Steve's Herpetological Blog

An insight into the life of Steve, his research and the many books he reads

Amphibians

#SciFri: The potential for damage from the JNCC 7th Quinquennial Review

Something happened this week but it’s taken a few days to sink in. There was news from the Amphibian and Reptile Groups UK (ARG UK), that the Joint Nature Conservation Committee (JNCC) was recommending the removal of protections to species…

#SciFri: What haven’t I seen as many frogs this year?

A number of people this year have asked me why they haven’t seen as many amphibians as they usually would. I’m sure many of you are used to seeing your pond overcrowded with frogs, jostling for a chance to mate….

#SciFri: Herpetofauna Workers Meeting 2021

The Herpetofauna Workers Meeting (HWM) has been a staple event for herpetologists in the UK since the first event back in the 1980s. This year’s HWM (on the 6th and 7th February) was the 34th that have been held between…

#SciFri: Do reptiles and amphibians hibernate?

We all know that mammals such as squirrels and hedgehogs hibernate for the winter and in the wider landscape of the Northern Hemisphere, other species such as bears are also another group of animals that often come to mind when…

#SciFri: Why do snakes shed their skin?

As someone that studies reptiles and snakes in particular, I’m often asked why reptiles shed their skin. Before I answer that question, let’s take a step back. When some people picture a reptile shedding their skin (also called sloughing), they…

#SciFri: What’s that beeping in my garden?

Picture this. You’ve been sitting in your garden during lockdown or the recent warm spell. Marvellous! Whilst turning the page to the book your reading or taking a sip of wine, you hear a conspicuous beeping sound. At first thought…

#SciFri: Do frogs have teeth?

Recently I’ve had a number of conversations with people regarding amphibians (partly whilst recording various podcasts) and one question has been repeatedly asked about frogs. Do they have teeth? Let’s take a quick step back here, we know amphibians evolved…

#SciFri: Venomous caecilians

You may have seen this article (or one like it) at the beginning of the month, which caused a stir among the amphibian research community. As a group caecilians are severely understudied due to their fossorial nature which makes surveying…

#SteveReviews: Into The Forest

First off, apologies for the patchy frequency of blog posts recently. I have only just returned to the field and I had a mad period of getting ready to get back out and chase snakes. I’ll tell you more about…

#SciFri: Colour polymorphisms in amphibians and reptiles

Field guides are a great way to identify wildlife whether it be in the field or from photographs. I have a large number of them that make up the core of my reference library for countries I’ve visited or I’m…