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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

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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Generally speaking, toads are laid back, easy-going creatures. But every so often a species will find itself an invader in a new land and wreak total havoc. We discuss one such toad (but not necessarily the one you might think). Of course there is a toad which is brand new to science as well, in our Species of the Bi-Week. FULL REFERENCE LIST AVAILABLE AT: herphighlights.podbean.com 

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Main Paper References:

Moore, M, JFSN Fidy, and D Edmonds. 2015. “The New Toad in Town: Distribution of the Asian Toad, Duttaphrynus Melanostictus, in the Toamasina Area of Eastern Madagascar.” Tropical Conservation Science 8 (2): 440–55.

Marshall, BM, NR Casewell, M Vences, F Glaw, F Andreone, A Rakotoarison, G Zancolli, F Woog, and W Wüster. 2018. “Widespread Vulnerability of Malagasy Predators to the Toxins of an Introduced Toad.” Current Biology 28 (11): R654–55.

Species of the Bi-Week:

Landestoy T., MA, DB Turner, AB Marion, and SB Hedges. 2018. “A New Species of Caribbean Toad (Bufonidae, Peltophryne) from Southern Hispaniola.” Zootaxa 4403 (3): 523.

Other Mentioned Papers/Studies:

Brown, GP, BL Phillips, JK Webb, and R Shine. 2006. “Toad on the Road: Use of Roads as Dispersal Corridors by Cane Toads (Bufo marinus) at an Invasion Front in Tropical Australia.” Biological Conservation 133 (1): 88–94.

Feit, B, CE Gordon, JK Webb, TS Jessop, SW Laffan, T Dempster, and M Letnic. 2018. “Invasive Cane Toads Might Initiate Cascades of Direct and Indirect Effects in a Terrestrial Ecosystem.” Biological Invasions. Springer International Publishing, 1–15.

Jenkins, RKB, A Rabearivelo, CT Chan, WM Andre, R Randrianavelona, and JC Randrianantoandro. 2009. “The Harvest of Endemic Amphibians for Food in Eastern Madagascar.” Tropical Conservation Science 2 (1): 25–33.

Kelly, E, and BL Phillips. 2018. “Targeted Gene Flow and Rapid Adaptation in an Endangered Marsupial.” Conservation Biology, June.

Kuo, H-Y, C-W Hsu, J-H Chen, Y-L Wu, and Y-S Shen. 2007. “Life-Threatening Episode after Ingestion of Toad Eggs: A Case Report with Literature Review.” Emergancy Medecine Journal 24 (3): 215–16.

Llewelyn, J, K Bell, L Schwarzkopf, RA Alford, and R Shine. 2012. “Ontogenetic Shifts in a Prey’s Chemical Defences Influence Feeding Responses of a Snake Predator.” Oecologia 169 (4): 965–73.

O’Shea, M, A Kathriner, S Mecke, C Sanchez, and H Kaiser. 2013. “‘Fantastic Voyage’: A Live Blindsnake (Ramphotyphlops Braminus) Journeys through the Gastrointestinal System of a Toad (Duttaphrynus melanostictus).” Herpetology Notes 6 (1): 467–70.

Mohammadi, S, Z Gompert, J Gonzalez, H Takeuchi, A Mori, and AH Savitzky. 2016. “Toxin-Resistant Isoforms of Na+/K+-ATPase in Snakes Do Not Closely Track Dietary Specialization on Toads.” Proceedings of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences 283: 20162111.

Phillips, BL, and R Shine. 2004. “Adapting to an Invasive Species: Toxic Cane Toads Induce Morphological Change in Australian Snakes.” Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America 101 (49): 17150–55.

Pramuk, JB, T Robertson, JW Sites, and BP Noonan. 2008. “Around the World in 10 Million Years: Biogeography of the Nearly Cosmopolitan True Toads (Anura: Bufonidae).” Global Ecology and Biogeography 17 (1): 72–83.

Reardon, J. T., Kraus, F., Moore, M., Rabenantenaina, L., Rabinivo, A., Rakotoarisoa, N. H., & Randrianasolo, H. H. (2018). Testing tools for eradicating the invasive toad Duttaphrynus melanostictus in Madagascar. Conservation Evidence 15, 12-19.

Ujvari, B, HC Mun, AD Conigrave, A Bray, J Osterkamp, P Halling, and T Madsen. 2013. “Isolation Breeds Naivety: Island Living Robs Australian Varanid Lizards of Toad-Toxin Immunity via Four-Base-Pair Mutation.” Evolution 67 (1): 289–94.

Ujvari, B, H Mun, AD Conigrave, C Ciofi, and T Madsen. 2014. “Invasive Toxic Prey May Imperil the Survival of an Iconic Giant Lizard, the Komodo Dragon.” Pacific Conservation Biology 20 (4): 363–65.

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.

Vences, M, JL Brown, A Lathrop, GM Rosa, A Cameron, A Crottini, R Dolch, et al. 2017. “Tracing a Toad Invasion: Lack of Mitochondrial DNA Variation, Haplotype Origins, and Potential Distribution of Introduced Duttaphrynus melanostictus in Madagascar.” Amphibia-Reptilia 38 (2): 197–207.

Wogan, GOU, BL Stuart, DT Iskandar, and JA McGuire. 2016. “Deep Genetic Structure and Ecological Divergence in a Widespread Human Commensal Toad.” Biology Letters 12 (1): 20150807.

Other Links/Mentions:

CrocFest - www.crocfest.org

Music:

Intro/outro – Treehouse by Ed Nelson

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

June 12, 2018

029 Striking Snakes

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Vipers, sedentary and slow, until it matters most. But how fast can vipers strike? And how do other snakes compare? We check out a couple of papers answering these questions this fortnight as well as checking in on another Species of the Bi-week. FULL REFERENCE LIST AVAILABLE AT: herphighlights.podbean.com

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Main Paper References:

Higham, TE, RW Clark, CE Collins, MD Whitford, and GA Freymiller. 2017. “Rattlesnakes Are Extremely Fast and Variable When Striking at Kangaroo Rats in Nature: Three-Dimensional High-Speed Kinematics at Night.” Scientific Reports 7: 40412.

Penning, DA, B Sawvel, and BR Moon. 2016. “Debunking the Viper’s Strike: Harmless Snakes Kill a Common Assumption.” Biology Letters 12 (3): 20160011.

Species of the Bi-Week:

Wickramasinghe, LJM, DR Vidanapathirana, HKD Kandambi, RA Pyron, and N Wickramasinghe. 2017. “A New Species of Aspidura Wagler, 1830 (Squamata: Colubridae: Natricinae) from Sri Pada Sanctuary (Peak Wilderness), Sri Lanka.” Zootaxa 4347 (2): 275–92.

Other Mentioned Papers/Studies:

Devan-Song, A, P Martelli, D Dudgeon, P Crow, G Ades, and NE Karraker. 2016. “Is Long-Distance Translocation an Effective Mitigation Tool for White-Lipped Pit Vipers (Trimeresurus Albolabris) in South China?” Biological Conservation 204: 212–20.

O’Hanlon, SJ, A Rieux, RA Farrer, GM Rosa, B Waldman, A Bataille, TA Kosch, et al. 2018. “Recent Asian Origin of Chytrid Fungi Causing Global Amphibian Declines.” Science 360 (6389): 621–27.

Rundus, A. S., Owings, D. H., Joshi, S. S., Chinn, E. and Giannini, N. (2007). Ground squirrels
use an infrared signal to deter rattlesnake predation. Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. U. S. A. 104, 14372–
14376.

Schraft, H. A., & Clark, R. W. (2017). Kangaroo rats change temperature when investigating rattlesnake predators. Physiology & behavior, 173, 174-178.

Other Links/Mentions:

Videos from Higham et al. 2017

Rattlesnake falls down hill from Barbour and Clark 2012

Music:

Intro/outro – Treehouse by Ed Nelson

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

May 29, 2018

028 Indigo Snakes

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Some snakes are equal parts impressive and mysterious. The indigo snakes are one such group. In this episode we talk about Drymarchon conservation controversies, and what they like to have for their lunch. Finally, we do an unintended Species of the Bi-week mash up. FULL REFERENCE LIST AVAILABLE AT: herphighlights.podbean.com

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Main Paper References:

Folta, B, J Bauder, S Spear, D Stevenson, M Hoffman, J Oaks, C Jenkins, D Steen, and C Guyer. 2018. “Phylogenetic, Population Genetic, and Morphological Analyses Reveal Evidence for One Species of Eastern Indigo Snake (Drymarchon Couperi).” BioRxiv: 1–56. doi:10.1101/318766.

Goetz, SM, JC Godwin, M Hoffman, F Antonio, and DA Steen. 2018. “Eastern Indigo Snakes Exhibit an Innate Response to Pit Viper Scent and an Ontogenetic Shift in Their Response to Mouse Scent.” Herpetologica 74 (2): 152–58.

Species’ of the Bi-Week:

Kraus, F. (2013). A New Species of Hylophorbus (Anura: Microhylidae) from Papua New Guinea. Current Herpetology, 32(2), 102-111.

Kraus, F. 2018. “A New Species of Choerophryne (Anura: Microhylidae) from Papua New Guinea.” Proceedings of the Biological Society of Washington 32 (2): 102–11.

Other Mentioned Papers/Studies:

de Fraga, R, AP Lima, WE Magnusson, M Ferrão, and AJ Stow. 2017. “Contrasting Patterns of Gene Flow for Amazonian Snakes That Actively Forage and Those That Wait in Ambush.” Journal of Heredity 108 (5): 524–34.

Hyslop, NL, JM Meyers, RJ Cooper, and DJ Stevenson. 2014. “Effects of Body Size and Sex of Drymarchon Couperi (Eastern Indigo Snake) on Habitat Use, Movements, and Home Range Size in Georgia.” Journal of Wildlife Management 78 (1): 101–11.

Krysko, KL, MC Granatosky, LP Nuñez, and DJ Smith. 2016. “A Cryptic New Species of Indigo Snake (Genus Drymarchon) from the Florida Platform of the United States.” Zootaxa 4138 (3): 549.

Krysko, KL, LP Nuñez, CA Lippi, DJ Smith, and MC Granatosky. 2016. “Pliocene–Pleistocene Lineage Diversifications in the Eastern Indigo Snake (Drymarchon Couperi) in the Southeastern United States.” Molecular Phylogenetics and Evolution 98 (May): 111–22.

Strickland, JL, CL Parkinson, JK McCoy, and LK Ammerman. 2014. “Phylogeography of Agkistrodon Piscivorus with Emphasis on the Western Limit of Its Range.” Copeia 2014 (4): 639–49.

Wüster, W, JL Yrausquin, and A Mijares-Urrutia. 2001. “A New Species of Indigo Snake from North-Western Venezuela (Serpentes: Colubridae: Drymarchon).” Herpetological Journal 11 (4): 157–65.

Other Links/Mentions:

T shirts etc: https://www.redbubble.com/people/HerpHighlights?asc=u

https://www.patreon.com/herphighlights   

Music:

Intro/outro – Treehouse by Ed Nelson

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

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