March 24, 2020

065 Viper X Toad

This episode we take a look at the Gaboon Viper… or is that a toad? Looking at a couple of papers, we check out the characteristics of Gaboon Viper skin, and how a smart toad may be harnessing the looks of a viper to stay safe. Species of the Bi-week returns and continues our African toad journey. FULL REFERENCE LIST AVAILABLE AT: herphighlights.podbean.com

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Main Paper References:

Spinner M, Gorb SN, Balmert A, Bleckmann H, Westhoff G. (2014). Non-Contaminating Camouflage: Multifunctional Skin Microornamentation in the West African Gaboon Viper (Bitis rhinoceros). PLoS ONE 9:e91087. DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0091087.

Vaughan ER, Teshera MS, Kusamba C, Edmonston TR, Greenbaum E. (2019). A remarkable example of suspected Batesian mimicry of Gaboon Vipers (Reptilia: Viperidae: Bitis gabonica) by Congolese Giant Toads (Amphibia: Bufonidae: Sclerophrys channingi). Journal of Natural History 53:1853–1871. DOI: 10.1080/00222933.2019.1669730.

Species of the Bi-Week:

Ceríaco LMP, Marques MP, Bandeira S, Agarwal I, Stanley EL, Bauer AM, Heinicke MP, Blackburn DC. (2018). A new earless species of Poyntonophrynus (Anura, Bufonidae) from the Serra da Neve Inselberg, Namibe Province, Angola. ZooKeys 780:109–136. DOI: 10.3897/zookeys.780.25859.

Other Mentioned Papers/Studies:

Spinner M, Kovalev A, Gorb SN, Westhoff G (2013) Snake velvet black: hierarchical micro- and nanostructure enhances dark colouration in Bitis rhinoceros. Scientific Reports 3: 1846. doi: 10.1038/srep01846

Penner J, Fruteau C, Range F, Rödel M-O. (2008). Finding a needle in a haystack: new methods of locating and working with rhinoceros vipers (Bitis rhinoceros). Herpetological Review 39:310–314.

Wittenberg, R.D., Jadin, R.C., Fenwick, A.M. et al. (2015). Recovering the evolutionary history of Africa’s most diverse viper genus: morphological and molecular phylogeny of Bitis (Reptilia: Squamata: Viperidae). Organisms Diversity and Evolution 15, 115–125 https://doi.org/10.1007/s13127-014-0185-3

Music:

Intro/outro – Treehouse by Ed Nelson

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

Painted turtles - cute, and brightly coloured, but are they harbouring a dark secret? We first discuss identifying their gender, followed by talk of some unusual behaviour. Our Species of the Bi-Week is an Angolan lizard.

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Main Paper References:

Moldowan, P. D., Brooks, R. J., & Litzgus, J. D. (2017). Assessing head morphology dimorphism in the Midland Painted Turtle (Chrysemys picta marginata) using a photographic questionnaire. Chelonian Conservation and Biology, 16(1), 76-82.

Moldowan, P. D., Brooks, R. J., & Litzgus, J. (2020). Demographics of injuries indicate sexual coercion in a population of Painted Turtles (Chrysemys picta). Canadian Journal of Zoology, (ja).

Species of the Bi-Week:

Branch, W. R., Conradie, W., & Vaz Pinto, P. (2020). Another Angolan Namib endemic species: a new Nucras Gray, 1838 (Squamata: Lacertidae) from south-western Angola. Amphibian and Reptile Conservation, 13(2), 82–95 (e199).

Other Mentioned Papers/Studies:

Hawkshaw, D. M., Moldowan, P. D., Litzgus, J. D., Brooks, R. J., & Rollinson, N. (2019). Discovery and description of a novel sexual weapon in the world’s most widely-studied freshwater turtle. Evolutionary Ecology, 33(6), 889-900.

Silva, I., Crane, M., Marshall, B. M., & Strine, C. T. (2020). Revisiting reptile home ranges: moving beyond traditional estimators with dynamic Brownian Bridge Movement Models. BioRxiv, 23. doi:10.1101/2020.02.10.941278

Other Links/Mentions:

Sexing dolphins by their fins: https://www.nature.com/news/2008/081013/full/news.2008.1166.html

Music:

Intro/outro – Treehouse by Ed Nelson

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