August 22, 2017

008 Deceptive Snakes


Snakes! Episode eight is all about snakes, specifically those snakes that employ mimicry to fool other animals. We talk about spider tailed vipers, chunky puff adders and variety of sneaky coral snakes. FULL REFERENCE LIST AVAILABLE AT:


Main Paper References:

Fathinia, B, N Rastegar-Pouyani, E Rastegar-Pouyani, F Todehdehghan, and F Amiri. 2015. “Avian Deception Using an Elaborate Caudal Lure in Pseudocerastes Urarachnoides (Serpentes: Viperidae).” Amphibia-Reptilia 36 (3): 223–31.

Glaudas, X., and G. J. Alexander. 2017. “A Lure at Both Ends: Aggressive Visual Mimicry Signals and Prey-Specific Luring Behaviour in an Ambush-Foraging Snake.” Behavioral Ecology and Sociobiology 71 (1).

Raveendran, Dileep Kumar, V. Deepak, Eric Nelson Smith, and Utpal Smart. 2017. “A New Colour Morph of Calliophis Bibroni (Squamata: Elapidae) and Evidence for Müllerian Mimicry in Tropical Indian Coralsnakes.” Herpetology Notes 10: 209–17. OPEN ACCESS

Species of the Bi-Week:

Koch, Claudia, and Pablo J Venegas. 2016. “A Large and Unusually Colored New Snake Species of the Genus Tantilla (Squamata; Colubridae) from the Peruvian Andes.” PeerJ 4: e2767. OPEN ACCESS 

Other Mentioned Papers/Studies:

Chen, Tianbao, Cherith N. Reid, Brian Walker, Mei Zhou, and Chris Shaw. 2005. “Kassinakinin S: A Novel Histamine-Releasing Heptadecapeptide from Frog (Kassina Senegalensis) Skin Secretion.” Biochemical and Biophysical Research Communications 337 (2): 474–80.

Farrell, Terence M., Peter G. May, and Paul T. Andreadis. 2011. “Experimental Manipulation of Tail Color Does Not Affect Foraging Success in a Caudal Luring Rattlesnake.” Journal of Herpetology 45 (3)

Fathinia, Behzad, Steven C Anderson, Nasrullah Rastegar-pouyani, Hasan Jahani, and Hosien Mohamadi. 2009. “Notes on the Natural History of Pseudocerastes Urarachnoides (Squamata: Viperidae).” Russian Journal of Herpetology 16 (2): 134–38. OPEN ACCESS

Flower, Tom. 2011. “Fork-Tailed Drongos Use Deceptive Mimicked Alarm Calls to Steal Food.” Proceedings of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences 278: 1548–55. OPEN ACCESS

Hagman, M., B. L. Phillips, and R. Shine. 2008. “Tails of Enticement: Caudal Luring by an Ambush-Foraging Snake (Acanthophis Praelongus, Elapidae).” Functional Ecology 22 (6): 1134–39. OPEN ACCESS

Hagman, M., Phillips, B.L. and Shine, R., 2009. "Fatal attraction: adaptations to prey on native frogs imperil snakes after invasion of toxic toads." Proceedings of the Royal Society of London B: Biological Sciences, 276 (1668): 2813-2818.

Marques, O.A., Martins, M., Develey, P.F., Macarrao, A. and Sazima, I., 2012. "The golden lancehead Bothrops insularis (Serpentes: Viperidae) relies on two seasonally plentiful bird species visiting its island habitat." Journal of Natural History, 46 (13-14): 885-895.

Mattute, B, F C Knoop, and J M Conlon. 2000. “Kassinatuerin-1: A Peptide with Broad-Spectrum Antimicrobial Activity Isolated from the Skin of the Hyperoliid Frog, Kassina Senegalensis.” Biochemical and Biophysical Research Communications 268 (2): 433–36.

Nelson, X.J., Garnett, D.T. and Evans, C.S., 2010. "Receiver psychology and the design of the deceptive caudal luring signal of the death adder." Animal Behaviour 79 (3): 555-561.

Pantanowitz, L, T W Naudé, and A Leisewitz. 1998. “Noxious Toads and Frogs of South Africa.” South African Medical Journal 88 (11): 1408–14. OPEN ACCESS

Pfennig, David W, and Sean P Mullen. 2010. “Mimics without Models: Causes and Consequences of Allopatry in Batesian Mimicry Complexes.” Proceedings. Biological Sciences / The Royal Society 277 (1694): 2577–85. OPEN ACCESS

Rastegar-Pouyani, Nasrullah, Haji Gholi Kami, Mehdi Rajabzadeh, Soheila Shafiei, and Steven Clement Anderson. 2008. “Annotated Checklist of Amphibians and Reptiles of Iran.” Iranian Journal of Animal Biosystematics 4 (1): 7–30. OPEN ACCESS

Silva, Inês, Matt Crane, Taksin Artchawakom, Pongthep Suwanwaree, and Colin T Strine. 2016. “More than Meets the Eye: Change in Pupil Shape by a Mock Viper.” Frontiers in Ecology and the Environment 14 (8): 453–54. doi:10.1002/FEE.1420. OPEN ACCESS

Other Links/Mentions:

Xavier Glaudas describes his research on puff adders (Bitis arietans) -

Puff Adder Strike Slow-Mo -

Death adder caudal luring -

Iranian spider-tailed viper tricks bird, SciNews -

Link to Supplementary Material of Glaudas et al. 2017  -

Music –

August 8, 2017

007 Fossorial Frogs


This week is a fully frog podcast, dedicated to those frogs who dig. We touch on how the climate can induce fossorial adaptations and limit frog’s activity periods. Along with how some frogs manage to sustain populations despite their sedentary and subterranean lives. And look at perhaps the most bizarre looking frog ever to have graced the earth. To round off we have a newly described burrow-utilising frog for our Species of the Bi-week. FULL REFERENCE LIST AVAILABLE AT:


Main Paper References:

Andreone, Franco, Paolo Eusebio Bergò, Vincenzo Mercurio, and Gonçalo M. Rosa. 2013. “Spatial Ecology of Scaphiophryne Gottlebei in the Canyons of the Isalo Massif, Madagascar.” Herpetologica 69 (1): 11–21. 

Encarnación-Luévano, Alondra, Octavio R. Rojas-Soto, and J. Jesús Sigala-Rodríguez. 2013. “Activity Response to Climate Seasonality in Species with Fossorial Habits: A Niche Modeling Approach Using the Lowland Burrowing Treefrog (Smilisca Fodiens).” PLoS ONE 8 (11): 1–7. OPEN ACCESS

Thomas, Ashish, Robin Suyesh, S. D. Biju, and Mark A. Bee. 2014. “Vocal Behavior of the Elusive Purple Frog of India (Nasikabatrachus Sahyadrensis), a Fossorial Species Endemic to the Western Ghats.” PLoS ONE 9 (2). OPEN ACCESS

Species of the Bi-Week:

Matsui, Masafumi, Kanto Nishikawa, and Koshiro Eto. 2014. “A New Burrow-Utilising Fanged Frog from Sarawak, East Malaysia (Anura: Dicroglossidae).” Raffles Bulletin of Zoology 62: 679–87. OPEN ACCESS

Other Mentioned Papers/Studies:

Andreone, Franco, Fabio Mattioli, and Vincenzo Mercurio. 2005a. “The Call of Scaphiophryne Gottlebei, a Microhylid Frog from the Isalo Massif, Southcentral Madagascar.” Current Herpetology 24 (1): 33–35.

Andreone, Franco, V. Mercurio, F. Mattioli, and T. J. Razafindrabe. 2005b. “Good News for Three Critically Endangered and Traded Frogs from Madagascar.” FrogLog 72: 2–3.

Biju, S. D., and Franky Bossuyt. 2003. "New frog family from India reveals an ancient biogeographical link with the Seychelles." Nature 425 (6959): 711-714.

Boistel, Renaud, Thierry Aubin, Peter Cloetens, Françoise Peyrin, Thierry Scotti, Philippe Herzog, Justin Gerlach, Nicolas Pollet, and Jean-François Aubry. 2013. “How Minute Sooglossid Frogs Hear without a Middle Ear.” Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America 110 (38): 15360–64. OPEN ACCESS

Crottini, Angelica, Ylenia Chiari, Vincenzo Mercurio, Axel Meyer, Miguel Vences, and Franco Andreone. 2008. “Into the Canyons: The Phylogeography of the Malagasy Frogs Mantella Expectata and Scaphiophryne Gottlebei in the Arid Isalo Massif, and Its Significance for Conservation (Amphibia: Mantellidae and Microhylidae).” Organisms Diversity and Evolution 8 (5): 368–77. OPEN ACCESS

Filippi, Piera, Jenna V. Congdon, John Hoang, Daniel L. Bowling, Stephan A. Reber, Andrius Pašukonis, Marisa Hoeschele et al. 2017. "Humans recognize emotional arousal in vocalizations across all classes of terrestrial vertebrates: evidence for acoustic universals." Proceeding of the Royal Society: Biological Sciences 284 (1859): 20170990

Iskandar, Djoko T., Ben J. Evans, and Jimmy A. McGuire. 2014. "A novel reproductive mode in frogs: a new species of fanged frog with internal fertilization and birth of tadpoles." PLoS One 9 (12): e115884. OPEN ACCESS

IUCN SSC Amphibian Specialist Group. 2016. “Scaphiophryne Gottlebei, Malagasy Rainbow Frog.” The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2016: e.T57998A84182454. OPEN ACCESS

Nomura, Fausto, Denise C. Rossa-Feres, and Francisco Langeani. 2009. “Burrowing Behavior of Dermatonotus Muelleri (Anura, Microhylidae) with Reference to the Origin of the Burrowing Behavior of Anura.” Journal of Ethology 27 (1): 195–201.

Rosa, Gonçalo M., Vincenzo Mercurio, Angelica Crottini, and Franco Andreone. 2010. “Predation of the Snake Leioheterodon Modestus (Günther, 1863) upon the Rainbow Frog Scaphiophryne Gottlebei Busse & Böhme, 1992 at Isalo, Southern Madagascar.” Herpetology Notes 3 (1): 259–61.

Wake, Marvalee H. 1978. "The reproductive biology of Eleutherodactylus jasperi (Amphibia, Anura, Leptodactylidae), with comments on the evolution of live-bearing systems." Journal of Herpetology: 121-133.

Zachariah, Anil, Robin Kurian Abraham, Sandeep Das, K. C. Jayan, and Ronald Altig. 2012. "A detailed account of the reproductive strategy and developmental stages of Nasikabatrachus sahyadrensis (Anura: Nasikabatrachidae), the only extant member of an archaic frog lineage." Zootaxa 3510 (1): 53-64.

Other Links/Mentions:

Audio S1 from Thomas et al. 2014 -

Audio S2 from Thomas et al. 2014 -

Audio S3 from Thomas et al. 2014 -

Video S1 from Thomas et al. 2014 -

Audio S1 from Boistel et al. 2013 -

Audio of Scaphiophryne gottlebei from The calls of the frogs of Madagascar by Miguel Vences, Frank Glaw and Rafael Márquez, recorded by Franco Andreone -

BBC’s Life in Cold Blood, Amazing Rain Frogs -

Music –