Last updated 10 June 2021: added article from RJH 17(2) (link to page for Fork-Tongued Frogs (Dicroglossidae) is still under repair).
A great deal of useful information has appeared in print over the last few years in specialist herpetological magazines. If you're anything like me you have probably amassed a small library of these periodicals and now have trouble keeping tabs on what appeared in which issue. Mainly for the purposes of assisting people who want to find information on a specific species or topic, I offer the following index. It is by no means comprehensive, but it is fairly full and will be updated regularly.
Some creatures have entries for articles which does not deal exclusively with them but with, say, a whole genus, or of experience of a field expedition. Some articles only contain passing references to a species, but where the reference is very peripheral then I have tried to note this by adding [passim]. In some cases you may need to use your best judgement as to whether it is worth pursuing an article if the title indicates only a peripheral chance of finding out what you need to know.
From January 2002 those articles most recently added are now printed in red text, to allow the viewer to see at a glance what is new.
In 2004 I started trying to add material from magazines other than those regularly sold in normal outlets where herps are bought and sold. We have in recent years added material from Gekko and Chelonian and Conservation Biology, and now we are adding articles from the various publications of the German herpetological association the DGHT. Since most of these are in German, I have added an English translation of the title in brackets. Other foreign-language publications (especially French and Spanish) may follow.
Should you be interested in a certain article, then it is worth checking first whether the magazine or periodical is still being published. If it is, then you are probably in with a chance of getting a back copy. If not, then to be honest your best chance is to search on the Internet for any sites or individuals that are willing to part with or sell any copies that they may have. Herpetological shows and fairs are often good places to find back copies. Occasionally you may be able to find a text copy of the article on the Net, but this seems to be rare, not least because of the copyright issues.
To search for an article, simply click on the subject or group you are interested in. At the bottom of the page we have included some information on the different publications indexed in this section.
Ambystomatids (Mole Salamanders, including the Tiger Salamander and Axolotl)
Salamandrids (Newts, Fire Salamanders and relatives)
Plethodontids (Lungless Salamanders)
Other salamanders (Amphiumas, Giant Salamanders, Asian Lungless Salamanders, Sirens, Mudpuppies and the Olm)
True Toads (Bufo and relatives, Harlequin Frogs)
True Frogs (Ranidae, Rana and relatives)
Poison Dart Frogs (Dendrobatid frogs)
Mantellas (Mantellid frogs)
Tree Frogs (Hylidae)
Leptodactylid frogs (Horned Frogs, "Pac-Man" Frogs and relatives)
Brittle-Belly frogs (Craugostoridae)
Brazilian Three-Toed Toadlets (Brachycephalidae)
Foam-Nest Frogs (Rhacophoridae)
Narrow-Mouthed Frogs (Microhylidae)
Fork-Tongued Frogs (Dicroglossidae)
African Reed Frogs and Shovel-Nosed Frogs (Hyperoliidae and Hemisotidae)
Seychelles and Pig-Nosed Frogs (Sooglossidae)
Pelobatoid Frogs and Toads (Spadefoots and Parsley Frogs)
Myobatrachid Frogs and Toads (Australasian frogs and toads including White's Tree Frog)
Megophryid Frogs and Toads (Asian Toads)
Pipoid Frogs (Clawed, Pipid and Burrowing Frogs)
"Ancient" Frogs (Discoglossids, Fire-Bellied and Midwife Toads, New Zealand and Tailed Frogs)
"Squeaker" Frogs (Arthroleptidae)
Darwin's Frogs (Rhinodermatidae)
Eublepharid Geckos (including Leopard Geckos and African Fat-Tailed Geckos)
Gekkonid Geckos (including Tokays, Day Geckos and Leaf-Tails)
Diplodactylid Geckos (including Australian, New Zealand and New Caledonian geckos inc. Rhacodactylus)
Iguanids - includes iguanas, anoles, chuckwallas and swifts
Agamids - includes Bearded Dragons, Water Dragons, Frilled Dragons and Uromastyx
Monitors - includes helodermatids (Gila Monster and Beaded Lizards) and Lanthanotus (Borneo Earless Monitor)
Teiids - includes tegus and whiptails
Anguids - includes slowworms, alligator lizards, sheltopusik, gallowasps and glass lizards
Cordylids - Girdled Lizards and Sungazers
Gerrhosaurids - Plated Lizards
Xantusidae - Night Lizards
Other Lizards - includes xenosaurs and shinisaurs
Rat Snakes (including Corn Snakes)
Garter- and Ribbon Snakes – Thamnophis species
Pine-, Bull- and Gopher Snakes – Pituophis species
and other colubrid snakes, including rear-fanged
Elapid snakes – cobras, kraits, mambas, coral snakes, Australian “adders” and sea snakes
Viperid snakes – vipers, adders, rattlesnakes, bushmasters and lanceheads
Tortoises and Turtles
Chelydridae (snapping and big-headed turtles)
Bataguridae and Emydidae (freshwater, pond, river and box turtles and terrapins)
Trionychoidea (soft-shell and pig-nose turtles)
Kinosternoidea (mud, musk and Dermatemys turtles)
Chelonoidea (marine and leatherback turtles)
Pleurodira (side-necked turtles)
Arachnids - spiders, scorpions, whipscorpions & relatives
Insects - including beetles, butterflies, crickets, grasshoppers and stick insects
Other Invertebrates - including centipedes, millipedes, molluscs and crustaceans
As in most fields of human interest, herpetology has seen the rise and fall of various magazines. Of those that started within the last two decades, some are still going strong but a good number have also merged or fallen by the wayside. The guide below covers magazines published in the UK and US, plus one in Europe. This does not pretend to be a complete list, and indeed there are excellent magazines and periodicals produced by Australians, Germans and doubtlessly other nationalities. We will hopefully add these as we encounter them.
Listing of magazine issues indexed in this section
Most of the above publications were aimed at keepers and hobbyists, although some managed to combine this with a respectable scientific basis. More purely scientific journals are in fact available and include such longstanding notables as Copeia, as well as more recent arrivals such as the Russian Journal of Herpetology. Most are of a good standard but may reach beyond the understanding as well as interest of the hobbyist keeper, which is not a criticism but simply a statement of fact. If you are a car enthusiast, for example, you still may not find the application of Newtonian laws to a 30-minute track event terribly exciting, nor will most people who cook for pleasure be thrilled by a detailed breakdown of the chemical reactions in the mixture that goes into their soufflé for the dinner party. At the same time, many of the more scientific journals do carry accounts of observations on animals and their behaviour which can only be helpful to the keeper, and the discoveries of a new species are also usually first announced in these publications.
One factor that I think might deter some readers from subscribing to journals is the cost. Whereas hobbyist magazines can recoup some money by advertising, scientific journals rarely have that resort. As the sort of articles they carry tend to take longer to research and write (sometimes the research can take years!), the publications are often quarterly or even yearly, but still cost more than perhaps a year's subscription to a hobbyist magazine. Again, this is not a criticism, simply a statement of fact. Journals can often be purchased second-hand, but carry the danger that the older they are, the more likely the information in them is to be out-of-date, less than our current knowledge of affairs, or even disproven by subsequent research. For this reason it is good to be able to find recent sources. As animals evolve far more slowly than computers and other machinery, however, a description of a species is usually basically right even if made decades previously, although later observations may have added more in the meantime. By contrast, unless you own a computer museum, articles in computer magazines of more than 5 years previous are likely to be of no use to your current knowledgeset whatsover.
Casting the net slightly wider, more general zoological or biological journals such as Evolution also carry articles with a herpetological interest.
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