EEB 3265/5265 Herpetology
Lecture Meeting Time: Mondays and Wednesdays, 11:15 - 12:05 in TLS 181
Lab Meeting Time: Mondays 1:25 - 5:30 in TLS181
Textbook: Pough F. H., et al. 2004. Herpetology 3rd Edition. Pearson Prentice Hall.
Additional readings will be assigned from the primary journal literature.
News and Announcements
Dr. Kentwood Wells
Office: Torrey Life Sciences Building 312
Phone: (860) 486-4319
Office hours: by appointment
Johana Goyes Vallejos (Teaching Assistant)
Office: Torrey Life Sciences Building 379
Phone: (860) 486-6215
Office hours: by appointment
Course Procedures and Policies
The lecture portion of this course will deal with various aspects of the biology of amphibians and reptiles, including physiological ecology, communication, social behavior, reproduction, parental care, and community ecology. The laboratories will focus on the classification and distribution of the major families of amphibians and reptiles of the world, as well as identification of Connecticut species. There will be some evening field trips toward the end of the semester to see breeding of local amphibians and daytime field trips to see other species. Students are expected to attend the field trips.
There will be a scheduled field trip to the Yale Forest during lab time Monday, April 27th, 2015. There will be additional evening field trips once the weather is warm enough. We will begin evening field trips as soon as the first amphibians start breeding, which could be as early as late March. Many of these will be arranged on short notice. We will try to do enough of these so that everyone has a chance to get out in the field a few times.
The emphasis in this course in on readings from original literature. I will be handing out detailed reference bibliographies with each lecture; assigned readings will be marked with * on each bibliography. Those marked with † are available online and will not be supplied in hard copy. Xeroxed copies of papers not available online will be in the green filing cabinet in my outer office (TLS 380) and can be signed out. Please do not monopolize these readings for long periods of time, since it is impossible for me to make enough copies for the entire class. The course textbook is Herpetology (3rd ed.) by F. H. Pough, R. M. Andrews, J. E. Cadle, M. L. Crump, A. H. Savitzky, and K. D. Wells (Prentice Hall, 2004). An illustrated guide, Amphibians and Reptiles in Connecticut: A Checklist with Notes on Conservation Status, Identification, and Distribution by Michael Klemens (Connecticut DEP, 2000), may be useful as an additional reference for local species and can be ordered if students are interested.
There will be two lecture exams. The midterm will be given sometime in March, perhaps as a take-home exam. The final exam will be essay format, given on May 8. For the final, I will hand out ten questions two weeks in advance, which you can prepare using class notes and readings. Several of these questions will appear on the final exam given during the scheduled exam period. You will not be able to bring any reference materials or notes to the exam. There will be two lab practicals covering taxonomy, distribution, and natural history of amphibians and reptiles.
Grades will be determined approximately as follows:
Lab Practicals: 20% each
Plagiarism and cheating are violations of the student conduct code, and may be punished by failure in the course or, in severe cases, dismissal from the University. For more information, see Appendix A of the Student Conduct Code.
If you have a disability for which you may be requesting an accommodation, you should contact a course instructor and the Center for Students with Disabilities (Wilbur Cross Building, Room 201) within the first two weeks of the semester.
Lecture and Lab Schedule & Materials
|Date||Lecture Topic||Readings||Lab||Supplemental Materials|
|Jan 21||Amphibians: Diversity and Morphological Evolution||Ch. 1, 2, 3, 8|
|Jan 26||Reptiles: Diversity and Morphological Evolution||Ch.1, 4, 10, 11||Caecilian and Salamander Taxonomy||Salamanders of CT.pdf|
Amphibians of CT website
|Jan 28||Amphibian Skin and Water Relations||Ch. 6|
|Feb 2||CLASSES CANCELLED. SNOW DAY!||LAB CANCELLED. SNOW DAY!|
|Feb 4||Amphibian Excretion and Osmoregulation||Ch. 6|
|Feb 6||Reptile Water Relations||Ch. 6||Salamander Taxonomy; Video: Amphibians||Connecticut Salamanders|
|Feb 9||Behavioral Thermoregulation in Reptiles (Lectured Cancelled, "No-Snow Day"||Ch. 6||Frog Taxonomy||Anuran Families of the World|
|Feb 11||Amphibian Thermoregulation and Freeze Tolerance||Ch. 6|
|Feb 16||Physiological Temperature Adjustments||Ch. 6||Frog Taxonomy; Video Cane Toads|
|Feb 18||Gas Transport and Metabolism in Amphibians||Ch. 7|
|Feb 23||Respiration and Circulation in Reptiles||Ch. 7|| Turtles and Crocodilians; Amphibian Review; Video: Crocodiles & Alligators, Turtles
|Feb 25||Activity Metabolism of Amphibians||Ch. 7|
|Mar 2||Reptile Metabolism, Energetics, and Diet||Ch. 7||FIRST LAB PRACTICAL (Amphibians)|
|Mar 4||Energy Budgets and Energy Allocation||Ch. 7|
|Mar 9||Amphibian Reproductive Modes||Ch. 8||Lizard Taxonomy|
|Mar 11||Biology of Amphibian Larvae||Ch. 11 (385-393)|
|Mar 16||SPRING BREAK (Go somewhere warm!)||-----||-----|
|Mar 18||SPRING BREAK (Go somewhere warm!)||-----||-----|
|Mar 23||Ecological Aspects of Amphibian Metamorphosis||Ch. 8 (pp. 321-329)||Lizard Taxonomy; Video: Lizards|
|Mar 25||Reptile Eggs and the Evolution of Viviparity||Ch. 9|
|Mar 30||Reptile Life History Strategies||Ch. 9||Snake Taxonomy|
|Apr 1||Communication and Mating Systems of Salamanders||Ch. 13, 14|
|Apr 6||Frog Vocal Communication: Behavioral Aspects||Ch. 13||Snake Taxonomy; Evolution of Snake Dentition|
|Apr 8||Frog Vocal Communication: Call Production and Reception||Ch. 13|
|Apr 13||Mating Systems and Sexual Selection in Anurans||Ch. 14||Reptile Review Video: Snakes|
|Apr 15||Modes of Communication in Squamate Reptiles||Ch. 13|
|Apr 20||Mating Systems and Sexual Selection in Squamates||Ch. 14||SECOND LAB PRACTICAL (Reptiles)|
|Apr 22||Social Behavior and Communication in other Reptiles||Ch. 13, 14|
|Apr 27||Ecology of Terrestrial Amphibian and Reptile Communities||Ch. 15, 16||AFTERNOON FIELD TRIP (Yale Forest)|
|Apr 29||Competition and Predation in Aquatic Amphibian Communities||Ch. 15, 16|
|May 6||FINAL EXAM|
Herps in the News (and other fun Stuff!)
Society for the Study of Amphibians and Reptiles
American Society of Ichthyologists and Herpetologists
The Herpetologists' League
The Center for North American Herpetology
Partners in Amphibian and Reptile Conservation
New England Partners in Amphibian and Reptile Conservation
EMYSystem Online Turtle Resource
eNature Online Field Guides