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On the Ecology of the Desert Sand Boa Eryx milliaris (Reptilia, Boidae) in Kalmykia

The paper contains data on the inhabitation, abundance and temperature selectiveness of the desert sand boa in Kalmykia. Bioclimatic variables influencing its range are also analyzed by modeling with the Maxent software. Two models were used in our analysis, built on 19 standard bioclimatic variables and on a shortlist after the removal of correlated variables. The body temperature of the desert sand boa varied from 12 to 33°С. Its population level stays rather high in Kalmykia, up to two specimen per ha on sand hills of the Chernozemelskiy district.

Comparative Characteristics of Morphometric and Reproductive Parameters of the Common Brown Frog, Rana temporaria (Amphipia, Ranidae) from the Populations of Old and New Moscow

The paper discusses the results of our study of the variability of some morphometric and reproductive characteristics in the common brown frog, Rana temporaria, from two populations of the Moscow city. The first population exists in isolation in the Timiryazev Forest Park, for a long time surrounded by districts with multi-storey buildings. The second population is located on the territory with mainly rural buildings (the settlement Kokoshkino), recently annexed to Moscow. The size and reproductive parameters in frogs from these two localities were compared.

Ontogenetic Changes in the Properties of the Poisonous Secretion of Vipera renardi (Reptilia: Viperidae)

The paper presents the results of our long-term (August 2014–October 2016) observations of changes in some properties of the poisonous secretion of eastern steppe vipers of the nominative subspecies Vipera renardi renardi (Christoph, 1861) during their postembryonic ontogenesis. The poisonous secretion of newborn vipers differed from the venom of adult snakes by an increased protease activity and the absence of any L-amino acid oxidase activity; all newborns had colorless venom.

Sexual Variability of Histological Skin Parameters of Salamandrella keyserlingii (Amphibia, Caudata) in the Aquatic and Terrestrial Phases of its Seasonal Cycle

Histological features of the dorsal (DS), throat (TS) and tail skins (caudal skin, CS) were exa-mined in Salamandrella keyserlingii females of the aquatic and terrestrial morphotypes. Using histological and statistical methods, sexual differences in the relative areas of epidermis, strata compactum and spongiosum, connective tissue in the whole, granular and mucous glands were measured.

Distribution and Conservation of the Nikolsky’s Pitviper, Gloydius caucasicus (Reptilia, Viperidae) in Azerbaijan

The paper discusses the distribution of Nikolsky’s pitviper, Gloydius caucasicus, in Azerbaijan. According to the authors’ own research results, literature data and museum collections, 32 findings of this species in the Jalilabad (1 locality), Yardymly (11 localities), Lerik (10 localities), Lenkoran (10 localities) and Astara (5 localities) administrative districts are presented.

Differences in Features of External Morphology Traits of Young and Adult Snakes of the Family Colubridae (Reptilia)

Characteristics of the meristic features of the external morphology of young and adult snakes (the Colubridae family) of three species, namely, the grass snake Natrix natrix, the dice snake N. tessellata and the Pallas’ coluber Elaphe dione, living in the Samara region, are described. For the first time, a comparative analysis was carried out of a number of morphological characters of unevenaged snakes, namely: newborns obtained in laboratory conditions, juvenile specimens, and adult snakes captured in nature.

Bioacoustic Characteristics of the Crimean Gecko Mediodactylus danilewskii (Strauch, 1887) (Reptilia: Sauria: Gekkonidae)

For the first time, the amplitude-frequency and temporal characteristics of the acoustic signals (the distress one and two types of advertisement calls) of the Crimean gecko (Mediodactylus danilewskii) were analyzed. The distress call is a rather long one (usually around 150–350 ms, but sometimes up to nearly 1 s), with a peak frequency of 6.86 kHz in both males and females. The upper harmonics of this type of signal lie in the ultrasonic region of the frequency spectrum.

ON THE WINTER ACTIVITY OF MARSH FROG – PELOPHYLAX RIDIBUNDUS IN THE BALAKOVO NPS COOLING POND

Abnormal activity of Pelophylax ridibundus in the cooling pond of the Balakovo NPS (Saratov region) was detected during the winter period of 2003. The temperature range within which this activity was observed corresponds to that for the exit of individuals of this species from wintering during the spring period.

A NEW RECORD OF THE STEPPE RIBBON RACER, PSAMMOPHIS LINEOLATUS (BRANDT, 1836) (SERPENTES: LAMPROPHIIDAE) IN THE CAUCASUS

A third specimen of Psammophis lineolatus (Brandt, 1836) from the Caucasus (near the Anabad village, Ordubad district, Nakhchivan Autonomous Republic of Azerbaijan) is described.

ON THE DIET SELECTIVITY OF THE STRIATED LIZARD, LACERTA STRIGATA EICHWALD, 1831 (SAURIA: LACERTIDAE)

We describe a case of temporary transfer of a striated lizard, Lacerta strigata Eichwald, 1831 to eating winged individuals of the cornfield ant, Lasius alienus (Foerster, 1850) registered in the territory of the Staropavlovskaya village, Stavropol region.

ON THE COLORATION PATTERN OF NEWBORNS OF THE SAND LIZARD, LACERTA AGILIS LINNAEUS, 1758 FROM TWO POPULATIONS (SAMARA REGION)

The coloration pattern of 485 newborn sand lizards (Lacerta agilis Linnaeus, 1758) got by laboratory egg incubation was studied. The eggs were laid in terrariums by 109 pregnant females caught at two localities in the Samara Region (2011 - 2013 and 2015). The posterity of the females from the Togliatti locality exhibited two coloration morphs, typica exigua and immaculata-concolor, whereas that of the females from the Mordovo village (33 km from Togliatti, the opposite bank of the Volga river) had only one pattern, typica exigua.

NATURE PROTECTION STATUS OF AMPHIBIANS AND REPTILES IN SARATOV REGION

On the basis of modern field surveys, collection data, and analysis of the literature data, a list of amphibian and reptile species recommended for inclusion into the 3rd edition of the Red Book of the Saratov Region was compiled. It contains 7 species of the batrachofauna and herpetofauna of the region, belonging to 3 groups, 5 families, and 6 genera. We offer to add 1 new species into the Book and to exclude 1 species, and there appeared prerequisites for revision of the existing protection status of 2 taxa.

ON THE NUTRITION OF SOME SEMI-AQUATIC AMPHIBIAN SPECIES (AMPHIBIA: ANURA) IN THE NORTHWESTERN UPPER OKA REGION

The nutrition of Bombina bombina and Pelophylax lessonae collected in three habitats of the northwestern Upper Oka region in 2006 - 2014 was studied. The feed composition of Pelophylax lessonae reduced to the autumn by the abundance and taxonomic diversity, epigeious beetles and ants to predominate. Bombina bombina mainly feeds on ants and arachnids in the autumn.

A CASE OF SUCCESSFUL HUNTING OF A PARASTEATODA TEPIDARIORUM (C. L. KOCH, 1841) (ARANEAE: THERIDIIDAE) SPIDER FOR A PONTIC LIZARD DAREVSKIA PONTICA (LANTZ ET CYRÉN, 1919) (SAURIA: LACERTIDAE)

The paper describes a first case of successful hunting of a Parasteatoda tepidariorum (C. L. Koch, 1841) spider for a juvenile individual of Pontic Lizard, Darevskia pontica (Lantz et Cyrén, 1919), recorded in the territory of Slavyansk-on-Kuban town (Krasnodar Region, Russia).

A SIMPLE METHOD FOR FEEDING STUDIES IN LIVE ANURAN AMPHIBIANS

A simple method of food sampling in live frogs is described. This method enables complete extraction of the stomach contents and leads to a very low mortality of frogs. That is why it is more reasonable than killing and preserving frogs for further study of their diet composition. Photographs of food extracting are provided, which can be used in field conditions.

LIZARDS (REPTILIA, SAURIA) FROM VIETNAM IN THE HERPETOLOGICAL COLLECTION OF THE ZOOLOGICAL MUSEUM OF MOSCOW UNIVERSITY. 2. GENUS ACANTHOSAURA (FAMILY AGAMIDAE)

Data on the Acanthosaura lizards of the Vietnam fauna, deposited in the herpetological collection of the Zoological Museum of the Moscow University, are given. The following data are provided for every sample: accession number, capture location, habitat, and collector. The places of capture are shown on the map of the country.

CURRENT STATUS OF THE BATRACHOLOGICAL COLLECTION OF THE ZOOLOGICAL MUSEUM OF SARATOV UNIVERSITY

A brief history of the formation of the batrachological collection of the Zoological Museum (Saratov State University) is given. The museum’s collections taken within the Saratov region and beyond are analyzed.

ON POSSIBLE ESTIVATION OF PHRYNOCEPHALUS HELIOSCOPUS (PALLAS, 1771) AND EREMIAS ARGUTA (PALLAS, 1773) IN THE ALTAI REGION

Summer counts of Phrynocephalus helioscopus (Pallas, 1771) and Eremias arguta (Pallas, 1773) were conducted in the Altai Region during April - September, 2016. A sharp decline in the activity of lizards in June and July was noted, due to the high temperatures and dry weather. As a result of excavation of some burrows, lizards in a non-active state were found. The possibility of summer hibernation (estivation) of the species is considered.

LIZARDS (REPTILIA, SAURIA) FROM VIETNAM IN THE HERPETOLOGICAL COLLECTION OF THE ZOOLOGICAL MUSEUM OF MOSCOW UNIVERSITY. 3. GENUS BRONCHOCELA (FAMILY AGAMIDAE)

Data are given on the lizard specimens of the genus Bronchocela (the family Agamidae) of the Vietnam fauna, accumulated in the herpetological collection of the Zoological Museum of Moscow University. The following data are presented for each specimen: the accession number, the date and location of capture, the habitat, and the collector. The places of capture are shown on the map of the country. A new key for the Vietnamese species of Bronchocela is provided.

A NEW RECORD OF THE GREEN SEA TURTLE CHELONIA MYDAS IN THE EASTERN PART OF THE BLACK SEA NEAR THE ABKHAZIA COAST

A new record of the green sea turtle Chelonia mydas (Linnaeus, 1758) occurrence in the eastern part of the Black sea, on the territory of Republic of Abkhazia, is reported.

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