple of recent papers shed some light on how. We also have a well armoured Species of the Bi-week. FULL REFERENCE LIST AVAILABLE AT: herphighlights.podbean.com

Main Paper References:

Pike, D. A., Clark, R. W., Manica, A., Tseng, H.-Y., Hsu, J.-Y., & Huang, W.-S. (2016). Surf and turf: Predation by egg-eating snakes has led to the evolution of parental care in a terrestrial lizard. Scientific Reports, 6(1), 22207. https://doi.org/10.1038/srep22207

Sherbrooke, W. C. (2017). Antipredator Nest Guarding by Female Horned Lizards (Phrynosoma): Iguanian Parental Care. Herpetologica, 73(4), 331–337. https://doi.org/10.1655/Herpetologica-D-17-00028.1

Species of the Bi-Week:

Avila-Pires, T. C., Nogueira, C., & Martins, M. (2019). A new ‘horned’’ Stenocercus from the highlands of southeastern Brazil, and redescription of Stenocercus tricristatus (Reptilia: Tropiduridae)’. Zoologia, 36, 1–16. https://doi.org/10.3897/zoologia.36.e22909

Other Mentioned Papers/Studies:

Huang, W.-S., Greene, H. W., Chang, T.-J., & Shine, R. (2011). Territorial behavior in Taiwanese kukrisnakes (Oligodon formosanus). Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 108(18), 7455–7459. https://doi.org/10.1073/pnas.1101804108

Origgi, F. C., Schmidt, B. R., Lohmann, P., Otten, P., Meier, R. K., Pisano, S. R., ... & Gaschen, V. (2018). Bufonid herpesvirus 1 (BfHV1) associated dermatitis and mortality in free ranging common toads (Bufo bufo) in Switzerland. Scientific reports, 8(1), 14737. https://doi.org/10.1038/s41598-018-32841-0

Willson, J. D., & Winne, C. T. (2016). Evaluating the functional importance of secretive species: A case study of aquatic snake predators in isolated wetlands. Journal of Zoology, 298(4), 266–273. https://doi.org/10.1111/jzo.12311

Music:

Intro/outro – Treehouse by Ed Nelson

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

Load more