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Herpetological Highlights

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016 Slimy Salamander Sociality

Salamanders feature in episode 16, especially North American ones. We chat about the unusual inheritance strategies of Ambystoma, and territorial behaviour and polmorphism (multiple colour patterns) of red-backed salamanders. There will of course be a slippery surprise in our Species of the Bi-week. FULL REFERENCE LIST AVAILABLE AT Main Paper References: Bogart, James P., Jessica E. Linton, and Al Sandilands. 2017. “A Population in Limbo: Unisexual...

Duration: 01:04:13

The Interviews 002 - Steve Allain

Tom caught up with renowned amphibian man and Imperial College master’s student Steve Allain at Venom Day 2017 at Bangor University. Steve’s midwife toad project features heavily, along with his upcoming master’s research and general amphibian happenings. Steve’s twitter: Steve’s blog:

Duration: 00:27:22

015 Serpents of the Sea

Snakes of the sea. Yellow, striped, you name it. We look into some factors changing their colours, and how has the yellow-bellied sea snake become so widespread? Another Species of the Bi-week that’s entirely yellow but not entirely a species. FULL REFERENCE LIST AVAILABLE AT: Main Paper References: Brischoux, François, Cédric Cotté, Harvey B. Lillywhite, Frédéric Bailleul, Maxime Lalire, and Philippe Gaspar. 2016. “Oceanic Circulation Models Help to Predict...

Duration: 00:52:06


Crocodylians have been around for a while and they know what they’re doing. In this episode we discuss what they do when they’re ticked off, and how the massive, fascinating, and largely unknown Tomistoma is getting on in SE Asia. As always, we end on a new species, and this time it’s a fractious new species of something crocodile-like. FULL REFERENCE LIST AVAILABLE AT: Main Paper References: Brien, Matthew L., Jeffrey W. Lang, Grahame J. Webb, Colin...

Duration: 01:13:36

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: Main Paper References: Kolby, Jonathan E., Sara D. Ramirez, Lee Berger, Kathryn L. Richards-Hrdlicka, Merlijn Jocque, and Lee F. Skerratt. 2015....

Duration: 01:04:16

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: Main Paper References: Driscoll, Don A., Catherine A. Whitehead, and Juliana Lazzari. 2012. “Spatial Dynamics of the Knob-Tailed...

Duration: 01:14:29

The Interviews 001 - John ‘Gecko Wrangler’ McGrath

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: iHerp facebook: iHerp twitter: Music: Treehouse by Ed Nelson

Duration: 00:53:41

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: Main Paper References: Martínez-Freiría, F, P.-A. Crochet, S. Fahd, P....

Duration: 01:43:01

9 Herpetological Highlights - The Golden Mantella

The Golden Mantella frog is the subject of this fortnights episode. Starting with a little bit about how they live in the wilds of Madagascar; followed by the larger portion of the podcast looking at a couple of the studies that have come out of the captive breeding initiatives. Species of the Bi-week returns, and features a couple of newly described frogs from Papua New Guinea. FULL REFERENCE LIST AVAILABLE AT: Main Paper References: Passos, Luiza...

Duration: 01:34:34

8 Herpetological Highlights - Deceptive Snakes

Snakes! Episode 8 is all about snakes, specifically those snakes that employ mimicry to fool other animals. We talk about spider tailed vipers, chunky puff adders and variety of sneaky coral snakes. FULL REFERENCE LIST AVAILABLE AT: Main Paper References: Fathinia, B, N Rastegar-Pouyani, E Rastegar-Pouyani, F Todehdehghan, and F Amiri. 2015. “Avian Deception Using an Elaborate Caudal Lure in Pseudocerastes Urarachnoides (Serpentes: Viperidae).”...

Duration: 01:19:47

7 Herpetological Highlights - Fossorial Frogs

This week is a fully frog podcast, dedicated to those frogs who dig. We touch on how the climate can induce fossorial adaptations and limit frog’s activity periods. Along with how some frogs manage to sustain populations despite their sedentary and subterranean lives. And look at perhaps the most bizarre looking frog ever to have graced the earth. To round off we have a newly described burrow-utilising frog for our Species of the Bi-week. FULL REFERENCE LIST AVAILABLE AT:...

Duration: 01:20:49

6 Herpetological Highlights - Turtle Tides

In episode 6 of our herpetology podcast we investigate the majestic sea turtles. To begin with we dive into the dispersal capabilities of Leatherback Turtles. Following on from that we discuss some of the threats that wild turtles face - plastics and oil. Finally, for our species of the bi-week we lighten the mood with a species which, incidentally, also possesses a hard exterior. FULL REFERENCE LIST AVAILABLE AT: Main Paper References: Lauritsen, Ann Marie,...

Duration: 01:02:26

5 Herpetological Highlights - Monsters and Dragons

This episode is focused on venomous lizards. The first half is all about the desert specialist and ultra-efficient Gila Monster. With the latter portion covering possibly the most charismatic lizard still roaming the earth – the iconic Komodo Dragon. We explore the how these lizards interact with their environments and discuss the existence of their venoms. At the end we have the usual Species of the Bi-week who also harbours a dangerous toxin. FULL REFERENCE LIST AVAILABLE AT:...

Duration: 01:25:51

4 Herpetological Highlights - Day Gecko Invasion

Episode four is all about day geckos. We get into the lifestyles of these handsome creatures – first exploring Mauritian lowland forest day gecko’s choice of home. Following on from that, we chat about some cheeky Malagasy geckos with some peculiar dietary requirements, and then discuss the startling spread of giant day geckos on Reunion Island. Our Species of the Bi-Week is a gecko with a bizarre adaption to help it evade its foes. FULL REFERENCE LIST AVAILABLE AT...

Duration: 01:22:26

3 Herpetological Highlights - Bodacious Boas

This fortnight’s episode is dedicated to boas. The first portion looks into how boas hunt; their ability to subdue prey and potentially hunt in a “coordinated” fashion. After, we dig into some landscape genetics and see how the success of cave dwelling boas could boost their conservation chances. Staying on message, our Species of the Bi-week is another ghostly snake from a tropical island. To round the episode off we slide into a lengthy tangent concerning the “dual purpose” of locality...

Duration: 01:46:53

2 Herpetological Highlights - Frog Noise and Snake Space

In Episode 2 of Herpetological highlights we delve into the world of frogs and how they deal with noisy environments. Followed up by a pair of radiotelemetry studies giving us a glimpse into the lives of two North American snakes. We have two Species of the Bi-week, a ghostly snake from Madagascar and a rediscovered Monitor Lizard from the distant Bismarck Archipelago. FULL REFERENCE LIST AVAILABLE AT: Main Paper References Bauder, Javan M., David R....

Duration: 01:04:05

1 Herpetological Highlights - Cool Colours and Cryptic Camo

On this inaugural episode of Herpetological Highlights we discuss colour changing Bearded Dragons, the temperature efficiency of Bluetongue Skinks, and how snake camouflage may have driven primate evolution. Our Species of the Bi-week is a sexually dichromatic snake from India. FULL REFERENCE LIST AVAILABLE AT: Main Paper References Fan, Marie, Devi Stuart-Fox, and Viviana Cadena. 2014. “Cyclic Colour Change in the Bearded Dragon Pogona Vitticeps under...

Duration: 00:58:52