May 27, 2017

1 Herpetological Highlights - Cool Colours and Cryptic Camo


On this inaugural episode of Herpetological Highlights we discuss colour changing Bearded Dragons, the temperature efficiency of Bluetongue Skinks, and how snake camouflage may have driven primate evolution. Our Species of the Bi-week is a sexually dichromatic snake from India. FULL REFERENCE LIST AVAILABLE AT:


Main Paper References:

Fan, Marie, Devi Stuart-Fox, and Viviana Cadena. 2014. “Cyclic Colour Change in the Bearded Dragon Pogona Vitticeps under Different Photoperiods.” PLoS ONE 9 (10). doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0111504. OPEN ACCESS

Geen, Michael R S, and Gregory R. Johnston. 2014. “Coloration Affects Heating and Cooling in Three Color Morphs of the Australian Bluetongue Lizard, Tiliqua Scincoides.” Journal of Thermal Biology 43 (1). Elsevier: 54–60. doi:10.1016/j.jtherbio.2014.04.004.

Kawai, Nobuyuki, and Hongshen He. 2016. “Breaking Snake Camouflage: Humans Detect Snakes More Accurately than Other Animals under Less Discernible Visual Conditions.” PLoS ONE 11 (10): 1–10. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0164342. OPEN ACCESS

Species of the Bi-week:

Mohapatra, Pratyush P., S. K. Dutta, Niladri B. Kar, Abhijit Das, B. H. C.K Murthy, and V. Deepak. 2017. “Ahaetulla Nasuta Anomala (Annandale, 1906) (Squamata: Colubridae), Resurrected as a Valid Species with Marked Sexual Dichromatism.” Zootaxa 4263 (2): 318–32. doi:10.11646/zootaxa.4263.2.6.

Other Mentioned Papers/Studies:

Cook, Edwin W., Robert L. Hodes, and Peter J. Lang. 1986. "Preparedness and phobia: Effects of stimulus content on human visceral conditioning." Journal of abnormal psychology 95 (3): 195.

Forsman, Anders. 1995. “Heating Rates and Body Temperature Variation in Melanistic and Zigzag Vipera Berus, Does Colour Make a Difference?” Annales Zoologici Fennici 32 (4): 365–74. ACCESS

Garcia, Tiffany S, Jodi Stacy, and Andrew Sih. 2014. “Larval Salamander Response to UV Radiation and Predation Risk : Color Change and Microhabitat Use.” Ecological Applications 14 (4): 1055–64.

Price-Rees, Samantha J., Gregory P. Brown, and Richard Shine. 2010. “Predation on Toxic Cane Toads (Bufo Marinus) May Imperil Bluetongue Lizards (Tiliqua Scincoides Intermedia, Scincidae) in Tropical Australia.” Wildlife Research 37 (2): 166. doi:10.1071/WR09170.

Price-Rees, Samantha J., Jonathan K. Webb, and Richard Shine. 2011. “School for Skinks: Can Conditioned Taste Aversion Enable Bluetongue Lizards (Tiliqua Scincoides) to Avoid Toxic Cane Toads (Rhinella Marina) as Prey?” Ethology 117 (9): 749–57. doi:10.1111/j.1439-0310.2011.01935.x.

Rasmussen, J.B., 1990. The retina of Psammodynastes pulverulentus (Boie, 1827) and Telescopus fallax (Fleischmann, 1831) with a discussion of their phylogenetic significance (Colubroidea, Serpentes). Journal of Zoological Systematics and Evolutionary Research, 28 (4): 269-276. doi:10.1111/j.1439-0469.1990.tb00381.x

Soares, Sandra C., Björn Lindström, Francisco Esteves, and Arne Öhman. 2014. “The Hidden Snake in the Grass: Superior Detection of Snakes in Challenging Attentional Conditions.” PLoS ONE 9 (12): 1–26. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0114724. OPEN ACCESS

Tanaka, Koji. 2007. “Thermal Biology of a Colour-Dimorphic Snake, Elaphe Quadrivirgata, in a Montane Forest: Do Melanistic Snakes Enjoy Thermal Advantages?” Biological Journal of the Linnean Society 92 (2): 309–22. doi:10.1111/j.1095-8312.2007.00849.x.

Vences, Miguel, Pedro Galán, David R Vieites, Marta Puente, Kerstin Oetter, and Stefan Wanke. 2002. “Field Body Temperatures and Heating Rates in a Montane Frog Population: The Importance of Black Dorsal Pattern for Thermoregulation.” Annales Zoologici Fennici 39: 209–20. OPEN ACCESS

Vidal, Nicolas. 2002. “Colubroid Systematics: Evidence for an Early Appearance of the Venom Apparatus Followed By Extensive Evolutionary Tinkering.” Journal of Toxicology: Toxin Reviews 21 (1–2): 21–41. doi:10.1081/TXR-120004740.

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