28 October 2010

More than 3100 visitors!

The blog on Tropical Amphibians and Reptiles reached more than 3100 visitors. Thanks to all the followers, coming up to now from 89 countries of the World!

New institutional website for the journal Herpetotropicos

A new institutional website for the journal Herpetotropicos has been created. To get access to the files, enter:
and click on "Archivos".

26 September 2010

Lost Frogs Update: Landslides in the Venezuelan Andes

Read one of the latest reports  from field researchers participating in Conservation International's Search for the Lost Frogs Champaign. 

25 August 2010


The tiny frog (known adults between 10.6 and 12.8 mm; about the size of a pea) was discovered by Dr. Indraneil Das and Dr. Alexander Haas in the forests of the Matang Range, Sarawak, Malaysian Borneo. the description appeared this month in the journal  Zootaxa. Dr. Indraneil Das is leading a team within the Lost Frogs Campaing, of Conservation International. 
The frog lives in close association with a pitcher plant (Nepenthes ampullaria) from which the species takes the name (Microhyla nepenthicola).  The larvae of this frog develop inside these plants, after the frogs deposit the eggs on the sides of the pitcher. 
As in similar situations around the tropics, scientists who saw specimens of this frog in the past thought they were juveniles of another species. 

23 August 2010


Herpetotropicos has reached more than 2600 visitors from 970 cities in 87 countries. Thanks to all followers of this blog.


Conservation International is supporting expeditions to search some amphibian species  that haven’t been seen for more than a decade. Scientists are optimistic about the prospect of at least one rediscovery during this campaing.  
The search is taking place in 18 countries accross Latin America, Africa and Asia, and it is 
the first ever coordinated effort to find such a large number of "lost" 
frogs. There is a list of the "top 10" species of  the 100 being searched believed to be particularly exciting to find. The top 10 are: the golden toad (Incilius periglenes), the gastric broofing frog (Rhebatrachus vitellinus), the Mesopotamia beaked toad (Rhinella rostrata), the Jackson´s climbing salander (Bolitoglossa jacksoni), the African painted frog (Callixalus pictus), the Río Pescado Stubfoot toad (Atelopus balios), the scarlet frog (Atelopus sorianoi; depicted here), the Hula painted frog (Discoglossus nigriventer), the Sambas stream toad (Ansonia latidisca), and the Turkestanian salamander (Hynobius turkestanicus).

For more information, clik here: Search for lost amphibians.

06 July 2010

Latest issue (June 2010) of REPTILE RAP

A new issue of REPTILE RAP (No. 10, June 2010), the newsletter of the South Asian Reptile Network, is published and available as PDF at:

Articles are invited to the next issue under preparation. Please send your contributions and enquires to Sanjay Molur (, Co-coordinator of South Asian Reptile Network.

19 May 2010

New monitor lizards (Varanus spp.) from Philippines

In spite of their large sizes, new species of monitor lizards (genus Varanus) are still being discovered, which speaks of our poor understanding of biodivertity on Earth. 
Two new species (V. rasmusseni and V. palawenensis) and a new subspecies (V. c. cumingi) of monitor lizards were recently described from the Philippines in an article published in Zootaxa

Reaching more visitors


11 May 2010


The Zoologisches Forschungsmuseum Alexander Koenig (ZFMK), Bonn, seeks to fill the position of a researcher in the Department of Vertebrates (successor of Prof. Wolfgan Böhme). The position is expected to be available by December 2010. Potential candidates will hold a PhD in zoology or related areas, have their research focus on systematics of reptiles, turtles, and/or amphibians, and present a substantial publication record in taxonomic, phylogenetic and other biosystematic research. The candidate is expected to work in these fields from a sound theoretical basis and be able to apply an array of appropriate modern methods. He/she should be able to combine collection-based work with modern phylogenetic and/or ecological approaches. The candidate is also expected to
integrate into ongoing research projects at the ZFMK and teaching programmes in the University of Bonn and to be successful in raising external funds.

The successful candidate will be active in research projects and will be responsible as a curator for caring, managing and further increasing and developing the substantial, internationally important amphibian, turtle, and reptile collections in the ZFMK. He/she will also be involved in the self-administration of the institute and may eventually serve as the head of the vertebrate department. The candidate is also expected to demonstrate
commitment to community engagement in his/her field of research.

The successful candidate will be employed for an initial period of five years, after which he/she will obtain tenure depending on his/her performance. According to German law, applications by women and by disabled scientists will be given priority in case of superior or equal qualifications. Depending on occupational qualifications and experience, salary corresponds to grade TV-L/13 - 15 in the German Public Service scheme.

The ZFMK is a fellow institute of the Wissenschaftsgemeinschaft Gottfried Wilhelm Leibniz (WGL Science Community) and works in close cooperation with the University of Bonn. It comprises internationally important scientific collections, libraries, electron microscopy, and bioacoustic, histological and molecular laboratories.

Interested applicants should submit a CV, complete publication record, a statement of teaching experience and research funding, certificates of university degrees, and selected publications in hard copies to the following address:

Prof. Dr. J. W. Wägele
Zoologisches Forschungsmuseum Alexander Koenig
Adenauerallee 160
D-53113 Bonn, Germany

by 31 August 2010.

email inquiries:

08 May 2010

Monitoring and inventory techniques for amphibians of the tropical Andean region

A classic manual, in Spanish, is available online at the following link:

Major contents:
(1) The global status of amphibians.
(2) Towards a new regional strategy of research and conservation for amphibians in tropical Andean countries.
(3) Experimental design and statistical analyses.
(4) Biosecurity protocol and quarantine to prevent diseases transmission in amphibians.
(5) Fundamentals of bioacoustics and practical aspects or frog call recording and analysis.
(6) Techniques for the inventory and sampling of amphibians: a compilation.
(7) Preparation and preservation of scientific material.
(8) Amphibian monitoring.
(9) Bibliography.
(10) Resources/Sources of information on the Internet.

28 April 2010


We reached 1700 visitors from 700 cities of 72 countries. Thanks to all of you following this blog!


A course intended to provide tools and to strengthen research in herpetology to develop conservation programs through instruction in ecology and conservation of amphibians and reptiles.
Dates: 5-10 July 2010.
Location: Sede campestre Fundación Universitaria de Popayán, Popayán, Colombia.
Deadline for applications: 28 April 2010.

12 April 2010


Today’s “species of the day” is a curious amphibian found in Chile and neighboring Argentina, with a peculiar triangular shape of its head and a cylindrical dermal appendage at the tip of the snout.  Most remarkable is its strange reproductive strategy of brooding egg and larvae within its mouth, from where the newly metamorphosed froglets step out.
Populations of this frog, discovered by Darwin in his famous travel around the World, are in decline, to the point that it is now considered in the conservation category of “Vulnerable”. Most probably, the causes of the declines are related to human activities, of which deforestation and several factors associated with climate change are among the main culprits.

10 April 2010


"The Ploughshare Tortoise, Astrochelys yniphora, is listed as ‘Critically Endangered’ on the IUCN Red List of Threatened SpeciesTM due to a declining wild population of a few hundred animals. The elongated front spike of the undershell, used by males in breeding jousts for females, is the most remarkable feature of this spectacular tortoise. 

Restricted to a tiny area of dry scrubland in northwestern Madagascar, this species has received conservation attention since the early 1970s. Protection of the small population in its natural habitat and a captive breeding programme slowly began to increase its numbers, until it became a target of illegal international wildlife traders.
Though strictly protected under Malagasy and CITES laws, unacceptable numbers of animals are smuggled and sold for huge sums by criminal pet dealers. Enhanced conservation measures are urgently needed to save this species, notably enforcing legal protection to prosecute those who drive the illegal trade, and repatriating recovered animals to secure breeding programmes".

Photo by: Anders G.J. Rhodin

30 March 2010


According to the IUCN, the largest World's amphibian is listed as "Endangered".
Read more by clicking onto the "Species of the Day" link at the left column of this Blog.

19 March 2010


A proposal was recently made public by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and NOAA Fisheries Service to change conservation status of American Northwest Atlantic populations of loggerhead turtles (Caretta caretta) to be treated as Endangered.

Florida accounts for over 90% of loggerhead nesting in the United States. Regrettably, nesting throughout this State has declined by over 40% since1998. The greatest threat to its survival today seems to be accidental capture, injury and death in commercial fisheries.
Concern about the species was triggered during the most recent chilling event in Florida, when almost all of the turtles rescued from the cold waters were green turtles –as opposed to previous cold events, when loggerheads accounted for about half of the captures. These findings raise concern that juvenile loggerheads, as well as nesting adults, could be in decline.

Strong conservation actions need to be taken on other critical populations along the Caribbean. Populations of Caretta caretta almost disappeared from historical nesting sites in Eastern Venezuela that, according to marine turtle conservation leader Hedelvy Guada, have suffered a drastic decline in recent times. Although currently listed as “Endandered” in Venezuela, similar to the category granted by the IUCN on global terms, Guada, based on the country local nesting crashes of this species (locally known as “tortuga cabezona”, “Caguama” or Carey”) have proposed to change its conservation status to Critically Endangered. Colombian populations have, also, diminished drastically. Nesting sites in other Caribbean places are scarce, although important colonies are present in Mexico. The largest numbers of nesting sites occur in the later, as well as along the Southeast coast of the United States, and some coasts of Brazil. 

14 March 2010

Colombian Giant Glass Frog Critically Endangered

Colombia is the most frog diverse country in the World. Originally believed not to have as many endangered amphibians as the neighboring Andean countries of Ecuador and Venezuela, recent studies have demonstrated that, as in these other countries, an important part of its amphibian fauna is at some kind of risk.  An example of a Colombian anuran amphibian in peril is a giant species of glass frog, Centrolene ballux (common name: Burrowes’ Giant Glass Frog), which is listed as ‘Critically Endangered’ on the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species.

To learn on the causes of its decline, as well as to know on the conservation status of many other endangered species, visit the official IUCN website or click on the "Species of the Day" gadget at the rigth column of this blog, below the visitor´s statistics. 

11 March 2010


A full-color guide depicting 212 Peruvian herp species coming from Loreto is available to freely download from
This beautiful and useful 14 pages guide is authored by Giuseppe Gagliardi-Urrutia, from the Peruvian Center for Biodiversity and Conservation. 
Illustrated in the guide are 122 frogs, 1 caecilian, 2 salamanders, 2 crocodilians, 2 amphisbaenians, 32 lizards, 46 snakes and 5 turtles species.
The utility of the guide surpases that for Peruvian herp researchers and amateurs, since several of these species also occur in other South American countries.

04 March 2010


The “Titicaca water frog” (“Rana gigante del Lago Titicaca”, Telmatobius culeus) is the World’s largest aquatic anuran amphibian.

There are reports of specimens up to 50 cm in length and weighting 1 kilogram. It is a completely aquatic species, bearing many skins folds thought to help in breathing through increased area for respiration. 
It is a species endemic to Lago Titicaca, the World’s largest (204 x 65 km) and highest (3800 m) endorheic lake (that is, in a closed internal drainage basin) shared by Bolivia and Peru.

Although currently listed as “Critically Endangered” and with its habitat being protected, specimens of this unique frog are still sold for human consumption in restaurants at Lake Titicaca, and also as souvenirs or as byproducts used in traditional medicine.

Read more by checking the "Species of the Day" gadget at the right column of this blog.

22 February 2010


Dr Jenny Daltry has been actively involved in conservation of wildlife and environments in Cambodia. For her achievements, she has recently been given a Royal award by the Government of Cambodia. In the year 2000 she re-discovered the Siamese crocodile (a species previously thought to be extinct in the wild; see our previous blog, dated Nov 25, 2009) and is leading a community-based programme to preserve this Critically Endangered Crocodylus. She has also been involved in the protection of more than a million hectares of the biodiverse Cardamom Mountains.

Drt. Daltry is a Senior Conservation Biologist for the international conservation organization Fauna & Flora International. Among her achievements in Cambodia are the creation of the first permanent Masters of Science programme at the Royal University of Phnom Penh, and the creation and chief editing of Cambodia’s first peer-reviewed scientific journal (the Cambodian Journal of
Natural History). 


One of the most endangered crocodilians, the Chinese alligator (Alligator sinesis) is also one of the smallest (about 2 m long). This relative of the American alligator (Alligator mississippiensis) has a geographic distribution restricted to the lower Yangtze River region in China. Habitat destruction by human pressure for agriculture has been considered the major cause of the species’ decline. It is listed as “Critically Endangered” since it has suffered a drastic decline in numbers of wild individuals (estimated to be less than 150) and the extant populations hold less than 10 individuals each. However, about 10,000 specimens are currently being reared in captivity and are a source of hope for the long-term survival of the species through reintroductions in the wild.
To learn more about this species, visit the "Species of the Day" section at the rigth column of this blog, below our statistics gadget, or visit the official IUCN website

18 February 2010


The "Demonic poison frog" (Minyobates steyermarki) is a little red frog living in Cerro Yapacana, an isolated table top mountain in southern Venezuela. Even though the place is protected as both a National Monument and a National Park, the species is facing the risks of habitat change mainly through human intervention by mining and associated fires and habitat destruction, as well as illegal pet trading. The species is currently listed as Critically Endangered on the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. 
Daily, you may follow accounts on some of the most threatened creatures on Earth by visiting the "Species of the day" gadget on the rigth column of this blog, just below our statistics, or directly by visiting the website IUCN Species of the Day.

02 February 2010

30th Annual Symposium on Sea Turtle Biology and Conservation

The International Sea Turtle Society will hold its 30th Annual Symposium on Sea Turtle Biology and Conservation at Goa, India, from 27 to 29 April 2010. It is the first time the symposium is presented in the South Asian region.
This event is being jointly hosted and organized by sea turtle conservation groups and research organizations as well as institutions that work on marine environment issues across India and South Asia. 
The symposium is open to anyone interested in sea turtle biology and conservation and in related marine conservation, policy, social, ecological and fisheries related aspects.
To learn more, Visit the symposium website

The newest issue of the South Asia Reptile Network's (SARN) Newsletter, the "REPTILE RAP", is now available at:  

(1) Note on the defensive behavior of Cochin Forest cane turtle (Vijayachelys silvatica). 
(2) Snakes of Rameshwaram.
(3) First record of Uropeltis ellioti and study of their habits and habitat in Melghat Forest in Satpuda.
(4)  Notes on the distribution and natural history of lined supple skink Lygosoma lineata (Gray, 1839)(Squamata: Sauria: Scincidae).
(5) Indian eyed turtle Morenia petersi (Anderson, 1879) in the Deepor Beel, Ramsar site.
(6) Notes on the effect of a bite from Calliophis melanurus Shaw, 1802 (Serpentes: Elapidae: Calliophinae).
(7) Notes on the predation of Cnemaspis sp. by Hemidactylus cf. brookii Gray, 1845 (Squamata: Sauria: Gekkonodae).
(8) Notes on the natural history of common smooth water snake Enhydris enhydris Schneider, 1799 (Serpentes: Colubridae).
(9) Mortality of spiny-tailed lizard Uromastyx hardwickii Hardwicke & Gray, 1827 in the Katchchh District of Gujarat.
(10) A report on endo and ecto parasitism in a Indian rat snake (Ptyas mucosa) from Namakkal District of Tamil Nadu.
(11) Notes on a rescue of a Burmese python Python molurus bivittatus Kuhl, 1820 (Family: Pythonidae) from an urban area of Bongaigaon District, Assam.
(12) Infighting injuries in male common Indian lizard Calotes versicolor (Daudin) during breeding period.
(13) Rearing of juvenile estuarine crocodile (Crocodylus porosus) at Dhaka Zoo.
(14) Physical restraining gadget for crocodiles.
(15) Rectal prolapse in a Indan cobra (Naja naja).

This newsletter can be accessed also through the publication web site:


16 January 2010

AUSTRALIA: Conference and Workshop Announcement

Emerging Amphibian Diseases: A Preventable Cause of Mass Extinction?

23rd June – 1st July 2010
James Cook University
Townsville, Queensland, Australia

Join us in the tropical north of Australia for a combined conference and workshop on emerging amphibian diseases which are a major cause of the current mass extinction of amphibians.

A 5 day conference (23-27 June, including a field day) will highlight international research and management in the fields of epidemiology, microbiology, pathogenesis, virulence, immunity, bioaugmentation and treatment relating to chytridiomycosis.  One day will also be dedicated to other emerging amphibian diseases.

The 3 day workshop (29 June-1 July) following the conference is most suitable for researchers, wildlife managers, amphibian keepers and students new to the field of amphibian diseases.  We will help you to develop skills in diagnosis, microbial culture, field work, husbandry, necropsy, hygiene, treatment, study design and epidemiological analyses.

Details of registration and submission of abstracts will be available in February 2010. Students and researchers from developing countries may be eligible for financial assistance. 
E-mail: to register your interest and for further details.

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