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HISTOLOGICAL CHARACTERISTICS OF THE SKIN OF SALAMANDRELLA KEYSERLINGII (CAUDATA, HYNOBIIDAE) MALES IN THE AQUATIC AND TERRESTRIAL PHASES OF THEIR SEASONAL CYCLE

Histological features of the skin of Salamandrella keyserlingii males are analyzed as depends on the seasonal cycle phase. Skin areas from the middle of the tail’s right side (caudal skin, CS), the center of the throat sac (throat skin, TS), and the middle of the back (dorsal skin, DS) were examined.

Body Size and Condition Dynamics of Pelobates fuscus (Anura, Pelobatidae) Metamorfs under Transphormation of Floodplain Lakes Hydrological Regime

The long-term dynamics of size and weight characteristics and body condition of Pelobates fuscus metamorphs in five local populations of the Medveditsa river floodplain (Saratov region) are analyzed. The limits of changes in body length, live and dry weight, and the body condition index (W/SVL) of males and females were established. In 2009 - 2018 the size and weight parameters of the P. fuscus metamorphs had a significant level of interannual variation. The body length was 21.0 to 44.0 mm in males and 22.1 to 44.0 mm in females.

On the Reproductive Biology of the Hyrcanian Meadow Lizard, Darevskia praticola hyrcanica (Lacertidae, Reptilia)

The paper presents materials on the reproductive biology of the hyrcanian meadow lizard, Darevskia praticola hyrcanica from a typical locality (the Gadasygahi Natural Boundaries, Talysh Mountains, Astara administrative district of Azerbaijan). Animals were caught in the first decade of May, 2016. After being caught, the adult lizards were kept in groups (one female and two males) in our laboratory until oviposition. Females with a body length of 45.8 - 60.6 mm were laying eggs from May 28 till June 20. A total of 25 egg clutches with 72 eggs were studied.

Captive Breeding of the Caucasian Smooth Newt, Lissotriton lantzi (Wolterstorff, 1914) (Salamandridae, Amphibia)

Lantz’s newt, or the Caucasian smooth newt (Lissotriton lantzi), is an endemic species of the Caucasus. The distribution and abundance of this species are decreasing, especially on the periphery of its habitat. The paper presents the results of our study of reproduction, growth and development of Lantz's newt in artificial conditions. Eight couples of animals were caught on the Strizhament Mountain (the Stavropol region, Russian Federation) in 2015 and 2016. The newt couples were constantly kept in water in plastic containers (one couple in each container).

On the Reduction of the Area and Abundance of the Greek Tortoise Testudo graeca Linnaeus, 1758 (Testudinidae, Reptilia) on the Primorsky Lowland of Dagestan and Problems of its Conservation

Data on the status of the populations of Testudo graeca Linnaeus, 1758 on the Primorsky lowland of Dagestan are given. The research was conducted in 2014 - 2018. Over the past few decades, the range of this species on the Primorsky lowland has reduced by nine or more times. Viable populations were preserved on the coastal dunes and semidesert-steppe landscapes in the vicinity of the Aji Lake (1,300 hectares) and along the fringes and outskirts of the forest in the Samur River delta (2,100 hectares).

Hemoparasites of the Lake Frog Pelophylax ridibundus (Pallas, 1771) (Ranidae, Anura) Inhabiting Reservoirs of the North-Western Ciscaucasia

The results of our study of the hemoparasites of the lake frog inhabiting the North-Western Ciscaucasian reservoirs are presented. It was found that the parasites are represented by three species, namely: the sporozoa Hepatozoon magna and Dactylosoma ranarum, and Microfilaria. Differences in the erythrocyte morphology of the lake frog when infected by sporozoa were identified. Dactylosoma ranarum does not alter the size of the erythrocytes affected.

A First Finding and a New Species of Wolf-Snake (Lycodon mackinnoni Wall, 1906) of the Ophidian Fauna of Azad Kashmir (Pakistan)

The present study was conducted to research the herpetofaunal in the Bagh area (the central part of State of Azad Jammu and Kashmir, Azad Kashmir, Pakistan). It lasted from May 2015 till November 2016. As a result, 5 specimens of the Western-Himalayan endemic wolf-snake species Lycodon mackinnoni were recorded by visual encounter. These findings were new for the habitat of the species and for the specific composition of the ophidian fauna of both the Azad Kashmir area and Pakistan in the whole.

Histological Characteristics of the Skin of Salamandrella keyserlingii (Caudata, Hynobiidae) Females in Aqutic and Terrestrial Phases of Seasonal Cycle

Morphological features of the dorsal (DS), throat (TS) and tail skins (caudal skin, CS) were examined in the aquatic- and terrestrial-morphotype females of Salamandrella keyserlingii. Using histological and statistical methods, the presence of the stratum corneum of the epidermis, the fullness degree of the mucous glands, and the development of the subdermal connective tissue were estimated.

Distribution, Status and Prospects for the Conservation of the Caspian Whipsnake Hierophis Caspius (Gmelin, 1789) (Colubridae, Reptilia) in Kazakhstan

The Caspian whipsnake was described by I. I. Lepyokhin (1771), possibly from the Western Kazakhstan. The species name caspius was assigned to the snake by J. F. Gmelin (1789). Based on our own and literature data, modern habitats of the Caspian whipsnake are given in the Western Kazakhstanian and Atyrau regions of Kazakhstan – from 48°47.305' N and 47°22.559' E (in the north) to 46°56.536' N and 49°18.177' E (in the south).

Thermal Biology and Dayly Activity of Central Asian Tortoise (Agrionemys horsfieldii) (Testudinidae, Reptilia)

The data on the thermal biology and daily activity of the Central Asian tortoise Agrionemys horsfiedii have been generalized on the basis of our own research and literature information. A description of the daily activity cycles with the body and environmental temperatures characterized is proposed. There are 8 periods of the daily activity and thermoregulatory behavior. According to our measurement data of the tortoise’s  cloacal temperature, their egress from their burrows takes place under a minimum body temperature of 9.4°С and a minimum substrate one of 11.8ºС.

Captive Breeding of the Alpine Newt, Ichthyosaura alpestris (Laurenti, 1768) (Amphibia, Caudata, Salamndridae) under Hormonal Stimulation

The Alpine newt, Ichthyosaura alpestris, is widely distributed in Central Europe. This species is common for most part of its habitat. I. alpestris is rare in Ukraine, Hungary, Bulgaria, Austria and Denmark. In the Netherlands, Belgium and Luxembourg the Alpine newt is endangered. A large number of publications on the keeping and breeding of this species in captivity is known. This allows the Alpine newt to be saved in artificial conditions, as well as to carry out projects on its reintroduction.

Hematological Indices of the Lake Frog Pelophylax ridibundus (Pallas, 1771) (Ranidae, Anura) Inhabiting Reservoirs in the Northwestern Ciscaucasia with Various Pollution Types

The paper deals with hematological indices of lake frogs from two biotopes with different pollution types. The first biotope is the Chibi Canal, which receives water from rice bays, it is contaminated with pesticides. The second biotope is a reservoir near the old river-bed of the Kuban River near the forest park Krasny Kut. In both biotopes, no significant differences in the number of erythrocytes and hemoglobin in the blood of lake frogs were observed.

New Approaches to Collecting Reproductive Material from Amphibians for its Use in Artificial Fertilization

This paper describes new methods for obtaining viable ovulated oocytes and testicular sperm from the carcasses of females and males of the common frog Rana temporaria, stored at +4ºС for 1–7 days. In addition, a new approach to delayed collection (1 to 30 days) of ovulated oocytes from live female frogs of the same species is given. Part of the frog testicular spermatozoa is shown to retain motility (21.0±1.5%) and fertilizing ability (13.2±1.9%) even after 6 days of storage at +4°C in the carcasses of males.

Male Reproductive Cycle in a Population of the Common Lizard Zootoca vivipara (Squamata, Lacertidae) from Southeast of Western Siberia

Widely distributed reptile species are characterized by reproductive plasticity, which may also appear as variations of the reproductive cycles. To understand the specificity of the male reproductive cycle of Zootoca vivipara in the Asian part of its range, males from the Tomsk population (the southeast of the Western Siberia) caught from April till July 2017 were studied (n = 27).

Amphibian Scientific Collection of the Zoological Museum of Saratov State University as the Basis for the Regional Cadastre

The characteristic is given and the taxonomic structure of the modern bathrachological collection of the Zoological Museum of the Saratov National Research State University named after N. G. Chernyshevsky is analyzed. Currently, it has 1903 specimens of amphibians belonging to 46 species of 13 families. The Ranidae family is the most fully presented one (43.3% of the total number of storage units). In total, the Ranidae collection contains 711 specimens of 10 frog species, of which 2 species (569 specimens) account for Saratov regional collections.

Growing of Larvae of the Caucasian Smooth Newt, Lissotriton lantzi (Wolterstorff, 1914) (Amphibia, Caudata) at Various Temperatures

Lantz’s newt, or the Caucasian smooth newt, Lissotriton lantzi, is an endemic species of Caucasian forests. It was included in the Red Data Books of the Russian Federation and Republic of Azerbaijan. The design of a technology for keeping and reproducing this species in captivity will help its conservation. The paper discusses the results of larval growing of Lantz's newt at several temperatures. Newts were obtained from reproduction in artificial conditions.

Data on the Distribution of the Crimean Wall Lizard, Podarcis tauricus (Pallas, 1814) (Sauria: Lacertidae), in the North-Western Black Sea Region (Ukraine)

Novel data on the distribution, habitats and population density of the Crimean (Balkan) wall lizard, Podarcis tauricus (Pallas, 1814) in the Odessa Province of the Ukraine are given. For the majority of the localities known from the literature data in the Pre-Danube Region, the current dwelling of the species was confirmed, and its population density over limited areas remains quite high, namely: from 5–10 to 70–100 specimens/1000 sq. m. The northernmost point of the P.

Community of Reptiles in the Sandy Habitats of the Ferghana Valley (Uzbekistan) and the Endemic Species Conservation Problem

In 2018–2019, isolated sandy habitats in the Ferghana oasis were surveyed. The reptile communities in the sands had a similar structure and very high population density, reaching up to 144 ind./ha. In all habitats, two racerunner species absolutely predominated, namely, Eremias velox and Eremias scripta, which accounted from 56.9 to 94.5% of the total abundance. In some habitats the dominants included Rustamov’s plate-tailed gecko and Strauch’s toad-headed agama.

Taxonomy, Phylogeny and Distribution of Phrynocephalus (superspecies guttatus) (Reptilia: Agamidae)

7 qualitative pholidosis characters were revealed, according to which the phylogenetic groups of spotted toad-headed agamas, Phrynocephalus (superspecies guttatus), reliably differ from each other, and a diagnostic key was designed based thereon for distinguishing representatives of the group. Molecular phylogenetic analysis of a fragment of the COI gene of mtDNA confirmed the differentiation of Ph. melanurus in two lineages; also Ph. incertus and Ph. kuschakewitschi stand apart with high supports. The subspecies Ph. g.

Growth, Survival and Live Feed Utilization Efficiency of the Hyrcanian Meadow Lizard, Darevskia praticola hyrcanica (Lacertidae, Reptilia) in Captivity

The paper presents materials on growing and winter hibernation of the Hyrcanian meadow lizard, Darevskia praticola hyrcanica, in artificial conditions. Juveniles were obtained from the captive breeding of lizards caught on the typical locality of this subspecies (Gadazyghahi Natural Boundary, the Talysh Mountains, Astara District, Azerbaijan) in the first decade of May, 2016. Immediately after leaving the eggs, newborn lizards were placed in groups of 5 specimens each into plastic 39×28×28 cm containers. Six groups were formed in total, and our research involved 30 lizards.

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