The British Herpetological Society

The Herpetological Journal is the Society's prestigious quarterly scientific journal. Articles are listed in Biological Abstracts, Current Awareness in Biological Sciences,Current Contents, Science Citation Index, and Zoological Record.

The 2017/18  impact factor of the Herpetological Journal is 1.268

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Folder Volume 4, Number 3, July 1994

pdf 01. Discrepant usage of the term ' ovoviviparity' in the herpetological literature


Open Access


Authors: Daniel G. Blackburn

Abstract: A broad survey of the literature on reptiles and amphibians reveals that the ambiguous term 'ovoviviparity' has been applied to a variety of reproductive patterns that have little in common. Among these are patterns that can more clearly be referred to as aplacental viviparity, oviparous egg-retention, egg-tending, pseudoviviparity, and lecithotrophy. Some of the uses of 'ovoviviparity' are based on invalid assumptions, and some are mutually exclusive; thus, particular care must be used in interpreting literature reports that lack operative definitions. To minimize confusion, future reports and reviews should avoid 'ovoviviparity' in favour of unambiguous alternatives that explicitly distinguish patterns defined on the basis of reproductive products at deposition from patterns based on sources of nutrients for embryonic development.

pdf 02. The embryo and hatchling mortality of the green turtle (Chelonia mydas) and olive ridley (Lepidochelys olivacea) in relation to clutch size


Open Access


Authors: Suhashini Hewa Visenthi

Abstract: This study was carried out at the Kosgoda Victor Hasselblad Turtle hatchery in Sri Lanka, between December 1 988 and November 1989. A total of 64 nests of Chelonia mydas and 32 nests of Lepidochelys olivacea were examined after the emergence of hatchlings. The percentage late mortality (late embryonic stages and early hatchlings) of C. mydas and L. olivacea showed a positive relationship with the increasing number of eggs in a clutch. There was no significant relationship between the percentage early embryonic mortality and the clutch size. The percentage of live hatchlings of both species showed a negative relationship with the increasing clutch size. Dividing and transplanting C. mydas clutches with more than 120 eggs and L. olivacea clutches with more than 110 eggs may result in higher percentages of live hatchlings. Investigations on the incubation temperature of small egg clutches need to be made in order to find the effect on the sex ratio of hatchlings.

pdf 03. Field studies on reproductive behaviour in two dart poison frog species ([i]Epipedobates femoralis, Epipedobates trivittatus[i]) in Amazonian Peru


Open Access


Authors: Margarete E. Roithmair

Abstract: The reproductive behaviour of two syntopic dendrobatid species, Epipedobates femoralis and Epipedobates trivittatus were studied in two separate field studies in Amazonian Peru. Males of both species defended territories against calling conspecifics; females were not territorial . Pair-formation, courtship, and mating took place in the territories of the males. Females entered territories and approached calling males who attempted to lead females to oviposition sites. Females rejected males during courtship by leaving males or refusing nest sites. Males never rejected females. Brood care was performed by males only. The reproductive behaviour of the two species varied in length and pattern of courtship, oviposition behaviour and male brood-care behaviour.

pdf 04. Haematological values of the rainbow lizard Agama agama L


Open Access


Authors: Olufemi A. Sodeinde And Adeyinka A. Ogunjobi

Abstract: Haematological values of blood of 82 rainbow lizards, Agama agama L. collected during the rainy season in Ago-lwoye, Nigeria were determined and the influence of age, sex and reproductive condition were investigated. Red blood cells were oval and nucleated and had a mean size of 18.6 by 13.0µ. Means of parameters commonly used in patho-physiological investigations were: red blood cell (RBC) - 0. 78 x 1012/1, white blood cell (WBC) - 0.46 x 1011/ 1, packed cell volume (PCV) - 28.9% and haemoglobin (Hb) - 6. 1 g/dl. There were differences in blood parameters between males and females (thrombocyte, WBC, Hb and red cell indices), adult and subadult males (Hb and PVC) and non-breeding, vitellogenic and ovigerous females (WBC, RBC and PCV)

pdf 05. New observations on the Elaphe snakes from Amorgos (Cyclades, Greece) and the validity of Elaphe rechingeri Werner as an endemic species


Open Access


Authors: Richard Clark

Abstract: Three specimens of Elaphe quatuorlineata (Lacepede) and three referable to the disputed taxon Elaphe rechingeri Werner were caught on the Cycladean island of Amorgos in April 1 993. Analysis of this and earlier material collected by the author reveals the taxa are non-synonymous and separable chromatically, morphologically and in head scalation. A new definition of E. rechingeri is given. The status of E. quatuorlineata is discussed but no decision taken pending the need for further research. The study is presented against past debate on the Amorgos Elaphe snakes, island physiography, sympatric herpetofauna and the urgency for conservation measures.

pdf 06. Diet of the false smooth snake, Macroprotodon cucullatus (Serpentes, Colubridae) in the Western Mediterranean area


Open Access


Authors: Juan M. Pleguezuelos, Santiago Honrubia And Silvana Castillo

Abstract: Based on the analysis of the digestive tracts of 158 specimens, the diet has been established for Macroprotodon cucullatus, one of the European colubrid species with poorly-known biology. The specimens belong to three subspecies, M. c. ibericus (Iberian Peninsula), M. c. brevis (Morocco) and M. c. mauritanicus (Balearic Islands). The species feeds exclusively on vertebrates, mainly reptiles, and mostly long-bodied prey which are burrowers or live under rocks (Blanus, Chalcides). Some aspects of its morphology and feeding habits, in addition to our general field observations, suggest that it is not nocturnal, but rather lives under rocks. Jn comparison with other Mediterranean colubrids, this species feeds with very low frequency, taking relatively long prey with great biomass. In the specimens from the Balearic Islands the body length and feeding habits appear to have changed in a brief period, now being the largest of the distribution area of the species and basing its diet on small mammals. In the Iberian Peninsula and in northwestern Africa, there is no appreciable ontogenetic or sexual variation in the diet, since the different ages and sexes feed principally on amppisbaenians.

pdf 07. The effects of nitrate on tadpoles of the tree frog (Litoria caerulea)


Open Access


Authors: J. M. R. Baker And V. Waights



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