75 episodes

In Herpetological Highlights we will explore the recent scientific discoveries in the field of Herpetology. We'll cover everything from lizards to frogs, snakes, and toads. Every episode we'll be digging into the biology and ecology of these reptiles and amphibians in an attempt to disentangle the science. Hosted by Tom Major and Ben Marshall. Like us on facebook: www.facebook.com/herphighlights

Herpetological Highlights Herpetological Highlights

    • Nature
    • 4.7, 35 Ratings

In Herpetological Highlights we will explore the recent scientific discoveries in the field of Herpetology. We'll cover everything from lizards to frogs, snakes, and toads. Every episode we'll be digging into the biology and ecology of these reptiles and amphibians in an attempt to disentangle the science. Hosted by Tom Major and Ben Marshall. Like us on facebook: www.facebook.com/herphighlights

    072 Sidewinders Sighting Sites

    072 Sidewinders Sighting Sites

    Sidewinders, how do they go about life? From their hunting techniques, to how they view the landscape around them, this episode delves into the lives of these iconic vipers. Our Species of the Bi-Week is of course a recently described viper.
     
    FULL REFERENCE LIST AVAILABLE AT: herphighlights.podbean.com

    Main Paper References:
    Clark RW, Dorr SW, Whitford MD, Freymiller GA, Putman BJ. (2016) Activity cycles and foraging behaviors of free-ranging sidewinder rattlesnakes (Crotalus cerastes): The ontogeny of hunting in a precocial vertebrate. Zoology 119, 196–206. (doi:10.1016/j.zool.2016.02.005)
     
    Schraft HA, Bakken GS, Clark RW. (2019) Infrared-sensing snakes select ambush orientation based on thermal backgrounds. Scientific Reports. 9, 1–6. (doi:10.1038/s41598-019-40466-0)
     
    Species of the Bi-Week: 
    Sumontha M et al. 2020 Protobothrops kelomohy sp. nov. (Squamata : Viperidae), the Second Known Species of Lance-Headed Pit Viper from Thailand. Tropical Natural History 20, 43–59.
     
    Other Mentioned Papers/Studies:
    Link to Tom’s marking snakes with VIE study: https://bit.ly/2ZNzUGA 
     
    Other Links/Mentions:
    Sidewinder videos: Video 1 http://youtu.be/AmGn3eESJkg Video 2 http://youtu.be/pPF0Wupl3lE Video 3 http://youtu.be/N2Nf8uMOZ2c Video 4 http://youtu.be/Jl8Ma7GMLks Video 5 http://youtu.be/epwYN9qp2TI Video 6 http://youtu.be/hREihZCiCd8 Video 7 http://youtu.be/BLLoYSz7DiI 
    Eyewitness doc on reptiles: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PuyQsHWpBDQ
     
    Music:
    Intro/outro – Treehouse by Ed Nelson
    Species Bi-week theme- Mike Mooney
    Other Music – The Passion HiFi, www.thepassionhifi.com

    • 55 min
    071 Don’t count your Sand Boas before they hatch

    071 Don’t count your Sand Boas before they hatch

    Like many a fossorial snake, Sand Boas hold many surprises; this episode we explore some of those. First, an investigation into Dollo’s “Law”, then a couple of natural history notes providing some insight into Sand Boa diets. FULL REFERENCE LIST AVAILABLE AT: herphighlights.podbean.com

    Main Paper References:
    Lobo, J. V., & Streepada, K. S. (2015). First report on Whitaker’s boa Eryx whitakeri feeding on common vine snake. Reptile Rap, 17.
    Londei, T. (2015). Arabian sand boa Eryx jayakari (Squamata: Boidae) preying on Arabian toad-headed agama Phrynocephalus arabicus (Squamata: Agamidae): A nocturnal-to-diurnal species interaction. Herpetology Notes, 8, 155–15.
    Lynch, V. J., & Wagner, G. P. (2010). Did Egg-laying Boas Break Dollo’s Law? Phylogenetic Evidence For Reversal To Oviparity In Sand Boas (Eryx: Boidae). Evolution, 64(1), 207–216. doi: 10.1111/j.1558-5646.2009.00790.x
    Species of the Bi-Week:
    Nguyen, H. N., Tran, B. V., Nguyen, L. H., Neang, T., Yushchenko, P. V., & Poyarkov, N. A. (2020). A new species of Oligodon Fitzinger, 1826 from the Langbian Plateau, southern Vietnam, with additional information on Oligodon annamensis Leviton, 1953 (Squamata: Colubridae). PeerJ, 8, e8332. doi: 10.7717/peerj.8332
    Other Mentioned Papers/Studies:

    Laird, M. K., Thompson, M. B., & Whittington, C. M. (2019). Facultative oviparity in a viviparous skink (Saiphos equalis). Biology Letters, 15(4), 20180827. doi: 10.1098/rsbl.2018.0827

    Recknagel, H., Kamenos, N. A., & Elmer, K. R. (2018). Common lizards break Dollo’s law of irreversibility: genome-wide phylogenomics support a single origin of viviparity and re-evolution of oviparity. Molecular Phylogenetics and Evolution, 127, 579-588.
    Music:
    Intro/outro – Treehouse by Ed Nelson
    Other Music – The Passion HiFi, www.thepassionhifi.com

    • 1 hr 6 min
    070 Amphisbaenian Appetites

    070 Amphisbaenian Appetites

    In this Patreon special episode we delve into the underground lives of the ultimate oddities - worm lizards. Find out how they go about tackling their invertebrate prey, and hear about a brand new species.
    FULL REFERENCE LIST AVAILABLE AT: herphighlights.podbean.com

    Main Paper References:
    Baeckens, S., García‐Roa, R., Martín, J., Ortega, J., Huyghe, K., & Van Damme, R. (2017). Fossorial and durophagous: implications of molluscivory for head size and bite capacity in a burrowing worm lizard. Journal of Zoology, 301(3), 193-205.
    López, P., Martín, J., & Salvador, A. (2013). Flexibility in feeding behaviour may compensate for morphological constraints of fossoriality in the amphisbaenian Blanus cinereus. Amphibia-Reptilia, 34(2), 241-247.
    Species of the Bi-Week:
    De Almeida, J. P. F. A., De Freitas, M. A., Da Silva, M. B., Valverde, M. C. C., Rodrigues, M. T., Pires, A. M., & Mott, T. (2018). A new four-pored Amphisbaena (Squamata: Amphisbaenidae) from northeastern Brazil. Zootaxa, 4514(4), 553-562.
    Other Mentioned Papers/Studies:
    Martín, J., Polo-Cavia, N., Gonzalo, A., López, P., & Civantos, E. (2012). Sexual dimorphism in the North African amphisbaenian Trogonophis wiegmanni. Journal of Herpetology, 46(3), 338-341.
    Other Links/Mentions:
    https://in2scienceuk.org/
    Fundraiser for Ciliwung Herpetarium: https://bit.ly/3fJw6vj 
    www.herpetofaunaindonesia.org 
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4Mronxhn2sU Amphisbaenia alba
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LoyrON_kGKw Amphisbaena fuliginosa
    Music:
    Intro/outro – Treehouse by Ed Nelson
    Species of the Bi-Week theme - Mike Mooney
    Other Music – The Passion HiFi, www.thepassionhifi.com

    • 57 min
    069 Freezing Frogs

    069 Freezing Frogs

    We’re back and exploring the toughest of frogs; those frogs braving the harsh northern conditions that literally freezes them to the bone. How do they manage this incredible feat? We head south for a Species of the Bi-week because not all frogs are as tough as the Wood Frog. FULL REFERENCE LIST AVAILABLE AT: herphighlights.podbean.com

    Main Paper References:
    Costanzo JP. 2019. Overwintering adaptations and extreme freeze tolerance in a subarctic population of the wood frog, Rana sylvatica. Journal of Comparative Physiology B 189:1–15. DOI: 10.1007/s00360-018-1189-7.
    Storey KB, Storey JM. 2017. Molecular Physiology of Freeze Tolerance in Vertebrates. Physiological Reviews 97:623–665. DOI: 10.1152/physrev.00016.2016.
    Species of the Bi-Week:
    Catenazzi A, Ttito A. 2019. Noblella thiuni sp. n., a new (singleton) species of minute terrestrial-breeding frog (Amphibia, Anura, Strabomantidae) from the montane forest of the Amazonian Andes of Puno, Peru. PeerJ 7:e6780. DOI: 10.7717/peerj.6780.
    Other Mentioned Papers/Studies:
    Ward M, Marshall BM, Hodges C, Montano Y, Artchawakom T, Waengsothorn S, Strine C. 2020. Nonchalant neighbours: Space use and overlap of the critically endangered elongated tortoise. OSF Preprints. DOI: 10.31219/osf.io/t34ax.
    Music:
    Intro/outro – Treehouse by Ed Nelson
    Other Music – The Passion HiFi, www.thepassionhifi.com

    • 58 min
    068 Hoplocephalus with Scott Eipper

    068 Hoplocephalus with Scott Eipper

    We had the good fortune to be joined by herpetologist and author Scott Eipper for this special episode on Hoplocephalus. We also talk about Scott and his wife Tie’s new book on Aussie snakes, and of course we have a Species of the Bi-Week - this one is a robust new sand dweller.
    Grab the new book by Scott and Tie Eipper here: https://bit.ly/2WewX0a 

    FULL REFERENCE LIST AVAILABLE AT: herphighlights.podbean.com
    Main Paper References:
    Shelton, M. B., Goldingay, R. L., & Phillips, S. S. (2018). Population ecology of a cryptic arboreal snake (Hoplocephalus bitorquatus). Australian Journal of Zoology, 65(6), 383-390.
    Species of the Bi-Week:
    Eskandarzadeh, N. et al. (2020) A new species of Eryx (Serpentes: Erycidae) from Iran. Zootaxa, 4767, 182-192. 
    Other Mentioned Papers/Studies:
    Mirza, Z. A., Bhosale, H. S., Phansalkar, P. U., Sawant, M., Gowande, G. G., & Patel, H. (2020). A new species of green pit vipers of the genus Trimeresurus Lacépède, 1804 (Reptilia, Serpentes, Viperidae) from western Arunachal Pradesh, India. Zoosystematics and Evolution, 96, 123.
    Music:
    Intro/outro – Treehouse by Ed Nelson
    Other Music – The Passion HiFi, www.thepassionhifi.com

    • 1 hr 17 min
    067 Flipping Frogs

    067 Flipping Frogs

    A selection of papers are discussed in this episode. Starting with a big finding from Central America on the fate of snakes post-frog loss, and ending with a pair of more lighthearted natural history notes. Species of the Bi-week returns with a serpentine ocean dweller. FULL REFERENCE LIST AVAILABLE AT: herphighlights.podbean.com
     
    Main Paper References:
    Anderson, C. V., & Liebl L. A. (2019) MICRURUS ALLENI (Allen’s Coralsnake). DIET. Herpetological Review 50(1), 162-163
    Paniagua K. S. & Abarca J. G. (2016). Thanatosis in four poorly known toads of the genus Incilius from the highlands of Costa Rica. Mesoamerican Herpetology 3(1), 135–140.
    Zipkin, E. F., DiRenzo, G. V., Ray, J. M., Rossman, S., & Lips, K. R. (2020). Tropical snake diversity collapses after widespread amphibian loss. Science, 367(6479), 814-816.
    Species of the Bi-Week:
    Nankivell, J. H., Goiran, C., Hourston, M., Shine, R., Rasmussen, A. R., Thomson, V. A., & Sanders, K. L. (2020). A new species of turtle-headed sea Snake (Emydocephalus: Elapidae) endemic to Western Australia. Zootaxa, 4758(1), 141–156. https://doi.org/10.11646/zootaxa.4758.1.6
    Other Mentioned Papers/Studies:
    Arias-Piedra, E., & Chaves-Cordero, G. A. (2013). Dermophis glandulosus. Predation by Micrurus alleni. Dermophis glandulosus. Depredación por Micrurus alleni. Herpetological Review., 44(4), 657-658.
    Fernández, J., Vargas-Vargas, N., Pla, D., Sasa, M., Rey-Suárez, P., Sanz, L., ... & Lomonte, B. (2015). Snake venomics of Micrurus alleni and Micrurus mosquitensis from the Caribbean region of Costa Rica reveals two divergent compositional patterns in New World elapids. Toxicon, 107, 217-233.
    Marshall BM, Strine CT. 2020. Make like a glass frog: In support of increased transparency in herpetology. OSF Preprints. DOI: 10.31219/osf.io/74frd.
    Montgomery, C. E., Lips, K. R., & Ray, J. M. (2011). Ontogenetic shift in height of sleeping perches of Cope's Vine Snake, Oxybelis brevirostris. The Southwestern Naturalist, 358-362.
    Music:
    Intro/outro – Treehouse by Ed Nelson
    Other Music – The Passion HiFi, www.thepassionhifi.com

    • 1 hr 12 min

Customer Reviews

4.7 out of 5
35 Ratings

35 Ratings

E Teits ,

Science, herps, humor: its all here

Absolutely the best herp podcast available, especially for the nerdy or research oriented among us. If you want something beyond herpetoculture, this is for you. The hosts wit and banter makes it all the more enjoyable.

Jeff Frederick ,

Brilliant

A much-needed academic approach to reptiles and amphibians. Ben and Tom are great at putting high level information into a digestible format for the average enthusiast.

jhror14 ,

Stellar discussion

Guys, you make my drive to work a little more interesting! I love the scientific papers, that’s something I’m not well versed in, so it’s great to learn more in that area.

In the caecilian episode you made a brief mention of research done by Bill Hayes on juvenile rattle snake envenomation. I immediately called Bill up and told him he was famous! I worked with him for a short time last year, and I guess I didn’t realize how well known he was in the herp world. Anyways, he was happy to hear that you guys mentioned his work. He said his grad students did most of the work.

Keep up the good work, and I would love to hear an episode dedicated to tiger salamanders.

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