May 29, 2018

028 Indigo Snakes

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:


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:   


Intro/outro – Treehouse by Ed Nelson

Other Music – The Passion HiFi,

Back to the news niche! This fortnight we’re talking about a collection of papers ranging from crocodile colours to frog personalities, as well as the mysterious death of a tortoise. We finish up with a meta-chat about science podcasting and a brief mention of the crazy future world of in-field laboratories. FULL REFERENCE LIST AVAILABLE AT:



Kelleher, S. R., Silla, A. J., & Byrne, P. G. (2018). Animal personality and behavioral syndromes in amphibians: a review of the evidence, experimental approaches, and implications for conservation. Behavioral Ecology and Sociobiology, 72(5), 79.

Leary, C. J., & Crocker‐Buta, S. (2018). Rapid effects of elevated stress hormones on male courtship signals suggest a major role for the acute stress response in intra‐and intersexual selection. Functional Ecology, 32(5), 1214-1226.

Mackenzie, LE. 2018. “Science Podcasts : Analysis of Global Production and Output from 2004 to 2018.” bioRxiv, Preprint. doi:

Merchant, M., Hale, A., Brueggen, J., Harbsmeier, C., & Adams, C. (2018). Crocodiles Alter Skin Color in Response to Environmental Color Conditions. Scientific reports, 8(1), 6174.

Pomerantz, A, N Peñafiel, A Arteaga, L Bustamante, F Pichardo, LA Coloma, CL Barrio-Amorós, D Salazar-Valenzuela, and S Prost. 2018. “Real-Time DNA Barcoding in a Rainforest Using Nanopore Sequencing: Opportunities for Rapid Biodiversity Assessments and Local Capacity Building.” GigaScience 7 (4): 1–14.

Staniewicz, A, U Youngprapakorn, and G Jones. 2018. “First Report of Physiological Color Change in a Crocodilian.” Copeia 106 (2): 264–67. doi:10.1643/CP-17-711.

Urban, MC, BL Phillips, DK Skelly, and R Shine. 2008. “A Toad More Traveled: The Heterogeneous Invasion Dynamics of Cane Toads in Australia.” The American Naturalist 171 (3): E134–48

Ward, M. 2018. “INDOTESTUDO ELONGATA (Elongated Tortoise). UNUSUAL MORTALITY.” Herpetological Review 49 (1): 108–9.

Other Links/Mentions:

T-shirts etc:


Intro/outro – Treehouse by Ed Nelson

Other Music – The Passion HiFi,

Long-time friends of herpetologists, anoles have proven a fruitful area of research for decades. This bi-week we discuss a couple of papers examining anole behaviour and colouration before highlighting a newly discovered (and rather spectacular) species.



Main Paper References:

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.

Medina, I, JB Losos, and DL Mahler. 2016. “Evolution of Dorsal Pattern Variation in Greater Antillean Anolis Lizards.” Biological Journal of the Linnean Society 120 (2): 427–35.

Species of the Bi-Week:

Gray, L, R Meza-lázaro, S Poe, and AN De Oca. 2016. “A New Species of Semiaquatic Anolis (Squamata: Dactyloidae) from Oaxaca and Veracruz, Mexico.” Herpetological Journal 26 (October): 253–62.

Other Mentioned Papers/Studies:

Fidler, F, H Fraser, MA Mccarthy, and ET Game. 2018. “Improving the Transparency of Statistical Reporting in Conservation Letters.” Conservation Letters 11 (e12453): 1–4.

Galdino, CAB, G Horta, and RJ Young. 2014. “An Update to a Bead-Tagging Method for Marking Lizards.” Herpetological Review 45 (4): 587–89.

Kolbe, J. J., Glor, R. E., Schettino, L. R., Lara, A. C., Larson, A., & Losos, J. B. (2004). Genetic variation increases during biological invasion by a Cuban lizard. Nature, 431(7005), 177.

Ríos-Saldaña, CA, M Delibes-Mateos, and C Ferreira. 2018. “Are Fieldwork Studies Being Relegated to Second Place in Conservation Science?” Global Ecology and Conservation, April. Elsevier B.V., e00389.

Toda, M., Takahashi, H., Nakagawa, N., & Sukigara, N. (2010). Ecology and control of the green anole (Anolis carolinensis), an invasive alien species on the Ogasawara Islands. In Restoring the oceanic island ecosystem (pp. 145-152). Springer, Tokyo.

Wuster, W, CSE Allum, IB Bjargardottir, KL Bailey, KJ 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.

Other Links/Mentions:

Anole Annals blog:

Wildlife, Cake and Cocktails podcast:

Morelia Python Radio podcast:


Intro/outro – Treehouse by Ed Nelson

Other Music – The Passion HiFi,

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