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This fortnight we are delving into the peculiar world of caecilians. Fossorial amphibians that seldom show their faces on the surface. We chat about caecilians' strange adaptations and how a ten-year study has shed some light on their reproductive habits. The Species of the Bi-week is a suitably elongated and slimy critter. FULL REFERENCE LIST AVAILABLE AT: herphighlights.podbean.com

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Main Paper References:

Jared, C., Mailho-Fontana, P. L., Jared, S. G. S., Kupfer, A., Delabie, J. H. C., Wilkinson, M., & Antoniazzi, M. M. (2018). Life history and reproduction of the neotropical caecilian Siphonops annulatus (Amphibia, Gymnophiona, Siphonopidae), with special emphasis on parental care. Acta Zoologica, (March), 1–11. https://doi.org/10.1111/azo.12254

Jared, C., Mailho-Fontana, P. L., Marques-Porto, R., Sciani, J. M., Pimenta, D. C., Brodie, E. D., & Antoniazzi, M. M. (2018). Skin gland concentrations adapted to different evolutionary pressures in the head and posterior regions of the caecilian Siphonops annulatus. Scientific Reports, 8(1), 1–7. https://doi.org/10.1038/s41598-018-22005-5

Species of the Bi-Week:

Maddock, S. T., Wilkinson, M., & Gower, D. J. (2018). A new species of small, long-snouted Hypogeophis Peters, 1880 (Amphibia: Gymnophiona: Indotyphlidae) from the highest elevations of the Seychelles island of Mahé. Zootaxa, 4450(3), 359–375. https://doi.org/10.11646/zootaxa.4450.3.3

Other Mentioned Papers/Studies:

Jared, C. et al. (2005). Head co-ossification, phragmosis and defense in the casque-headed tree frog Corythomantis greeningi. Journal of Zoology, 265.

Sawaya, P. (1940) Sobre o veneno das glândulas cutâneas, a secreção e o coração de Siphonops annulatus. Bot. Fac. Fill. Ci. Let. Univ. São Paulo. Ser. Zool. 4, 207–270

Wilkinson, M., Kupfer, A., Marques-Porto, R., Jeffkins, H., Antoniazzi, M. M., & Jared, C. (2008). One hundred million years of skin feeding? Extended parental care in a Neotropical caecilian (Amphibia: Gymnophiona). Biology Letters, 4(4), 358–361. https://doi.org/10.1098/rsbl.2008.0217

Wilson, N. J., Stokes, A. N., Hopkins, G. R., Brodie, Jr., E. D., & Williams, C. R. (2014). Functional and physiological resistance of crayfish to amphibian toxins: tetrodotoxin resistance in the white river crayfish (Procambarus acutus). Canadian Journal of Zoology, 92(11), 939–945. https://doi.org/10.1139/cjz-2014-0128

Other Links/Mentions:

BBC Life in Cold Blood - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UCF4qmxdkkM

Video of caecilian babies eating the skin of their mother: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6K6szXrBHwM

Music:

Intro/outro – Treehouse by Ed Nelson

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

September 4, 2018

034 Hybrid Pythons

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The News Niche has come again. This episode we talk about invasive python genetics (just what are they?) and new conservation tools, with a Species of the Bi-Week that features not one but two new cobras. FULL REFERENCE LIST AVAILABLE AT: herphighlights.podbean.com

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Main Paper References:

Gumbs, R., Gray, C. L., Wearn, O. R., & Owen, N. R. (2018). Tetrapods on the EDGE: Overcoming data limitations to identify phylogenetic conservation priorities. PloS one, 13(4), e0194680.

Hunter, M. E., Johnson, N. A., Smith, B. J., Davis, M. C., Butterfield, J. S., Snow, R. W., & Hart, K. M. (2018). Cytonuclear discordance in the Florida Everglades invasive Burmese python (Python bivittatus) population reveals possible hybridization with the Indian python (P. molurus). Ecology and Evolution.

Species of the Bi-Week: WÜSTER, W., Chirio, L., Trape, J. F., Ineich, I., Jackson, K., Greenbaum, E., ... & Hall, C. (2018). Integration of nuclear and mitochondrial gene sequences and morphology reveals unexpected diversity in the forest cobra (Naja melanoleuca) species complex in Central and West Africa (Serpentes: Elapidae). Zootaxa, 4455(1), 68-98.

Other mentioned papers:

Hart, K. M., Cherkiss, M. S., Smith, B. J., Mazzotti, F. J., Fujisaki, I., Snow, R. W., & Dorcas, M. E. (2015). Home range, habitat use, and movement patterns of non-native Burmese pythons in Everglades National Park, Florida, USA. Animal Biotelemetry, 3(1), 8.

Hunter, M. E., Oyler-McCance, S. J., Dorazio, R. M., Fike, J. A., Smith, B. J., Hunter, C. T., ... & Hart, K. M. (2015). Environmental DNA (eDNA) sampling improves occurrence and detection estimates of invasive Burmese pythons. PloS one, 10(4), e0121655.

Hyslop, N. L., Meyers, J. M., Cooper, R. J., & Stevenson, D. J. (2014). Effects of body size and sex of Drymarchon couperi (eastern indigo snake) on habitat use, movements, and home range size in Georgia. The Journal of Wildlife Management, 78(1), 101-111.

Lynch, V. J., & Wagner, G. P. (2010). Did egg‐laying boas break Dollo's law? Phylogenetic evidence for reversal to oviparity in sand boas (Eryx: Boidae). Evolution: International Journal of Organic Evolution, 64(1), 207-216.

Pyron, R. A., & Burbrink, F. T. (2014). Early origin of viviparity and multiple reversions to oviparity in squamate reptiles. Ecology letters, 17(1), 13-21.

Shine, R. (2015). The evolution of oviparity in squamate reptiles: an adaptationist perspective. Journal of Experimental Zoology Part B: Molecular and Developmental Evolution, 324(6), 487-492.

Wang, Y., & Evans, S. E. (2011). A gravid lizard from the Cretaceous of China and the early history of squamate viviparity. Naturwissenschaften, 98(9), 739.

Zhu, F., Liu, Q., Che, J., Zhang, L., Chen, X., Yan, F., ... & Guo, P. (2016). Molecular phylogeography of white‐lipped tree viper (Trimeresurus; Viperidae). Zoologica Scripta, 45(3), 252-262.

Other links:

Captive and field Herpetology Issue 2: http://captiveandfieldherpetology.com/volume-2-issue-1-2018/

A Naturalist’s Guide to the Dangerous Creatures of Australia: https://www.nhbs.com/a-naturalists-guide-to-the-dangerous-creatures-of-australia-book

Music:

Intro/outro – Treehouse by Ed Nelson

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