October 31, 2017

013 Frog Fungus


Everyone's favourite fungus is the topic of this week’s episode – Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis, otherwise known as Bd or Chytrid. We discuss some of the ways it spreads and a little about the frogs it affects. Species of the Bi-week is back and this time coming out of Amazonia. FULL REFERENCE LIST AVAILABLE AT: herphighlights.podbean.com


Main Paper References:

Kolby, Jonathan E., Sara D. Ramirez, Lee Berger, Kathryn L. Richards-Hrdlicka, Merlijn Jocque, and Lee F. Skerratt. 2015. “Terrestrial Dispersal and Potential Environmental Transmission of the Amphibian Chytrid Fungus (Batrachochytrium Dendrobatidis).” PLoS ONE 10 (4): 1–13.

Barrio-Amorós, César L., Christoph I. Grünwald, Héctor Franz-Chávez, Ángela María Mendoza, and Brandon Thomas La Forest. 2016. “Notes on Natural History and Call Description of the Critically Endangered Plectrohyla Avia (Anura: Hylidae) from Chiapas , Mexico.” Amphibian and Reptile Conservation 10 (2): 11–17.

Species of the Bi-Week:

Peloso, Pedro L.V., Victor G.D. Orrico, Célio F.B. Haddad, Geraldo R. Lima-Filho, and Marcelo J. Sturaro. 2016. “A New Species of Clown Tree Frog, Dendropsophus Leucophyllatus Species Group, from Amazonia (Anura, Hylidae).” South American Journal of Herpetology 11 (1): 66–80.

Other Mentioned Papers/Studies:

Arnold, S.J., 1976. "Sexual behavior, sexual interference and sexual defense in the salamanders Ambystoma maculatum, Ambystoma tigrinum and Plethodon jordani." Ethology, 42(3): 247-300.

Blooi, Mark, An Martel, Francis Vercammen, and Frank Pasmans. 2013. “Combining Ethidium Monoazide Treatment with Real-Time PCR Selectively Quantifies Viable Batrachochytrium Dendrobatidis Cells.” Fungal Biology 117 (2): 156–62.

Gower, D.J., Doherty-Bone, T., Loader, S.P., Wilkinson, M., Kouete, M.T., Tapley, B., Orton, F., Daniel, O.Z., Wynne, F., Flach, E. and Müller, H., 2013. "Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis infection and lethal chytridiomycosis in caecilian amphibians (Gymnophiona)." EcoHealth, 10(2):173-183.

Iwai, N., 2013. "Morphology, function and evolution of the pseudothumb in the Otton frog." Journal of Zoology, 289(2): 127-133.

Kolby, Jonathan E., Sara D. Ramirez, Lee Berger, Dale W. Griffin, Merlijn Jocque, and Lee F. Skerratt. 2015. “Presence of Amphibian Chytrid Fungus (Batrachochytrium Dendrobatidis) in Rainwater Suggests Aerial Dispersal Is Possible.” Aerobiologia 31 (3): 411–19. doi:10.1007/s10453-015-9374-6.

Liew, Nicole, Maria J. Mazon Moya, Claudia J. Wierzbicki, Michael Hollinshead, Michael J. Dillon, Christopher R. Thornton, Amy Ellison, Jo Cable, Matthew C. Fisher, and Serge Mostowy. 2017. “Chytrid Fungus Infection in Zebrafish Demonstrates That the Pathogen Can Parasitize Non-Amphibian Vertebrate Hosts.” Nature Communications 8 (April). Nature Publishing Group: 15048.

Lips, Karen R. 2016. “Overview of Chytrid Emergence and Impacts on Amphibians.” Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences 371 (1709): 20150465.

Longcore, J.E., Pessier, A.P. and Nichols, D.K., 1999. "Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis gen. et sp. nov., a chytrid pathogenic to amphibians." Mycologia: 219-227.

Olson, Deanna H., David M. Aanensen, Kathryn L. Ronnenberg, Christopher I. Powell, Susan F. Walker, Jon Bielby, Trenton W.J. Garner, George Weaver, and Matthew C. Fisher. 2013. “Mapping the Global Emergence of Batrachochytrium Dendrobatidis, the Amphibian Chytrid Fungus.” PLoS ONE 8 (2).

Van Rooij, Pascale, Frank Pasmans, Yanaika Coen, and An Martel. 2017. “Efficacy of Chemical Disinfectants for the Containment of the Salamander Chytrid Fungus Batrachochytrium Salamandrivorans.” PloS One 12 (10): e0186269.

Other Links/Mentions:

Video of Plectrohyla Avia from Barrio-Amorós et al. (2016) - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aa2O-BguqOY&feature=youtu.be

Salamander courtship with pheromone transmission - http://plethodon.science.oregonstate.edu/video/shermani%20slapping.avi

HARCC are mid fundraiser - go to frogrescue.com

Music – Treehouse by Ed Nelson

October 17, 2017

012 Geckos Down Under


Following on from our interview with John McGrath, Australian geckos are our focus for episode 12. We talk about the influences on starred knob tail gecko habitat and why velvet geckos are important food for an elapid snake. Of course there is an Australian gecko for the Species of the Bi-Week. FULL REFERENCE LIST AVAILABLE AT: herphighlights.podbean.com


Main Paper References:

Driscoll, Don A., Catherine A. Whitehead, and Juliana Lazzari. 2012. “Spatial Dynamics of the Knob-Tailed Gecko Nephrurus Stellatus in a Fragmented Agricultural Landscape.” Landscape Ecology 27 (6): 829–41.

Webb, Jonathan K., David A. Pike, and Richard Shine. 2008. “Population Ecology of the Velvet Gecko, Oedura Lesueurii in South Eastern Australia: Implications for the Persistence of an Endangered Snake.” Austral Ecology 33 (7): 839–47.

Species of the Bi-Week:

Hoskin, Conrad J., and Patrick Couper. 2013. “A Spectacular New Leaf-Tailed Gecko (Carphodactylidae: Saltuarius) from the Melville Range, North-East Australia.” Zootaxa 3717 (4): 543–58.

Other Mentioned Papers/Studies:

Blay, Nicola, and Isabelle M Côté. 2001. “Optimal Conditions for Breeding of Captive Humboldt Penguins (Spheniscus Humboldti): A Survey of British Zoos.” Zoo Biology 20: 545–55.

Brown, G. P., and Shine, R. 2007. "Like mother, like daughter: inheritance of nest-site location in snakes." Biology letters, 3(2): 131-133.

Croak BM, Pike DA, Webb JK, Shine R, 2010. "Using artificial rocks to restore nonrenewable shelter sites in human-degraded systems: colonization by fauna." Rest Ecol 18:428–438.

Gamble, T. 2010. "A review of sex determining mechanisms in geckos (Gekkota: Squamata)". Sexual Development, 4(1-2): 88-103.

James, Alexander N., Kevin J. Gaston, and Andrew Balmford. 1999. “Balancing the Earth’s Accounts.” Nature 401 (6751): 323–24.

Llewelyn, John, Ben L. Phillips, Greg P. Brown, Lin Schwarzkopf, Ross A. Alford, and Richard Shine. 2011. “Adaptation or Preadaptation: Why Are Keelback Snakes (Tropidonophis Mairii) Less Vulnerable to Invasive Cane Toads (Bufo Marinus) than Are Other Australian Snakes?” Evolutionary Ecology 25 (1): 13–24.

Oliver, P. M., Bauer, A. M., Greenbaum, E., Jackman, T., and Hobbie, T. 2012. "Molecular phylogenetics of the arboreal Australian gecko genus Oedura Gray 1842 (Gekkota: Diplodactylidae): Another plesiomorphic grade?." Molecular Phylogenetics and Evolution, 63(2): 255-264.

Shine R., Webb J. K., Fitzgerald M. and Sumner J. 1998. "The impact of bush-rock removal on an endangered snake species, Hoplocephalus bungaroides (Serpentes: Elapidae)." Wildl. Res. 25: 285–95.

Smith, A. L., Bull, C. M., and Driscoll, D. A. 2012. "Post-fire succession affects abundance and survival but not detectability in a knob-tailed gecko." Biological Conservation, 145(1): 139-147.

Werner, Y. L., Frankenberg, E., Volokita, M., and Harari, R. 1993. "Longevity of geckos (Reptilia: Lacertilia: Gekkonoidea) in captivity: an analytical review incorporating new data." Israel Journal of Zoology, 39(2): 105-124.

Music – Treehouse by Ed Nelson


In our first ever interview episode we talk to John McGrath, publisher of digital magazine iHerp Australia. We chat about his experiences in the magazine and publishing industry, and his history with reptiles and amphibians.


Read iHerp Magazine FREE here: https://iherpaustralia.com.au/magazine/#id-bookcase

iHerp facebook: https://www.facebook.com/iherpaustralia/

iHerp twitter: https://twitter.com/iHerpAustralia 

Music: Treehouse by Ed Nelson

October 3, 2017

011 Survival of the Vipers


Vipers are found in numerous corners of the globe, and in this episode we explore a little about how they’ve managed it. Starting with pit viper’s use of their heat sensing abilities, moving on to viper reactions to climatic shifts, and finishing up with how they are doing now. Naturally our Species of the Bi-week is a new viper, this time from Africa. FULL REFERENCE LIST AVAILABLE AT: herphighlights.podbean.com


Main Paper References:

Martínez-Freiría, F, P.-A. Crochet, S. Fahd, P. Geniez, J.C. Brito, and G. Velo-Antón. 2017. “Integrative Phylogeographic and Ecological Analyses Reveal Multiple Pleistocene Refugia for Mediterranean Daboia Vipers in North-West Africa.” Biological Journal of the Linnean Society 122 (2): 366–384.

Maritz, Bryan, Johannes Penner, Marcio Martins, Jelka Crnobrnja-Isailović, Stephen Spear, Laura R.V. Alencar, Jesús Sigala-Rodriguez, et al. 2016. “Identifying Global Priorities for the Conservation of Vipers.” Biological Conservation 204: 94–102.

Safer, Adam B., and Michael S. Grace. 2004. “Infrared Imaging in Vipers: Differential Responses of Crotaline and Viperine Snakes to Paired Thermal Targets.” Behavioural Brain Research 154 (1): 55–61.

Species of the Bi-Week:

Gower, David J., Edward O.Z. Wade, Stephen Spawls, Wolfgang Böhme, Evan R. Buechley, Daniel Sykes, and Timothy J. Colston. 2016. “A New Large Species of Bitis Gray, 1842 (Serpentes: Viperidae) from the Bale Mountains of Ethiopia.” Zootaxa 4093 (1): 41–63.

Other Mentioned Papers/Studies:

Alencar, Laura R.V., Tiago B. Quental, Felipe G. Grazziotin, Michael L. Alfaro, Marcio Martins, Mericien Venzon, and Hussam Zaher. 2016. “Diversification in Vipers: Phylogenetic Relationships, Time of Divergence and Shifts in Speciation Rates.” Molecular Phylogenetics and Evolution 105: 50–62.

Böhm, Monika, Ben Collen, Jonathan E M Baillie, Philip Bowles, Janice Chanson, Neil Cox, Geoffrey Hammerson, et al. 2013. “The Conservation Status of the World’s Reptiles.” Biological Conservation 157: 372–85.

Breidenbach, Carla Harvey. 1990. “Society for the Study of Amphibians and Reptiles Thermal Cues Influence Strikes in Pitless Vipers.” Journal of Herpetology 24 (4): 448–50.

Gracheva, E.O., Ingolia, N.T., Kelly, Y.M., Cordero-Morales, J.F., Hollopeter, G., Chesler, A.T., Sánchez, E.E., Perez, J.C., Weissman, J.S. and Julius, D., 2010. “Molecular basis of infrared detection by snakes.” Nature, 464 (7291): 1006.

Krochmal, A.R. and Bakken, G.S., 2003. “Thermoregulation is the pits: use of thermal radiation for retreat site selection by rattlesnakes.” Journal of Experimental Biology, 206(15): 2539-2545. OPEN ACCESS

Lourdais, O., Shine, R., Bonnet, X., Guillon, M. and Naulleau, G., 2004. “Climate affects embryonic development in a viviparous snake, Vipera aspis.” Oikos, 104 (3): 551-560.

Madsen, Thomas, Bo Stille, and Richard Shine. 1996. “Inbreeding Depression in an Isolated Population of Adders Vipera Berus.” Biological Conservation 75: 113–18.

Madsen, Thomas, Beata Ujvari, and Mats Olsson. 2004. “Novel Genes Continue to Enhance Population Growth in Adders (Vipera Berus).” Biological Conservation 120 (1): 145–47.

Madsen, Thomas, and Beata Ujvari. 2011. “The Potential Demise of a Population of Adders (Vipera Berus) in Smygehuk, Sweden.” Herpetological Conservation and Biology 6 (1): 72–74. OPEN ACCESS

Paulo, O. S., J. Pinheiro, A. Miraldo, M. W. Bruford, W. C. Jordan, and R. A. Nichols. 2008. “The Role of Vicariance vs. Dispersal in Shaping Genetic Patterns in Ocellated Lizard Species in the Western Mediterranean.” Molecular Ecology 17 (6): 1535–51.

Van Dyke, J.U. and Grace, M.S., 2010. “The role of thermal contrast in infrared-based defensive targeting by the copperhead, Agkistrodon contortrix.” Animal Behaviour, 79 (5): 993-999.

Williams, David, Wolfgang Wüster, and Bryan Grieg Fry. 2006. “The Good, the Bad and the Ugly: Australian Snake Taxonomists and a History of the Taxonomy of Australia’s Venomous Snakes.” Toxicon 48 (7): 919–30.

Music – Treehouse by Ed Nelson