18 episodes

A science podcast about everything herpetological: reptiles and amphibians and other advanced fishopods. Hosted by Mark D. Scherz, Gabriel Ugueto, and Ethan Kocak.

SquaMates SquaMates

    • Life Sciences
    • 4.9 • 51 Ratings

A science podcast about everything herpetological: reptiles and amphibians and other advanced fishopods. Hosted by Mark D. Scherz, Gabriel Ugueto, and Ethan Kocak.

    SquaMates Ep. 18: Amici manere domi!

    SquaMates Ep. 18: Amici manere domi!

    Here’s episode 18, a Works in Froggress episode, featuring the Mates, Dr Mark D. Scherz, Gabriel Ugueto, and Ethan Kocak, talking about what’s going on in their new lives stuck inside—Ethan’s setting off on a freelancing lifestyle, Gabriel has been tweaking the same illustration forever, and Mark is working on FIIIIIIIIIISH! The Mates then dive into a discussion about Uroplatus geckos!

    Episode notes sometimes get clipped on your device or by your podcast provider; for full (extensive) notes (and references and beautiful pictures), go to http://www.squamatespod.com

    A note: this episode was recorded on the 24th of April 2020, a time when most of humanity seemed united in their fight against a common enemy, the coronavirus COVID-19. In the meantime, another enemy of humanity has been brought into the limelight that, by its very nature, divides. That enemy is racism. The experiences of Christian Cooper highlight how people of colour may be treated when engaging in field sciences like ornithology or herpetology, and similar stories are being heard from people of colour across social media (e.g. see the #BlackInNature tag on twitter). We must strive to make field-based sciences like herpetology inclusive of people of colour, and to fight racism wherever we encounter it in order to disassemble the systematic discrimination that plagues our fields and our societies. We at the SquaMates podcast stand firmly behind the BlackLivesMatter movement.

    Check out Ethan’s new professional website, www.ethankocak.com!

    Episode Citations

    Glaw, F., Scherz, M.D., Rakotoarison, A., Crottini, A., Raselimanana, A.P., Andreone, F., Köhler, J. & Vences, M. (2020) Genetic variability and partial integrative revision of Platypelis frogs (Microhylidae) with red flash marks from eastern Madagascar. Vertebrate Zoology, 70(2):141–156. DOI: 10.26049/VZ70-2-2020-04 [pdf]

    Miralles, A., Bruy, T., Wolcott, K., Scherz, M.D., Begerow, D., Beszteri, B., Bonkowski, M., Felden, J., Gemeinholzer, B., Glaw, F., Glöckner, F.O., Hawlitschek, O., Kostadinov, I., Nattkemper, T.W., Printzen, C., Renz, J., Rybalka, N., Stadler, M., Weibulat, T., Wilke, T., Renner, S.S. & Vences, M. (2020) Repositories for taxonomic data: where we are and what is missing. Systematic Biology, syaa026. DOI: 10.1093/sysbio/syaa026 (online ahead of print)

    Rancilhac, L., Bruy, T., Scherz, M.D., Pereira, E.A., Preick, M., Straube, N., Lyra, M., Ohler, A., Streicher, J.W., Andreone, F., Crottini, A., Hutter, C.R., Randrianantoandro, J.C., Rakotoarison, A., Glaw, F., Hofreiter, M. & Vences, M. (in press) Target-enriched DNA sequencing from historical type material enables a partial revision of the Madagascar giant stream frogs (genus Mantidactylus). Journal of Natural History. DOI: 10.1080/00222933.2020.1748243 (online ahead of print) [Request PDF]

    Rakotoarison, A., Scherz, M.D., Köhler, J., Ratsoavina, F.M., Hawlitschek, O., Megson, S., Vences, M. & Glaw, F.

    • 1 hr 42 min
    SquaMates Ep. 17: Malayopython and the Glowing Tail

    SquaMates Ep. 17: Malayopython and the Glowing Tail

    We’re back with Episode 17! In this Breaking Newts episode, the Mates, Dr Mark D. Scherz, Gabriel Ugueto, and Ethan Kocak, talk about the coolest new research in herpetology and Gabriel’s extremely squeaky chair! Featuring a few controversial new bits of science, some amazing turtles, diverse salamanders, and glowing, bony amphibians!

    Episode notes sometimes get clipped on your device or by your podcast provider; for full (extensive) notes (and references), go to http://www.squamatespod.com

    A note: this episode was recorded on the 24th of April 2020, a time when most of humanity seemed united in their fight against a common enemy, the coronavirus COVID-19. In the meantime, another enemy of humanity has been brought into the limelight that, by its very nature, divides. That enemy is racism. The experiences of Christian Cooper highlight how people of colour may be treated when engaging in field sciences like ornithology or herpetology, and similar stories are being heard from people of colour across social media (e.g. see the #BlackInNature tag on twitter). We must strive to make field-based sciences like herpetology inclusive of people of colour, and to fight racism wherever we encounter it in order to disassemble the systematic discrimination that plagues our fields and our societies. We at the SquaMates podcast stand firmly behind the BlackLivesMatter movement.

    Episode Citations

    Anole Online Learning Resources

    Xing, L., O’Connor, J.K., Schmitz, L., Chiappe, L.M., McKellar, R.C., Yi, Q. & Li, G. (2020) Hummingbird-sized dinosaur from the Cretaceous period of Myanmar. Nature, 579:245–249. 10.1038/s41586-020-2068-4 — Darren Naish has done a great job of first writing about this in its original interpretation, and then updating his article to explain the ethical and phylogenetic problems associated with the paper. On the 29th of May, 2020, an editor’s note was added to the paper, that reads ‘Readers are alerted that doubts have been expressed about the phylogenetic placement of the fossil described in this paper. We are investigating and appropriate editorial action will be taken once this matter is resolved.’

    Breuil M, Schikorski D, Vuillaume B, Krauss U, Morton MN, Corry E, Bech N, Jelić M, Grandjean F (2020) Painted black: Iguana melanoderma (Reptilia, Squamata, Iguanidae) a new melanistic endemic species from Saba and Montserrat islands (Lesser Antilles). ZooKeys, 926:95-131. 10.3897/zookeys.926.48679

    Vargas-Ramírez, M., Caballero, S., Morales-Betancourt, M.A., Lasso, C.A., Amaya, L., Gregorio Martínez, J., das Neves Silva Viana, M., Vogt, R.C., Pires Farias, I., Hrbek, T., Campbell, P.D. & Fritz, U. (2020) Genomic analyses reveal two species of the matamata (Testudines: Chelidae: Chelus spp.) and clarify their phylogeography. Molecular Phylogenetics and Evolution, 106823. 10.1016/j.ympev.2020.106823

    Sánchez-Villagra, M.R., Pritchard, P.C.H., Paolillo, A. & Linares, O.J. (1995) Geographic variation in the matamata turtle, Chelus fimbriatus, with observations on its shell morphology and morphometry. Chelonian Conservation and Biology, 1(4):293–300.

    a href="https://web.archive.org/web/20170710153127/https://scienceblogs.com/tetrapodzoology/2011/04/29/giant-fossil-matamata-turtles" target="_blank" rel="...

    • 1 hr 43 min
    SquaMates Ep. 16: Sex-bias in herpetology

    SquaMates Ep. 16: Sex-bias in herpetology

    Episode 16 is here, in this episode we—Dr Mark D. Scherz, Gabriel Ugueto, and Ethan Kocak—feature an interview with Professor Emily Taylor of Cal Poly, and two of her students, Isabelle Barnes and Katie Rock, talking about their amazing dataset about sex biases in publishing in herpetology, recorded at the 9th World Congress of Herpetology in Dunedin, New Zealand.

    Episode notes sometimes get clipped on your device or by your podcast provider; for full (extensive) notes (and references), go to http://www.squamatespod.com

    For more information about the dataset we talk about, check out Professor Taylor’s tweet about it here, but most importantly, read the detailed blog post about it here. We were thrilled to be able to interview this team, and will update this post when the data are published.

    More shoutouts:

    Rachunliu G. Kamei: @chungkamei

    Helen Bond Plylar: @SssnakeySci

    Follow the show and the hosts on social media!

    SquaMates: website • twitter • instagram • facebook

    Mark D. Scherz: website • twitter • instagram • tumblr • facebook • researchgate • redbubble

    Gabriel Ugueto: website • twitter • instagram • facebook • redbubble

    Ethan Kocak: website • twitter • tumblr • facebook • patreon

    • 41 min
    SquaMates Ep. 15: And now for something completely different

    SquaMates Ep. 15: And now for something completely different

    We’re back with Episode 15! In this Works in Froggress and Discussion episode, the Mates, Dr Mark D. Scherz, Gabriel Ugueto, and Ethan Kocak, talk about what they’ve been up to since October 2019, and discuss the event of the year, the 9th World Congress of Herpetology in Dunedin, New Zealand.

    Episode notes sometimes get clipped on your device or by your podcast provider; for full (extensive) notes (and references), go to http://www.squamatespod.com

    Episode Citations

    Ratsoavina, F.M., Scherz, M.D., Tolley, K.A., Raselimanana, A.P., Glaw, F. & Vences, M. (2019) A new species of Uroplatus (Gekkonidae) from Ankarana National Park, Madagascar, of remarkably high genetic divergence. Zootaxa, 4683(1):84–96. DOI: 10.11646/zootaxa.4683.1.4

    Rasolonjatovo, S.M., Scherz, M.D., Hutter, C.R., Glaw, F., Rakotoarison, A., Razafindraibe, J.H., Goodman, S.M., Raselimanana, A.P. & Vences, M. (2020) Sympatric lineages in the Mantidactylus ambreensis complex of Malagasy frogs originated allopatrically rather than by in-situ speciation. Molecular Phylogenetics and Evolution, 144:106700. DOI: 10.1016/j.ympev.2019.106700

    Prötzel, D., Scherz, M.D., Ratsoavina, F.M., Vences, M. & Glaw, F. (2020) Untangling the trees: Revision of the Calumma nasutum complex (Squamata: Chamaeleonidae). Vertebrate Zoology, 70(1):23–59. DOI: 10.26049/VZ70-1-2020-3

    Get the book about Joan Procter mentioned by Mark here!

    Follow the show and the hosts on social media!

    SquaMates: website • twitter • instagram • facebook

    Mark D. Scherz: website • twitter • instagram • tumblr • facebook • researchgate • redbubble

    Gabriel Ugueto: website • twitter • instagram • facebook • redbubble

    Ethan Kocak: website • twitter • tumblr • facebook • patreon

    • 1 hr 13 min
    SquaMates Ep. 14: And Another Thing…

    SquaMates Ep. 14: And Another Thing…

    Dr Mark D. Scherz, Gabriel Ugueto, and Ethan Kocak are back for a new start in 2020 and a small change to our episode format! In this Breaking Newts episode, we highlight important herpetological papers published since October 2019!

    Episode Citations

    Post, Y., Puschhof, J., Beumer, J., Kerkkamp, H.M., de Bakker, M.A.G., Slagboom, J., de Barbanson, B., Wevers, N.R., Spijkers, X.M., Olivier, T., Kazandjian, T.D., Ainsworth, S., Iglesias, C.L., van de Wetering, W.J., Heinz, M.C., van Ineveld, R.L., van Kleef, R.G.D.M., Begthel, H., Korving, J., Bar-Ephraim, Y.E., Getreuer, W., Rios, A.C., Westerink, R.H.S., Snippert, H.J.G., van Oudenaarden, A., Peters, P.J., Vonk, F.J., Kool, J., Richardson, M.K., Casewell, N.R. & Clevers, H. (2020) Snake Venom Gland Organoids. Cell, 180, 233–247.e21. 10.1016/j.cell.2019.11.038

    Garberoglio, F.F., Apesteguía, S., Simões, T.R., Palci, A., Gómez, R.O., Nydam, R.L., Larsson, H.C.E., Lee, M.S.Y. & Caldwell, M.W. (2019) New skulls and skeletons of the Cretaceous legged snake Najash, and the evolution of the modern snake body plan. Science Advances, 5, eaax5833. 10.1126/sciadv.aax5833

    Macrì, S., Savriama, Y., Khan, I. & Di-Poï, N. (2019) Comparative analysis of squamate brains unveils multi-level variation in cerebellar architecture associated with locomotor specialization. Nature Communications, 10, 5560. 10.1038/s41467-019-13405-w

    Čerňanský, A., Herrel, A., Kibii, J.M., Anderson, C.V., Boistel, R. & Lehmann, T. (2020) The only complete articulated early Miocene chameleon skull (Rusinga Island, Kenya) suggests an African origin for Madagascar’s endemic chameleons. Scientific Reports, 10, 109. 10.1038/s41598-019-57014-5

    Burbrink, F.T., Grazziotin, F.G., Pyron, R.A., Cundall, D., Donnellan, S., Irish, F., Keogh, J.S., Kraus, F., Murphy, R.W., Noonan, B., Raxworthy, C.J., Ruane, S., Lemmon, A.R., Lemmon, E.M. & Zaher, H. (2019) Interrogating genomic-scale data for Squamata (Lizards, Snakes, and Amphisbaenians) shows no support for key traditional morphological relationships. Systematic Biology,  10.1093/sysbio/syz062

    Fischer, E.K., Roland, A.B., Moskowitz, N.A., Vidoudez, C., Ranaivorazo, N., Tapia, E.E., Trauger, S.A., Vences, M., Coloma, L.A. & O’Connell, L.A. (2019) Mechanisms of convergent egg provisioning in poison frogs. Current Biology, 29, 4145–4151.e3. 10.1016/j.cub.2019.10.032

    Lind, A.L., Lai, Y.Y.Y., Mostovoy, Y., Holloway, A.K., Iannucci, A., Mak, A.C.Y., Fondi, M., Orlandini, V., Eckalbar, W.L., Milan, M., Rovatsos, M., Kichigin, I.G., Makunin, A.I., Johnson Pokorná, M., Altmanová, M., Trifonov, V.A., Schijlen, E., Kratochvíl, L., Fani, R., Velenský, P., Rehák, I., Patarnello, T., Jessop, T.S., Hicks, J.W., Ryder, O.A., Mendelson, J.R., Ciofi, C., Kwok, P.-Y., Pollard, K.S. & Bruneau, B.G. (2019) Genome of the Komodo dragon reveals adaptations in the cardiovascular and chemosensory systems of monitor lizards. Nature Ecology & Evolution, 3, 1241–1252. 10.1038/s41559-019-0945-8

    Suryamohan, K., Krishnankutty, S.P., Guillory, J., Jevit, M., Schröder, M.S., Wu, M., Kuriakose, B., Mathew, O.K., Perumal, R.C., Koludarov, I., Goldstein, L.D., Senger, K., Dixon, M.D., Velayutham, D., Vargas, D., Chaudhuri, S., Muraleedharan, M., Goel, R., Chen, Y.-J.J., Ratan, A., Liu, P., Faherty, B.,

    • 57 min
    Squamates Ep. 13: Mostly Humbugs

    Squamates Ep. 13: Mostly Humbugs

    We are the worst, but at least we have an Episode 13, unlike a certain podcast we know. In this long-delayed episode, it’s just two of your normal co-hosts, Dr Mark D. Scherz and Gabriel Ugueto, in a more laid-back, chatty format than the usual!

    In this thirteenth episode, the structure of the show is a bit different, but we do talk about biogeography and conservation of some geckos and frogs from Madagascar, how exciting we find turtles, and some really cool new science.

    Works in Frogress

    Mohan, A.V., Gehring, P.-S., Scherz, M.D., Glaw, F., Ratsoavina, F.M. & Vences, M. (2019) Comparative phylogeography and patterns of deep genetic differentiation of two gecko species, Paroedura gracilis and Phelsuma guttata, across north-eastern Madagascar. Salamandra, 55(3):211–220.

    Scherz, M.D., Glaw, F., Hutter, C.R., Bletz, M.C., Rakotoarison, A., Köhler, J. & Vences, M. (2019) Species complexes and the importance of Data Deficient classification in Red List assessments: the case of Hylobatrachus frogs. PLoS One, 14(8):e0219437. DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0219437 — for more information about this paper, see Mark’s article in The Conversation (short) and on his blog (long) about it

    Mark mentions this paper as well when talking about the former:

    Gehring, P.-S., Siarabi, S., Scherz, M.D., Ratsoavina, F.M., Rakotoarison, A., Glaw, F. & Vences, M. (2018) Genetic differentiation and species status of the large-bodied leaf-tailed geckos Uroplatus fimbriatus and U. giganteus. Salamandra, 54(2):132–146.

    and this paper when talking about the latter:

    Gehara, M., Crawford, A.J., Orrico, V.G.D., Rodríguez, A., Lötters, S., Fouquet, A., Barrientos, L.S., Brusquetti, F., De la Riva, I., Ernst, R., Urrutia, G.G., Glaw, F., Guayasamin, J.M., Hölting, M., Jansen, M., Kok, P.J.R., Kwet, A., Lingnau, R., Lyra, M., Moravec, J., Pombal, J.P., Jr., Rojas-Runjaic, F.J.M., Schulze, A., Señaris, J.C., Solé, M., Rodrigues, M.T., Twomey, E., Haddad, C.F.B., Vences, M. & Köhler, J. (2014) High levels of diversity uncovered in a widespread nominal taxon: continental phylogeography of the Neotropical tree frog Dendropsophus minutus. PLoS ONE, 9(9):e103958. DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0103958

    Some showcases of what Gabriel talked about:

    His ‘cheat-sheets’ to some American lizards:





    Jurassic taxa for his upcoming book:



    Follow-up

    Wollenberg Valero, C.K., Marshall, C.J., Bastiaans, E., Caccone, A., Camargo, A., Morando, M., Niemiller, L.M., Pabijan, M., Russello, A.M., Sinervo, B., Werneck, P.F., Sites, W.J., Wiens, J.J. & Steinfartz, S. (2019) Patterns, mechanisms and genetics of speciation in reptiles and amphibians. Genes, 10(9): DOI: 10.3390/genes10090646

    Rasys, A.M., Park, S., Ball, R.E., Alcala, A.J., Lauderdale, J.D. & Menke, D.B. (2019) CRISPR-Cas9 Gene Editing in Lizards Through Microinjection of Unfertilized Oocytes. Cell Reports, 28(9):2288–2292.e3. DOI: 10.1101/591446

    Breuil, M., Vuillaume, B., Schikorski, D., Krauss, U., Morton, M.N., Haynes, P., Daltry, J.C., Corry, E., Gaymes, G., Gaymes, J., Bech, N., Jelić, M. & Grandjean, F. (2019) A story of nasal horns: two new subspecies of Iguana Laurenti, 1768 (Squamata, Iguanidae) in Saint Lucia, St Vincent & the Grenadines,

    • 1 hr 27 min

Customer Reviews

4.9 out of 5
51 Ratings

51 Ratings

KamilDS ,

I enjoy the show

Listen to it - you will like it.

1123weasel ,

😄this is an amazing series

Breaking NEWTS!!!!!! This Leopard gecko says that all of these facts are accurate but he asks to have a episode about geckos in the pet trade!🦎🐍🐢🐊🦖🦕🦆🦅🦉🐣🐤🐦🐧🐔🐸

Maxzilla90 ,

Amazing podcast

This is one of the best herpetology podcasts. They go into depth on taxonomy and it is much appreciated.

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