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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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.


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