Herpetology

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EEB 3265/5265 Herpetology
Spring 2015

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.

Contents

News and Announcements

January 27th, 2015: The Herpetology Webpage has been updated. Additional material for the lab will be uploaded here. Any additional information will be e-mailed to all of you (make sure you gave your e-mail to the TA, if you are unsure, please e-mail her your contact information).

Instructors

Dr. Wells being honored for the impact of his 1977 paper in the field of Animal Behavior. Photo by P. Morenus/UConn Photo
Johana (TA) having some bonding time with a spotted salamander. Photo by A. Shepack


Dr. Kentwood Wells
Email: kentwood.wells@uconn.edu
Office: Torrey Life Sciences Building 312
Phone: (860) 486-4319
Office hours: by appointment







Johana Goyes Vallejos (Teaching Assistant)
Email: johana.goyes@uconn.edu
Office: Torrey Life Sciences Building 379
Phone: (860) 486-6215
Office hours: by appointment





This is what happens when you stay too long in the herpetology lab....The skulls come back to life

Course Procedures and Policies

The Frog Girls
Liz and the spotted turtle
Rachael and the spotted turtle


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.

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.

Readings:
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.

Exams:
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:
Grades will be determined approximately as follows:
Lab Practicals: 20% each
Midterm: 20%
Final: 40%

Academic Integrity:
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.

Disabilities:
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 Amphibian Excretion and Osmoregulation Ch. 6 Salamander Taxonomy; Video: Amphibians Pdficon small.gif Connecticut Salamanders

Pdficon small.gif Caecilians/Salamanders Practice Quiz

Feb 4 Reptile Water Relations Ch. 6
Feb 9 Behavioral Thermoregulation in Reptiles Ch. 6 Frog Taxonomy
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!)

Lithobates clamitans. Photo by J. Goyes


Jan 26, 2015: Rare Frogs Give Birth to Live Tadpoles









Additional Resources

Plethodon cinereus. Photo by J. Goyes
Eurycea bislineata. Photo by J. Goyes


Websites:
Local
Online Guide to Reptiles and Amphibians of CT
Reptiles and Amphibians of CT
New England Herpetological Society

Amphibians
Video about Amphibian Extinction
Amphibiaweb
AMNH's Amphibian Species of the World
Amphibian Portal from USGS-NBII
Deban Lab Amphibian Feeding

General Herpetology
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
HerpNET
eNature Online Field Guides

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