Articles

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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