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Bear Valley Springs, CA, United States

Barrio-Amoros C.L.,Fundacion AndigenA | Rivas G.A.,University of Zulia | Molina C.,Central University of Venezuela | Santos J.C.,University of Texas at Austin | Kaiser H.,Victor Valley College
Herpetology Notes | Year: 2010

We present new information about the morphology (body size and proportions, color in life), natural history (activity cycle, vocalizations), and incidence of malformation for the Venezuelan aromobatine frog Mannophryne riveroi. Our data show that inaccuracies in measurements and observations have obfuscated a variety of diagnostic characteristics for M. riveroi: its maximum size is 39 mm in males and 46 mm in females, its tympanum is distinct and possesses a tympanic annulus, and its first finger is always longer than the second. We provide additional details of the species' coloration in life, and we show this to be a sexually dimorphic feature with a greater amount of color variation than previously known. Vocalizations of this species are generally issued as trills with a dominant frequency at just over 3000 Hz. Two-thirds of our sample presented malformations of variable severity, with one-third of all limbs in the sample deformed in some way. Even though we are unable to pinpoint a cause of these malformations, they may represent an early warning of environmental degradation in the Península de Paria that requires a more detailed examination. Source

Kathriner A.,Villanova University | O'Shea M.,University of Wolverhampton | Kaiser H.,Victor Valley College | Kaiser H.,Smithsonian Institution
Zootaxa | Year: 2014

Recent herpetofaunal investigations in Timor-Leste revealed populations similar to Hemidactylus brookii Gray, 1845 in four of 13 districts. In order to properly identify these populations, we examined their relationships to other H. brookii-complex populations, notably those from nearby Roti Island, Indonesia (to which the name H. tenkatei van Lidth de Jeude, 1895 has been applied) and topotypic Bornean samples. We evaluated both meristic and mensural data from a set of spec-imens that included the type material of H. brookii and H. tenkatei, and we generated nuclear (RAG1) and mitochondrial (ND2) DNA sequence data for Timor-Leste specimens and a topotypical Bornean specimen presumed to represent H. brookii sensu stricto. Morphologically, Timorese geckos are clearly distinct from H. brookii and identical to H. tenkatei. Our molecular data show that the Bornean specimen thought to be H. brookii is genetically congruent with Timor-Leste specimens, and this specimen is therefore identified as H. tenkatei. Our data also reveal that the Burmese species H. sub-triedroides Annandale, 1905 is distinct from both H. tenkatei and H. brookii. While the current data do not allow us to determine with certainty whether H. tenkatei is the oldest available name for these widespread forms, it is the only name that can be reliably applied at this time. Copyright © 2014 Magnolia Press. Source

Mecke S.,University of Marburg | Kieckbusch M.,University of Marburg | O'Shea M.,University of Wolverhampton | Kaiser H.,Victor Valley College | Kaiser H.,Smithsonian Institution
Asian Herpetological Research | Year: 2016

Based on four specimens discovered in the collection of The Natural History Museum, London, United Kingdom, we present a new distribution record for the skink Sphenomorphus oligolepis for Seram Island, Maluku Province, Indonesia. This find constitutes the westernmost record for the species and extends its range by over 800 km. The species was heretofore only known from apparently isolated mainland New Guinean populations. © 2016, Asiatic Herpetological Research Society. All rights reserved. Source

Kaiser H.,Victor Valley College | Lim J.,Sepilok Jungle Resort | O'Shea M.,West Midland Safari Park
Herpetology Notes | Year: 2012

We describe the first observations of courtship behavior and sexual dichromatism in the keel-bellied whipsnake, Dryophiops rubescens, from an encounter near Sandakan, eastern Sabah, Borneo, Malaysia. During this behavior, two males and a female were longitudinally intertwined, with the males jockeying for position along the body of the female. This "mating braid" lasted for well over 1 h, with the entwined snakes moving a distance of over 10 m together. While polygynous mating is known from other snake species, direct observations of mating behaviors in Southeast Asian colubrids are extremely rare. These observations also revealed the presence of sexual dichromatism in D. rubescens, with darker head coloration present in the males. Source

Gray H.M.,McGill University | Kaiser H.,Victor Valley College | Green D.M.,McGill University
Salamandra | Year: 2010

An alkaloid-sequestering frog, Dendrobates auratus, and a non-toxic frog, Physalaemuspustulosus were offered as prey to theraphosid spiders, Sericopelma rubronitens. The spiders, which do not use visual cues when hunting, sampled all presented frogs. They rejected, or failed to fully consume, toxic frogs significantly more often than the sympatric non-toxic frogs. Alkaloid sequestration did not protect D. auratus from attacks, but did reduce the risk of being eaten. The spiders are one of only a few documented predators of D. auratus on the Panamanian island of Taboga, and may represent a strong selective force for the high toxicity in this population. © 2010 Deutsche Gesellschaft für Herpetologie und. Terrarienkunde e.V. (DGHT), Rheinbach, Germany. Source

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