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. 2016. Herpetology 4th Edition. Sinauer Associates Press.
Additional readings will be assigned from the primary journal literature.
Dr. Kentwood Wells
Office: Torrey Life Sciences Building 312
Phone: (860) 486-4319
Office hours: by appointment
Evans (Teaching Assistant)
Office: BioPharm Building 322
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 later in the semester. 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 emailing 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 (4th ed.) by F. H. Pough, R. M. Andrews, J. E. Cadle, M. L. Crump, A. H. Savitzky, and K. D. Wells (Sinauer Associates Press, 2016). 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 6 2017. 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 18||Amphibian skin and water relations||Ch. 6|
|Jan 23||Amphibian excretion and osmoregulation||Ch.6||Caecilian and Salamander Taxonomy||Salamanders of CT.pdf|
Amphibians of CT website
|Jan 25||Reptile water relations||Ch. 6|
|Jan 30||Behavioral thermoregulation in reptiles||Salamander Taxonomy; Video: "Amphibians"|
|Feb 1||Amphibian thermoregulation and freeze tolerance||Ch. 6|
|Feb 6||Physiological temperature adjustments||Ch. 6||Frog Taxonomy|
|Feb 8||Gas transport and metabolism in amphibians||Ch. 7|
|Feb 13||Respiration and circulation||Ch. 7||Frog Taxonomy; Video: "Cane Toads"||Anuran Families of the World|
|Feb 15||Activity metabolism of amphibians||Ch. 7|
|Feb 20||Reptile metabolism, energetics, and diet||Ch. 7||Turtles and crocodilians; amphibian review; Video Crocodiles & Alligators, Turtles|
|Feb 22||Energy budgets and energy allocation||Ch. 7|
|Feb 27||Amphibian reproductive modes||Ch. 8||FIRST LAB PRACTICAL (Amphibians)|
|Mar 1||Biology of amphibian larvae||Ch. 11|
|Mar 6||Ecological aspects of amphibian metamorphosis||Ch. 8||Lizard taxonomy|
|Mar 8||Reptile eggs and the evolution of viviparity||Ch. 9|
|Mar 13||SPRING BREAK||-----||-----|
|Mar 15||SPRING BREAK||-----||-----|
|Mar 20||Reptile life history strategies||Lizard Taxonomy; Video: Lizards||Lizard Study Guide|
|Mar 22||Communication and mating systems of salamanders||Ch. 13, 14|
|Mar 27||Frog vocal communication: behavioral aspects||Ch. 13||Snake Taxonomy||Snake Families of the World|
|Mar 29||Frog vocal communication: call production & reception||Ch. 13|
|Apr 3||Mating systems and sexual selection in anurans||Ch. 14||Snake Taxonomy; Evolution of Snake Dentition|| Snake Dentition |
|Apr 5||Modes of communication in squamate reptiles||Ch. 14|
|Apr 10||Mating Systems and Sexual Selection in squamates||Ch. 14||Reptile Review Video: Snakes|
|Apr 12||Social behavior and communication in other reptiles||Ch. 13, 14|
|Apr 17||Spatial Ecology||Ch. 12||SECOND LAB PRACTICAL (Reptiles)|
|Apr 19||Ecology of terrestrial amphibian and reptile communities||Ch. 15, 16|
|Apr 24||Competition and predation in aquatic amphibian communities||Ch. 15, 16||AFTERNOON FIELD TRIP (Yale Forest)|
|Apr 26||Amphibian and reptile conservation||Ch. 17|
|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