Back in the 90s the Swiss authorities decided to start digging loads of ponds for their dwindling amphibians. But did these uniquely slippery customers appreciate it?

Become a Patreon: https://www.patreon.com/herphighlights

Full reference list available here: http://www.herphighlights.podbean.com

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Main Paper References:

Moor H, Bergamini A, Vorburger C, Holderegger R, Bühler C, Egger S, Schmidt BR. 2022. Bending the curve: Simple but massive conservation action leads to landscape-scale recovery of amphibians. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences 119:e2123070119. DOI: 10.1073/pnas.2123070119.

Biakzuala L. 2022. Collection of vulnerable nests with eggs for the captive incubation of king cobra (Ophiophagus hannah) as a conservation strategy in Mizoram north-east India. The Herpetological Bulletin:18–20. DOI: 10.33256/hb159.1820.

Editing and Music:

Podcast edited by Emmy – https://www.fiverr.com/emmyk10 

Intro/outro – Treehouse by Ed Nelson

Species Bi-week theme – Michael Timothy

Other Music – The Passion HiFi, https://www.thepassionhifi.com

Central American boas are the focus of this episode - we disentangle why some are large, and others are very small. Followed up by a Species of the Bi-Week with a stubby tail.

Become a Patreon: https://www.patreon.com/herphighlights

Full reference list available here: http://www.herphighlights.podbean.com

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Main Paper References:

Card DC, Adams RH, Schield DR, Perry BW, Corbin AB, Pasquesi GIM, Row K, Van Kleeck MJ, Daza JM, Booth W, Montgomery CE, Boback SM, Castoe TA. 2019. Genomic Basis of Convergent Island Phenotypes in Boa Constrictors. Genome Biology and Evolution 11:3123–3143. DOI: 10.1093/gbe/evz226.

Species of the Bi-Week:

Oliver PM, Donnellan SC, Gunn BF. 2022. Plio–Pleistocene vicariance across arid Australia in the ‘Spiny Knob-tailed Geckos’ (Nephrurus asper group), with the description of a new species from western Queensland. Australian Journal of Zoology 69:216–228. DOI: 10.1071/ZO22008.

Other Mentioned Papers/Studies:

Card, D. C., Schield, D. R., Adams, R. H., Corbin, A. B., Perry, B. W., Andrew, A. L., ... & Castoe, T. A. (2016). Phylogeographic and population genetic analyses reveal multiple species of Boa and independent origins of insular dwarfism. Molecular phylogenetics and evolution, 102, 104-116.

Jack, K. M., Brown, M. R., Buehler, M. S., Cheves Hernadez, S., Ferrero Marín, N., Kulick, N. K., & Lieber, S. E. (2020). Cooperative rescue of a juvenile capuchin (Cebus imitator) from a Boa constrictor. Scientific Reports, 10(1), 1-7.

Reynolds, R. G., Niemiller, M. L., & Revell, L. J. (2014). Toward a Tree-of-Life for the boas and pythons: Multilocus species-level phylogeny with unprecedented taxon sampling. Molecular Phylogenetics and Evolution, 71, 201-213.

Editing and Music:

Podcast edited by Emmy – https://www.fiverr.com/emmyk10 

Intro/outro – Treehouse by Ed Nelson

Species Bi-week theme – Michael Timothy

Other Music – The Passion HiFi, https://www.thepassionhifi.com

A look at the world's shortest-lived tetrapod, a tiny chameleon, Labord's chameleon. What is their life like? And where do they go in the short months when they are not an egg?

Become a Patreon: https://www.patreon.com/herphighlights

Full reference list available here: http://www.herphighlights.podbean.com

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Main Paper References:

Hudel L, Kappeler PM. 2022. Sex-specific movement ecology of the shortest-lived tetrapod during the mating season. Scientific Reports 12:10053. DOI: 10.1038/s41598-022-14156-3.

Other Mentioned Papers/Studies:

Cuadrado M. 2001. Mate guarding and social mating system in male common chameleons (Chamaeleo chamaeleon). Journal of Zoology 255:425–435. DOI: 10.1017/S0952836901001510.

Palmisano, J. N., Bockoven, C., McPherson, S. M., Ossiboff, R. J., Walden, H. D., & Farrell, T. M. 2022. Infection Experiments Indicate That Common Florida Anurans and Lizards May Serve as Intermediate Hosts for the Invasive Pentastome Parasite, Raillietiella orientalis. Journal of Herpetology, 56(3): 355-361. DOI: 10.1670/21-061.

Other Links/Mentions:

Tomato frog call from amphibiaweb.org: https://amphibiaweb.org/cgi/amphib_query?where-scientific_name=Dyscophus+antongilii&rel-scientific_name=contains&include_synonymies=Yes

Editing and Music:

Podcast edited by Emmy – https://www.fiverr.com/emmyk10 

Intro/outro – Treehouse by Ed Nelson

Species Bi-week theme – Michael Timothy

Other Music – The Passion HiFi, https://www.thepassionhifi.com

Reptiles can be tough, especially when faced with a lack of water. But does providing them with extra water help them out? We also have a bent-toed Species of the Bi-week.

Become a Patreon: https://www.patreon.com/herphighlights

Full reference list available here: http://www.herphighlights.podbean.com

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Main Paper References:

Capehart GD, Escallón C, Vernasco BJ, Moore IT, Taylor EN. 2016. No drought about it: Effects of supplemental hydration on the ecology, behavior, and physiology of free-ranging rattlesnakes. Journal of Arid Environments 134:79–86. DOI: 10.1016/j.jaridenv.2016.06.018.

Species of the Bi-Week:

Yodthong S, Rujirawan A, Stuart BL, Grismer LL, Aksornneam A, Termprayoon K, Ampai N, Aowphol A. 2022. A new species in the Cyrtodactylus oldhami group (Squamata, Gekkonidae) from Kanchanaburi Province, western Thailand. ZooKeys 1103:139–169. DOI: 10.3897/zookeys.1103.84672.

Editing and Music:

Podcast edited by Emmy – https://www.fiverr.com/emmyk10 

Intro/outro – Treehouse by Ed Nelson

Species Bi-week theme – Michael Timothy

Other Music – The Passion HiFi, https://www.thepassionhifi.com

The islands of New Caledonia are famous for their geckos. Recent research has revealed the evolutionary past of these sticky lizards, and it all began shortly after the islands themselves emerged from the Pacific Ocean. 

Become a Patreon: https://www.patreon.com/herphighlights

Full reference list available here: http://www.herphighlights.podbean.com

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Main Paper References:

Skipwith PL, Bauer AM, Jackman TR, Sadlier RA. 2016. Old but not ancient: coalescent species tree of New Caledonian geckos reveals recent post‐inundation diversification. Journal of Biogeography 43:1266–1276. DOI: 10.1111/jbi.12719.

Other Mentioned Papers/Studies:

Griffing, A. H., Sanger, T. J., Epperlein, L., Bauer, A. M., Cobos, A., Higham, T. E., ... & Gamble, T. 2021. And thereby hangs a tail: morphology, developmental patterns and biomechanics of the adhesive tails of crested geckos (Correlophus ciliatus). Proceedings of the Royal Society B, 288(1953), 20210650.

Other Links/Mentions:

Kimbrough L. 2022.Tiny new tree frog species found in rewilded Costa Rican nature reserve: https://news.mongabay.com/2022/09/tiny-new-tree-frog-species-found-in-rewilded-costa-rican-nature-reserve/ 

Crested gecko chirping audio on YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oFOGsS2TPuI 

Independent article about house gecko on board ship: https://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/china-asian-maidstone-kent-b2007108.html 

Editing and Music:

Podcast edited by Emmy – https://www.fiverr.com/emmyk10 

Intro/outro – Treehouse by Ed Nelson

Species Bi-week theme – Michael Timothy

Other Music – The Passion HiFi, https://www.thepassionhifi.com

Radioactive frogs around Chernobyl haven't been the same since the nuclear disaster. We talk about why they aren't so green, before focusing on a newly described species that couldn't be greener.

Become a Patreon: https://www.patreon.com/herphighlights

Full reference list available here: http://www.herphighlights.podbean.com

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Main Paper References:

Burraco P, Orizaola G. 2022. Ionizing radiation and melanism in Chornobyl tree frogs. Evolutionary Applications 15:1469–1479. DOI: 10.1111/eva.13476.

Species of the Bi-Week:

Varela-Soto D, Abarca JG, Brenes-Mora E, Aspinall V, Leenders T, Shepack A. 2022. A new species of brilliant green frog of the genus Tlalocohyla (Anura, Hylidae) hiding between two volcanoes of northern Costa Rica. Zootaxa 5178:501–531. DOI: 10.11646/zootaxa.5178.6.1.

Editing and Music:

Podcast edited by Emmy – https://www.fiverr.com/emmyk10 

Intro/outro – Treehouse by Ed Nelson

Species Bi-week theme – Michael Timothy

Other Music – The Passion HiFi, https://www.thepassionhifi.com

We’ve chatted about invasive species in many episodes, but this time the invader is INSIDE the better known invader. A parasite has made its way to Florida, USA in the lungs of Burmese Pythons; has the parasite spread, and is it impacting the native snake species?

Become a Patreon: https://www.patreon.com/herphighlights

Full reference list available here: http://www.herphighlights.podbean.com

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Main Paper References:

Miller MA, Kinsella JM, Snow RW, Falk BG, Reed RN, Goetz SM, Mazzotti FJ, Guyer C, Romagosa CM. 2020. Highly competent native snake hosts extend the range of an introduced parasite beyond its invasive Burmese python host. Ecosphere 11. DOI: 10.1002/ecs2.3153.

Walden HDS, Iredale ME, Childress A, Wellehan JFX, Ossiboff RJ. 2020. Case Report: Invasive Pentastomes, Raillietiella orientalis (Sambon, 1922), in a Free-Ranging Banded Water Snake (Nerodia fasciata) in North Central Florida, USA. Frontiers in Veterinary Science 7:467. DOI: 10.3389/fvets.2020.00467.

Other Mentioned Papers/Studies:

Kelehear, C., Spratt, D. M., O’Meally, D., & Shine, R. 2014. Pentastomids of wild snakes in the Australian tropics. International Journal for Parasitology: Parasites and Wildlife, 3(1), 20-31. DOI: 10.1016/j.ijppaw.2013.12.003.

Other Links/Mentions:

Gopher frog call from: https://www.floridamuseum.ufl.edu/discover-herps/florida-frog-calls/

Editing and Music:

Podcast edited by Emmy – https://www.fiverr.com/emmyk10 

Intro/outro – Treehouse by Ed Nelson

Species Bi-week theme – Michael Timothy

Other Music – The Passion HiFi, https://www.thepassionhifi.com

October 8, 2022

130 Versatile Blue Tongue

Blue tongue skinks are named for their distinctive blue tongue. We’ve talked previously about how they spook predators with a flash of blue, but this time we look at an alternative more food focused use. We also have a red hot Species of the Bi-week.

Become a Patreon: https://www.patreon.com/herphighlights

Full reference list available here: http://www.herphighlights.podbean.com

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Main Paper References:

Hewes AE, Schwenk K. 2021. The functional morphology of lingual prey capture in a scincid lizard, Tiliqua scincoides (Reptilia: Squamata). Journal of Morphology 282:127–145. DOI: 10.1002/jmor.21287.

Species of the Bi-Week:

Yoshikawa N, Matsui M. 2022. A New Salamander of the Genus Onychodactylus from Central Honshu, Japan (Amphibia, Caudata, Hynobiidae). Current Herpetology 41. DOI: 10.5358/hsj.41.82.

Other Mentioned Papers/Studies:

Youngman, N. J., Llinas, J., & Fry, B. G. 2021. Evidence for resistance to coagulotoxic effects of Australian elapid snake venoms by sympatric prey (blue tongue skinks) but not by predators (monitor lizards). Toxins, 13(9), 590. DOI: 10.3390/toxins13090590.

Editing and Music:

Podcast edited by Emmy – https://www.fiverr.com/emmyk10 

Intro/outro – Treehouse by Ed Nelson

Species Bi-week theme – Michael Timothy

Other Music – The Passion HiFi, https://www.thepassionhifi.com

A tortoise and turtle double-bill. Gopher tortoises face burrow cave-ins, and sea turtles eat human food.

Become a Patreon: https://www.patreon.com/herphighlights

Full reference list available here: http://www.herphighlights.podbean.com

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Main Paper References:

Goodman SJ, Smith JA, Gorman TA, Haas CA. 2018. Longevity of Gopher Tortoise Burrows in Sandy Soils. Southeastern Naturalist 17:531–540. DOI: 10.1656/058.017.0310.

Smulders FOH, O’Shea OR, Christianen MJA. 2021. Animal-borne video reveals atypical behaviour in provisioned green turtles: A global perspective of a widespread tourist activity. Global Ecology and Conservation 25:e01417. DOI: 10.1016/j.gecco.2020.e01417.

Other Mentioned Papers/Studies:

Mendonca, M., Beauman, R., & Balbach, H. (2007). Burrow Collapse as a Potential Stressor on the Gopher Tortoise (Gopherus polyphenus). Engineer Research And Development Center Champaign IL Construction Engineering Research Lab.

Wester, E.E. (2004). Impact of natural gas pipeline operation and maintenance on longterm population viability of the threatened gopher tortoise (Gopherus polyphemus). Report to Florida Gas Transmission Company. Southern Ecosystems Research, Auburn, AL

Other Links/Mentions:

Bulldog stuck in tortoise burrow: https://yhoo.it/3RYLgQh 

Editing and Music:

Podcast edited by Emmy – https://www.fiverr.com/emmyk10 

Intro/outro – Treehouse by Ed Nelson

Species Bi-week theme – Michael Timothy

Other Music – The Passion HiFi, https://www.thepassionhifi.com

September 20, 2022

128 Swampy Siren Songs

Sirens resemble a salamander crossed with an eel. We work out how these bizarre amphibians hunt, and talk about a siren species only recently discovered by science. 

Become a Patreon: https://www.patreon.com/herphighlights

Full reference list available here: http://www.herphighlights.podbean.com

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Main Paper References:

Martin BT, Goodding DD, Ford NB, Placyk JS. 2013. Sensory Mediation of Foraging Behavior in the Western Lesser Siren (Siren intermedia nettingi). Journal of Herpetology 47:75–77. DOI: 10.1670/11-209.

Species of the Bi-Week:

Graham SP, Kline R, Steen DA, Kelehear C. 2018. Description of an extant salamander from the Gulf Coastal Plain of North America: The Reticulated Siren, Siren reticulata. PLOS ONE 13:e0207460. DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0207460.

Editing and Music:

Podcast edited by Emmy – https://www.fiverr.com/emmyk10 

Intro/outro – Treehouse by Ed Nelson

Species Bi-week theme – Michael Timothy

Other Music – The Passion HiFi, https://www.thepassionhifi.com

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