Articles

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).

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 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.

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.

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.

HIGH TENSION OF TERRITORIAL RELATIONS AMONG MALES MAY NEGATIVELY INFLUENCE THEIR RELATIONS WITH FEMALES IN THE ROCK LIZARD DAREVSKIA BRAUNERI (SAURIA, LACERTIDAE)

In previous papers we have ascertained the existence of many-year social monogamy in Brauner's lizard (A-relations). The data presented in this communication show that the territorial male’s aggression against the female, including sexual aggression, manifests itself during, or immediately after, a territorial skirmish between the male and the intruder. During an hour after this assault, an increased frequency of rejections of social contacts with the male remained in the assaulted female.

DISTRIBUTION AND CONTACT ZONE OF TWO FORMS OF THE GREEN TOAD FROM THE BUFOTES VIRIDIS COMPLEX (ANURA, AMPHIBIA), DIFFERING IN GENOME SIZE, IN THE VOLGA REGION

In the Volga region and adjacent territories, 263 specimens of green toads from 63 localities were studied. Genome size analysis by means of flow DNA cytometry allowed the specimens from 16 localities to be identified as the “western” (= viridis) form and the green toads from 20 localities as the “eastern” form (= variabilis or sitibundus). In the other localities studied, specimens with an intermediate genome size predominated.

MORPHOMETRIC CHARACTERISTICS OF BOMBINA BOMBINA (DISCOGLOSSIDAE, ANURA) IN THE MEDVEDITSA RIVER VALLEY (SARATOV REGION) AND NONINVASIVE SEX DIAGNOSTICS BY SIZE AND WEIGHT TRAITS

Morphometric characteristics of Bombina bombina males and females were done. 10 traits were measured and 10 indices were calculated for a sample of B. bombina from the population of the lake Cherepashie (the Medveditsa river valley, Lysogorsky district, Saratov region). Only some traits show significant sex-ual differences in B. bombina. It is shown that in the conditions of degradation of the spawning reservoir network in river valleys, a significant increase in the role of individuals with relatively large dimensions of their hind limbs (mainly femur) occurred in the B.

REPTILE COMMUNITIES OF THE KARAKALPAKIAN USTYURT (UZBEKISTAN)

Terrestrial route counts of reptiles in 24 localities of the plateau Ustyurt were carried out in 2007 - 2008. 474 individuals of 15 species were found along a total of 243.5 km passed. Based on the results of our survey, the reptile population structure has been clarified in 12 landscapes. The low specific diversity and population density of reptiles were observed everywhere. 2 to 8 species with a population density of 1.9 - 8.4 individuals per ha were found in certain landscapes. In terms of abundance, the reptiles belonged to rare or common species.

DISTRIBUTION AND REPRODUCTION ECOLOGY OF THE SIBERIAN SALAMANDER (SALAMANDRELLA KEYSERLINGII) IN THE NORTHEAST OF EUROPEAN RUSSIA

Data on the findings of the Siberian salamander over the territory of the European Russian Northeast are summarized. This species is shown to be rare here and to be distributed locally. Three types of spawning reservoirs have been identified, namely: lowland marshes, puddles along the edges of transitional marshes, and roadside ditches. Reproduction begins immediately after snow melting and the appearance of open water. Significant correlation links between the dates of the egg lying onset, average air temperature in April and the dates of snow melting in burs are noted.

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