Articles

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).

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.

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.

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.

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.

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).

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.

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.

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.

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).

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