Short Communications

New data on some Russian herpetologists. Communication 3

Unknown biographic data about I. S. Darevsky, D. B. Krasovsky, and S. A. Chernov are presented. This information was obtained during work with the museum collection of the Gorsky State Agrarian University (Vladikavkaz), that of E. N. Pavlovsky’s Chair of Biology at S. M. Kirov Military Medical Academy, and the archive of the Zoological Institute of the Russian Academy of Sciences.

Present distribution of the common frog, Rana temporaria and the moor frog, R. arvalis (Amphibia, Anura) in the “old” Moscow

The common frog (Rana temporaria) and the moor frog (R. arvalis) lived in all green areas of Moscow until the end of the 20th century. The reduction in the area of woody vegetation, the destruction of breeding sites and introduction of the invasive fish Perccottus glenii contributed to the extinction of these amphibians in most of the city. The paper provides information on the distribution of brown frogs in Moscow based on the results of monitoring in 2020. R.

Ice walking common frog (Rana temporaria) (Ranidae, Amphibia)

A record of Rana temporaria on the ice cover of the Gulf of Finland is described. Frog slowly moved on the ice surface with speed around 0.03 m/s. Air temperature near ice surface was +3.5°C, and the frog body temperature was +4°C. In the Saint Petersburg region, common frogs can hibernate in the coastal waters of Baltic Sea with salinity of  0 – 5.8‰.

Herpetological century: Centenary Anniversary of the Laboratory of Herpetology of the Zoological Institute of Russian Academy of Sciences

The publication describes the history of the formation of the Department/Laboratory of Herpetology in the Zoological Institute of Russian Academy of Sciences and previously unknown facts of the biography of its staff. An overview of the events dedicated to the celebration of the centenary anniversary of the establishment of the Department is given.

On the Distribution of the European Common Spadefoot, Pelobates fuscus (Pelobatidae, Amphibia) in Moscow

The European common spadefoot, Pelobates fuscus, has not been observed in Moscow since the end of the 20th century. The species is listed in the Red Data Book of Moscow (2017) as endangered or completely extinct. The paper presents new findings of P. fuscus on the territory of the city, namely, in the “Moskvoretskiy” Natural-Historical Park and the “Kosinskiy” Natural-Historical Park in August 2020.

Shchukinsky Peninsula as a New Habitat of the Grass-snake Natrix natrix (Linnaeus, 1758) (Colubridae, Reptilia) in Moscow

The paper provides new information about the Moscow findings of the grass snake Natrix natrix, listed in the Red Data book of this city. Regular meetings of common grass snakes on the territory of the Shchukinsky Peninsula for a significant period, starting from 2012, indicate its relatively stable, but low population abundance.

Rediscovery of the Caucasian Smooth Newt, Lissotriton lantzi (Wolterstorff, 1914) (Salamandridae, Amphibia) in North Ossetia–Alania

Lantz’s newt, or the Caucasian smooth newt, Lissotriton lantzi, is an endemic species for the Caucasian mountain-forest belt. In North Ossetia–Alania, only 4 findings of this newt are known in the Prigorodniy, Alagirskiy and Irafskiy districts. Since 1983, there has been no new information about any findings of L. lantzi in this region. On August 4, 2020, L. lantzi larvae were caught in a lake on the left shore of the Urukh River in the Irafskiy district. Newts live here in a beech forest at an altitude of 810 m. The authors assume that L.

Daily Diet of Pelobates fuscus (Pelobatidae, Amphibia) in the Khoper River Floodplain (Saratov Region)

The daily diet of Pelobates fuscus in local populations in the Khoper river floodplain is considered. The absence of gender differences in their daily diet is shown. Most of P. fuscus prey is made up of animals weighing 10–25 mg and having body lengths of 8–18 mm. Hymenoptera (70.8%) and Coleoptera (52.1%) predominate by the number of specimens and by biomass, respectively. The number of daily caught invertebrates usually does not exceed 15. The lowest feed consumption is in April and October, while the highest one is in the summer months.

On Melanism in the Meadow Lizard, Darevskia praticola (Eversmann, 1834) (Lacertidae, Reptilia)

The paper discusses the finding of a Meadow lizard (Darevskia praticola praticola) melanist in the Stavropol Region. Information about the clutch and offspring from this female melanist is given.

Notes on the Snakes of the Northern Caucasus

The paper provides new information on the distribution of rare and endangered snakes over the Stavropol Region, namely, Eryx jaculus, Dolichophis caspius, Elaphe sauromates, and Platyceps najadum.