September 19, 2017

010 Armoured Lizards


Episode 10 is all about Southern African armoured lizards of the family Cordylidae. Some live in groups - why? Why are they so damn spikey? These and other mysteries at least partially revealed. Plus, a brand new species of cordylid lizard from Angola and an aside about the tokay gecko trade. FULL REFERENCE LIST AVAILABLE AT:


Main Paper References:

Broeckhoven, Chris, Genevieve Diedericks, Cang Hui, Buyisile G. Makhubo, and P. le Fras N. Mouton. 2016. “Enemy at the Gates: Rapid Defensive Trait Diversification in an Adaptive Radiation of Lizards.” Evolution 70 (11): 2647–56.

Broeckhoven, Chris, and Pieter Le Fras Nortier Mouton. 2015. “Some like It Hot: Camera Traps Unravel the Effects of Weather Conditions and Predator Presence on the Activity Levels of Two Lizards.” PLoS ONE 10 (9): 1–15. OPEN ACCESS

Mouton, P le Fras N, Janine L Glover, and Alexander F Flemming. 2014. “Solitary Individuals in Populations of the Group-Living Lizard Ouroborus Cataphractus: Voluntary or Forced?” African Zoology 49 (2): 307–10.

Species of the Bi-Week:

Stanley, Edward L., Luis MP Ceriaco, Suzana Bandeira, Hilaria Valerio, Michael F. Bates, and William R. Branch. 2016. "A review of Cordylus machadoi (Squamata: Cordylidae) in southwestern Angola, with the description of a new species from the Pro-Namib desert." Zootaxa 4061(3): 201-226.

Other Mentioned Papers/Studies:

Ariefiandy, Achmad, Deni Purwandana, Aganto Seno, Claudio Ciofi, and Tim S. Jessop. 2013. “Can Camera Traps Monitor Komodo Dragons a Large Ectothermic Predator?” PLoS ONE 8 (3): 1–8. OPEN ACCESS

Brodie III, E.D., and E.D. Brodie Jr. 1999. “Costs of Exploiting Poisonous Prey: Evolutionary Trade-Offs in a Predator-Prey Arms Race.” Evolution 2 (53): 626–31. OPEN ACCESS

Buchanan, S. W., Timm, B. C., Cook, R. P., Couse, R., & Hazard, L. C. (2016). Surface Activity and Body Temperature of Eastern Hognose Snakes (Heterodon platirhinos) at Cape Cod National Seashore, Massachusetts USA. Journal of Herpetology.

Ivany, L C, W P Patterson, and K C Lohmann. 2000. “Cooler Winters as a Possible Cause of Mass Extinctions at the Eocene/Oligocene Boundary.” Nature 407 (6806): 887–90.

Lima, S. L. (1995). Back to the basics of anti-predatory vigilance: the group-size effect. Animal Behaviour, 49(1), 11-20.

Losos, Jonathan B., P.Le Fras N. Mouton, Ryan Bickel, Ian Cornelius, and Lanral Ruddock. 2002. “The Effect of Body Armature on Escape Behaviour in Cordylid Lizards.” Animal Behaviour 64 (2): 313–21.

Mouton, P., Flemming, A. F., & Kanga, E. M. (1999). Grouping behaviour, tail-biting behaviour and sexual dimorphism in the armadillo lizard (Cordylus cataphractus) from South Africa. Journal of Zoology, 249(1), 1-10.

Nijman, Vincent, and Chris R Shepherd. 2015. “TRAFFIC Report: Adding up the Numbers : An Investigation into Commercial Breeding of Tokay Gecko in Indonesia.” Petaling Jaya, Selangor, Malaysia. OPEN ACCESS

Stanley, Edward L.; Aaron M. Bauer; Todd R. Jackman, William R. Branch, P. Le Fras N. Mouton 2011. Between a rock and a hard polytomy: rapid radiation in the rupicolous girdled lizard (Squamata: Cordylidae). Molecular Phylogenetics and Evolution, 58(1): 53-70.

Truter, Johannes Christoff, Johannes Hendrik VanWyk, and Pieter le Fras Nortier Mouton. 2014. “An Evaluation of Daily, Seasonal and Population-Level Variation in the Thermal Preference of a Group-Living Lizard, Ouroborus Cataphractus (Sauria: Cordylidae).” Amphibia-Reptilia 35 (4): 391–403.

Zachos, J., Mark Pagani, Lisa Sloan, Ellen Thomas, and Katharina Billups. 2001. “Trends, Rhythms, and Aberrations in Global Climate 65 Ma to Present.” Science 292 (5517): 686–93.

Other links and mentions:

iHerp magazine -

Music – Treehouse by Ed Nelson

September 5, 2017

009 The Golden Mantella


The Golden Mantella frog is the subject of this fortnights episode. Starting with a little bit about how they live in the wilds of Madagascar; followed by the larger portion of the podcast looking at a couple of the studies that have come out of the captive breeding initiatives. Species of the Bi-week returns, and features a couple of newly described frogs from Papua New Guinea. FULL REFERENCE LIST AVAILABLE AT:


Main Paper References:

Passos, Luiza Figueiredo, Gerardo Garcia, and Robert John Young. 2017. “The Tonic Immobility Test: Do Wild and Captive Golden Mantella Frogs (Mantella Aurantiaca) Have the Same Response ?” PLoS ONE 12 (7): e0181972. OPEN ACCESS

Passos, Luiza Figueiredo, Gerardo Garcia, and Robert John Young. 2017. “Neglecting the Call of the Wild : Captive Frogs like the Sound of Their Own Voice.” PLoS ONE 12 (7): 1–11. OPEN ACCESS

Woodhead, C., Vences, M., Vieites, D.R., Gamboni, I., Fisher, B.L. and Griffiths, R.A., 2007. “Specialist or generalist? Feeding ecology of the Malagasy poison frog Mantella aurantiaca.” The Herpetological Journal 17 (4): 225-236.

Species of the Bi-Week:

Günther, Rainer, and Stephen Richards. 2016. “Description of Two New Species of the Microhylid Frog Genus Oreophryne (Amphibia: Anura: Microhylidae) from Southern Papua New Guinea.” Vertebrate Zoology 66 (2): 157–68. OPEN ACCESS

Other Mentioned Papers/Studies:

Bee, M.A., Perrill, S.A. and Owen, P.C. 1999. “Size assessment in simulated territorial encounters between male green frogs (Rana clamitans).” Behavioral Ecology and Sociobiology 45 (3-4): 177-184.

Biju, S.D., and Franky Bossuyt. 2003. “New Frog Family from India Reveals an Ancient Biogeographical Link with the Seychelles.” Nature 425 (2001): 711–14.

Bossuyt, Franky, and Kim Roelants. 2009. “Frogs and Toads (Anura).” In The Timetree of Life, edited by S. Blair Hedges and Sudhir Kumar, 357–64. Oxford: Oxford University Press.

Burghardt, Gordon M. 2013. “Environmental Enrichment and Cognitive Complexity in Reptiles and Amphibians: Concepts, Review, and Implications for Captive Populations.” Applied Animal Behaviour Science 147 (3–4): 286–98.

Gerhardt, H. C., and J. Rheinlaender. 1980. “Accuracy of Sound Localization in a Miniature Dendrobatid Frog.” Naturwissenschaften 67 (7): 362–63.

Günther, Rainer, Stephen J. Richards, David Bickford, and Gregory R. Johnston. 2012. “A New Egg-Guarding Species of Oreophryne (Amphibia, Anura, Microhylidae) from Southern Papua New Guinea.” Zoosystematics and Evolution 88 (2): 223–30.

Heying, Heather. 2001. “Mantella Laevigata (Climbing Mantella). Aborted Predation.” Herpetological Review 32 (1): 34–34. OPEN ACCESS

Janani, S. Jegath, Karthikeyan Vasudevan, Elizabeth Prendini, Sushil Kumar Dutta, and Ramesh K. Aggarwal. 2017. “A New Species of the Genus Nasikabatrachus (Anura, Nasikabatrachidae) from the Eastern Slopes of the Western Ghats, India.” Alytes 34 (1–4): 1–19. OPEN ACCESS

Johnson, J.A. and Brodie Jr, E.D. 1975. “The selective advantage of the defensive posture of the newt, Taricha granulosa.” American Midland Naturalist:.139-148. OPEN ACCESS

Jovanovic, Olga, Miguel Vences, Goran Safarek, Falitiana C E Rabemananjara, and Rainer Dolch. 2009. “Predation upon Mantella Aurantiaca in the Torotorofotsy Wetlands, Central-Eastern Madagascar.” Herpetology Notes 2 (1): 95–97.

Ligon, R.A. and McGraw, K.J. 2013. “Chameleons communicate with complex colour changes during contests: different body regions convey different information.” Biology Letters 9 (6): 20130892. OPEN ACCESS

Mayer, Michael, Lisa M. Schulte, Evan Twomey, and Stefan Lötters. 2014. “Do Male Poison Frogs Respond to Modified Calls of a Müllerian Mimic?” Animal Behaviour 89: 45–51.

Narins, Peter M, Walter Hödl, and Daniela S Grabul. 2003. “Bimodal Signal Requisite for Agonistic Behavior in a Dart-Poison Frog, Epipedobates Femoralis.” Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America 100 (2): 577–80. OPEN ACCESS

Rabemananjara, Falitiana C E, Noromalala Rasoamampionona Raminosoa, Olga Ramilijaona Ravoahangimalala, D. Rakotondravony, Franco Andreone, P. Bora, Angus I Carpenter, et al. 2008. “Malagasy Poison Frogs in the Pet Trade: A Survey of Levels of Exploitation of Species in the Genus Mantella.” Monografie Del Museo Regionale Di Scienze Naturali Di Torino XLV: 277–300. OPEN ACCESS

Rodríguez, Ariel, Dennis Poth, Stefan Schulz, and Miguel Vences. 2011. “Discovery of Skin Alkaloids in a Miniaturized Eleutherodactylid Frog from Cuba.” Biology Letters 7: 414–18. OPEN ACCESS

Saporito, Ralph A., Maureen A. Donnelly, Thomas F. Spande, and H. Martin Garraffo. 2012. “A Review of Chemical Ecology in Poison Frogs.” Chemoecology 22 (3): 159–68.

Vences, Miguel, Frank Glaw, and Wolfgang Böhme. 1998. “Evolutionary Correlates of Microphagy in Alkaloid-Containing Frogs (Amphibia : Anura).” Zoologischer Anzeiger 236: 217–30.

Woodhead, Cindy, Miguel Vences, David R. Vieites, Ilona Gamboni, Brian L. Fisher, and Richard A. Griffiths. 2007. “Specialist or Generalist? Feeding Ecology of the Malagasy Poison Frog Mantella Aurantiaca.” Herpetological Journal 17 (4): 225–36.

Other Links/Mentions:

Association Mitsinjo Madagascar –

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Music –