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REPRODUCTIVE PARAMETERS OF BOMBINA BOMBINA AND PELOPHYLAX RIDIBUNDUS (AMPHIBIA, ANURA) FEMALES AS FUNCTIONS OF THEIR SIZE AND WEIGHT CHARACTERISTICS

Based on field surveys in 2013 – 2015 of four local populations of Bombina bombina and Pelophylax ridibundus in spawning lakes in the Medveditsa river valley (Saratov region) it was found that the body length (SVL) and weight of mature females of B. bombina and P. ridibundus ranged from 31.1 to 49.7 mm and from 63.1 to 138.1 mm; from 2.64 to 8.43 g and from 25.4 to 181.0 g, respectively.

THE FIRST CASE OF REPRODUCTION OF THE LATASTE’S TOAD, BUFOTES LATASTII (BOULENGER, 1882) IN LABORATORY CONDITIONS

The paper presents data on reproduction of Lataste’s toad, Bufotes latastii, in laboratory conditions. Dur- ing the summer, such animals  were  kept at  temperatures  within 26 – 30°C and a  daylight duration of  16 hours in a horizontal terrarium with its ground made of shredded bark. Laboratory-bred two-spotted crickets, Grillus bimaculatus, were food for adult toads. Within 28 days (from early February till early March) the animals were kept at temperatures within 9.4 – 15.8°C, humidity within 20 – 48%, and under natural lighting.

SEXUAL DIMORPHISM OF THE MORPHOMETRIC PARAMETERS AND PECULIARITIES OF THE COLOR PATTERN OF KARELIN'S NEWT (AMPHIBIA: CAUDATA: SALAMANDRIDAE) FROM THE POPULATION IN THE BURCHU-GOL’ LAKE

The intrapopulation variability of 20 morphometric characteristics and 26 indices of the body proportions of Karelin’s newt Triturus karelinii (Strauch, 1870) in the Burchu-Gol’ Lake (the Crimea, Chatyrdagh massif, 870 m a. s. l.) was estimated by employing standard statistical methods and discriminant analysis. The studied specimens demonstrated absolute discrimination into two groups, males and females, respectively.

ADDITIONS TO THE DESCRIPTION AND RAPID ASSESSMENT OF THE CURRENT STATUS OF A POPULATION OF THE RELIC VIPER (PELIAS MAGNIFICA (TUNIYEV ET OSTROVSKIKH, 2001)), (OPHIDIA, VIPERINAE) AT A TYPE LOCALITY

Additional material collected in a type locality of Pelias magnifica (Tuniyev et Ostrovskikh, 2001) ex- pands our current understanding of the external morphology of the species (including its color polymor- phism), its preferred habitats and daily activity. A rapid assessment of the current population status was done.

AGE, BODY SIZES AND GROWTH OF ZOOTOCA VIVIPARA (SAURIA: LACERTIDAE) FROM ITS MOUNTAIN POPULATIONS IN THE KUZNETSK ALATAU (SOUTHEAST OF THE WESTERN SIBERIA)

The present paper studies Zootoca vivipara populations from the low, medium and alpine zones of the Kuznetsky Alatau. By using skeletonchronology, the age of animals was determined, and the life longev-ity, sex -age structure, growth rate of bone and body were estimated. Males and females had the highest growth rates of bone and body until their second wintering, and then they decreased. Slow-growing specimens reach older ages. The body length of males and females in different age classes overlaps, and the oldest individuals were not necessarily the biggest ones.

ON THE DISTRIBUTION OF AMPHIBIANS AND REPTILES IN THE EVREISKAYA AUTONOMOUS OBLAST’ (RUSSIA)

The author has collected and integrated records on 7 amphibian species and 9 reptile ones in the Evreiskaya Autonomous Oblast’ (Russian Federation). Most of these species are found to be distributed in the mountain-forest area of the region, which is due to a combination of several factors (temperature limits, the availability of refuges, and food base).

COLOR POLYMORPHISM AND GENETIC VARIABILITY OF THE SAND LIZARD (LACERTA AGILIS) (LACERTIDAE, SAURIA) IN THE SURROUNDINGS OF THE TYUMEN AND STERLITAMAK CITIES

The paper presents data on the variability of basic morphological characters of the sand lizard (Lacerta agilis) inhabiting the vicinities of the cities Tyumen (Western Siberia) and Sterlitamak (Southern Urals). Five subtypes of back coloration were identified. Typical and atypical variants of the coloration pattern are described. A high level of the genetic variability of the ISSR markers of sand lizards was revealed. It was significantly lower in the group of mature individuals as compared to juveniles.

LONG-TERM DYNAMICS OF THE SIZE-WEIGHT AND SEXUAL STRUCTURE IN POPULATIONS OF PELOBATES FUSCUS (ANURA, PELOBATIDAE) IN THE MEDVEDITSA RIVER VALLEY (SARATOV REGION)

The size, weight and sexual structure of several populations of mature individuals of the common spadefoot was analyzed in five lakes of the Medveditsa floodplain (Saratov Region, Lysogorsky District) in 2009 - 2016. The body length of the males participating in reproduction ranged from 29.0 to 56.0 mm (the weight from 2.35 to 20.87 g), and that of females ranged from 29.3 to 59.2 mm (the weight from 2.64 to 22.33 g). In most P.

RANA TEMPORARIA IN THE KAMCHATKA: FORMATION OF THE FIRST POPULATION

The results of our first short-term study of a unique Rana temporaria population in May, 2015, are reported. This population was formed in the southern Kamchatka as a result of releasing 150 immature frogs in the spring of 2005. The numbers of breeding females was 2,648 in 2015. The activity season duration at the release locality (4 months) is 2 months shorter than that at the original locality of the translocated frogs in Moscow district.

VENOM’S YIELD AND VENOM’S PROPERTIES OF EASTERN STEPPE VIPER VIPERA RENARDI AT DIFFERENT TIMES OF ITS SEASONAL ACTIVITY

The venom yield of the eastern steppe viper Vipera renardi (Christoph, 1861) was shown to be higher in the summer than in the spring and autumn. No seasonal variability of the venom toxicity (the average lethal dose DL50 for banana crickets Gryllus locorojo Weissman et Gray, 2012) and the enzyme activities therein (proteases and L-amino acid oxidase) was detected.

CURRENT PROBLEMS OF STUDYING THE LATE CENOZOIC HISTORY OF AMPHIBIANS AND REPTILES FROM THE PALEONTOLOGICAL VIEWPOINT

When studying the late Cenozoic history of amphibians and reptiles, a number of problems arise, associated with obtaining and interpretation of factual material. First of all, the author considers peculiarities of obtaining and identifying fossil material, which strongly affects the amount and quality of paleontological data. Most biologists are not familiar with them. These are problems of taphonomy, demand, economy, personnel, collection and systematic problems.

DISTRIBUTION AND STATUS OF ADDER (VIPERA (PELIAS) BERUS) POPULATIONS IN THE VLADIMIR REGION

The adder is a usual, locally-numerous species, occurring sporadically in most parts of the Vladimir Region: everywhere in the Meshchersky Lowland and Prinerlinski District, sporadically on the Kovrovsko-Kasimovskoe Plateau, Klin-Dmitrov Ridge, in the Opole. The largest adder populations are in Yuryev-Polsky District. The adder occurrence in different habitats varies from 0.01 to 1.33 individuals per 1 km route. The maximum adder occurrence is in Kovrov (1.33 ind. / km) Vyaznikovsky (0.83 ind. / km) and Kameshkovski (0.44 ind. / km) Districts.

FEMALE’S SOCIAL ATTRACTIVENESS AS THE BASIS OF ARISING HER LONG-TERM SEXUAL CONNECTION WITH A MALE IN THE ROCK LIZARD DAREVSKIA BRAUNERI (REPTILIA, SAURIA)

When a female goes over to the settled way of life, the territory of a male with a high frequency of affiliative behavior (A-behavior) with respect to this female always becomes the formation centre of the female’s permanent home range. As the frequency of the male’s A-behavior becomes stably high (or low) in the first days of existence of a dyad and does not depend on the female’s behavior, it can be concluded that the choice of the male, rather than that of the female, underlies any long-term male - female connection, and it is just social choice rather than sexual one.

DISTRIBUTION DATA OF ROCK LIZARDS FROM THE DAREVSKIA (PRATICOLA) COMPLEX (SAURIA: LACERTIDAE)

The paper presents analysis of the distribution of Darevskia praticola praticola, D. praticola loriensis, D. p. hyrcanica, and D. pontica in the Caucasus. GIS modeling (Maxent 3.3.3k) was used. Analysis of the obtained GIS maps of distribution has allowed us to locate territories with maximum occurrence probabilities of these taxa.

BODY CONDITION DYNAMICS OF PELOBATES FUSCUS (PELOBATIDAE, ANURA) TOADLETS DURING THEIR MIGRATION FROM SPAWNING WATERBODIES

The body condition dynamics of Pelobates fuscus toadlets from three local populations (namely, Lakes Sadok, Kruglen’koe and Lebyazhye: the Medveditsa river valley, Saratov region) in the period of their migration from spawning lakes in 2013 is characterized by the bimodality of most parameters. In the population from the waterbody with a constant hydrological regime (Lake Lebyazhye), two peaks of the size and weight traits and body condition of toadlets are formed in this period.

REPRODUCTIVE STRUCTURE OF A HEMIPOPULATION OF COSMOCERCA ORNATA (NEMATODA: COSMOCERCIDAE) IN MARSH FROGS PELOPHYLAX RIDIBUNDUS (PALLAS, 1771) (ANURA: RANIDAE) OF SEVERAL PHENOTYPES

The reproductive structure of Cosmocerca ornata (Dujardin, 1845) in marsh frogs (Pelophylax ridibundus (Pallas, 1771)) of both the striata and non-striata phenotypes was studied. Distinctions in the physiology, ecology and behavior of striped and unstriped amphibians have certain influence on the intensity of processes of the host infestation and maturing of C. ornata in frogs of different phenotypes. Analysis of the age structure of the C.

MORPHOLOGY OF CASPIAN WHIPSNAKE HIEROPHIS CASPIUS (GMELIN, 1789) (REPTILIA: COLUBRIDAE) IN THE LOWER VOLGA REGION

Data about some external morphological characteristics of Caspian whipsnake in the Astrakhan region are presented. Males, in comparison with females, have larger maximum body (L. corp.) and tail (L. cd) sizes. The males from the Astrakhan region differ from their females by a smaller L. corp. / L. cd. index (ratio), by the number of Ventr, and by a higher number of Scd.

LEUKOCYTE BLOOD COMPOSITION FEATURES OF GRASS SNAKE (NATRIX NATRIX) AND DICE SNAKE (N. TESSELLATA) (REPTILIA: COLUBRIDAE) FEMALES IN THE SAMARA REGION

Our study of the peripheral blood leukogram of grass snake and dice snake females (Samara region) has revealed changes in the blood of these snakes before and after their laying eggs, associated with the natural immunity activation in these animals. Natural, innate immunity reactions were mediated by mononuclear cells (monocytes and lymphocytes). An increase in the lymphocyte fraction in the dice snake female blood is shown to reduce the leukogram shift index.

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