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  Supporting the Sustainable Management of Amphibian and Reptile Biodiversity

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 Sri Lanka issue cover



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Table of Contents 

The herpetofauna of a small and unprotected patch of tropical rainforest in Morningside, Sri Lanka. Peter Janzen and Malaka Bopage. Amphibian and Reptile Conservation 5(2):1-13.


 Geckoella triedrus


Summary:We identified thirteen amphibian species and recorded an additional two species at Morningside that could not be identified with existing keys. We also identified 11 reptile species and recorded one that could not be identified.


Predator-induced plasticity in tadpoles of Polypedates cruciger (Anura: Rhacophoridae). Krishan Ariyasiri, Gayan Bowatte, Udeni Menike, Suyama Meegaskumbura and Madhava Meegaskumbura. Amphibian and Reptile Conservation 5(2):14-21(e29).

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 Figure 2. The morphology of early tadpole stagesof Polypedates cruciger: A, control; B, “open.” Scale bar 1 mm.

 Summary: Aquatic tadpoles morphologically respond to presence of predators in various ways. Depending on the type of predator, tadpoles develop enhanced escape response abilities and these are correlated to suites of morphological characters, such as wider, longer, and robust tail related dimensions. We exposed the tadpoles of Polypedates cruciger to a natural fish predator and assessed their morphological response.



Morphology and ecology of Microhyla rubra (Anura: Microhylidae) tadpoles from Sri Lanka.  Gayan Bowatte and Madhava Meegaskumbura. Amphibian and Reptile Conservation 5 (2 ):22-32.

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 Microhyla rubra










Summary: The life-history, ecology, external and buccal morphology of Microhyla rubra (Jerdon, 1854) tadpoles are described. Tadpoles showed several characters that are not seen in most other microhylids: a whip-like tail-end flagellum, a dorsoterminal mouth, a transparent body, absence of flaps and existence of a median notch on upper lip, presence of papillae (or scallops) on lower lip, and a deep ventral tail fin (compared to the dorsal tail fin). Microhyla rubra deposits its eggs ephemeral pools where conditions are favorable for rapid growth, and with reduced risk of predation from fully aquatic predators. Since oxygen concentrations in these habitats are low and free ammonia concentrations are moderately high, occupying surface layers of pools would enable the eggs and tadpoles to overcome these impediments to growth and survival.




Conservation of biodiversity in a hotspot: Sri Lanka’s amphibians and reptiles. Walter R. Erdelen. Amphibian and Reptile Conservation 5(2):33-51. 
 Eutropis tammanna  Lyriocephalus scutatus

Summary: Sri Lanka is a continental tropical island that is considered a hotspot for amphibian and reptile diversity. To better understand Sri Lanka’s conservation challenges and threats I discuss: Sri Lanka’s biogeography; its extant ecosystems and landscapes along with the changes resulting from patterns of human settlement; human population growth and its concomitant impact on natural ecosystems; and a brief history of herpetological studies in Sri Lanka. I also discuss major conservation issues related to the ecoregional and hotspot approach to biodiversity conservation, the IUCN species lists, and the institutional framework in biodiversity conservation. Finally, I propose an integrated action plan for the conservation of Sri Lanka’s herpetofauna.

Range extension for Duttaphrynus kotagamai (Amphibia: Bufonidae) and a preliminary checklist of herpetofauna from the Uda Mäliboda Trail in Samanala Nature Reserve, Sri Lanka. 2012. Indika Peabotuwage, I. Nuwan Bandara, Dinal Samarasinghe, Nirmala Perera, Majintha Madawala, Chamara Amarasinghe, H. K. Dushantha Kandambi, D. M. S. Suranjan Karunarathna. Amphibian and Reptile Conservation 5(2):52-64.

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   Samanala Nature Reserve Sri Lanka  Dendrelaphis schokari

Summary: Uda Mäliboda Trail is located in the northwest region of Samanala Nature Reserve (SNR) in Sri Lanka’s wet zone. We report the results of a study of herpetofaunal diversity along the Uda Mäliboda Trail. Thirty-four amphibian (26 endemic and 19 Threatened) and 59 reptile (32 endemic and 19 Threatened) species were observed. This very high diversity makes the region surrounding the Uda Mäliboda Trail among the most important herpetofaunal conservation areas in Sri Lanka. Threats to the herpetofauna in the region are discussed. 


Herpetofaunal diversity and distribution in Kalugala proposed forest reserve, Western province of Sri Lanka. 2012. W. Madhava S. Botejue, Jayantha Wattavidanage. Amphibian and Reptile Conservation 5(2):65-80.

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 Trimeresurus trigonocephalu  Kalugala proposed forest reserve

Summary: Kalugala Proposed Forest Reserve is a primary lowland tropical rain forest, surrounded by secondary forest and human modified vegetation. Herpetofaunal communities of in closed forest, forest edge, home gardens, and cultivations were assessed and distribution patterns were compared. A total of 24 amphibian species (63% endemic and 33% Threatened) and 53 reptile species (38% endemic and 30% Threatened) were recorded. Reptilian distribution patterns are similar to amphibian distribution patterns, with the highest diversity in the closed forest and the lowest diversity in cultivations. We did not observe an effect of forest edge (edge effect) in amphibian and reptile diversity, except for forest edge and cultivations for reptiles. Adverse human activities such as improper agriculture practices, logging, and waste disposal have led to deforestation and habitat loss in KPFR.


Herpetofauna in the Kaluganga upper catchment of the Knuckles Forest Reserve, Sri Lanka. V.A.M.P.K. Samarawickrama, D.R.N.S. Samarawickrama, and Shalika Kumburegama. Amphibian and Reptile Conservation 5(2):81-89. 

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 Lyriocephalus scutatus   Calotes liolepis
  Knuckles Forest Reserve

Summary: The Knuckles Forest Reserve and forest range is a paradise for a large number of endemic Sri Lankan taxa, including a considerable number of amphibian and reptile species. A survey carried out on the western slopes of the Kaluganga catchment of Knuckles Forest Reserve recorded 19 species of amphibians and 30 species of reptiles. Of these, 15 species of amphibians and 17 species of reptiles are endemic to Sri Lanka, and 11 species are restricted to a few localities in the Knuckles forest range. Three unidentified species possibly new to science were discovered in the study, and we recommend that these species need further study for taxonomic identification. 

Calotes nigrilabris Peters, 1860 (Reptilia: Agamidae: Draconinae): a threatened highland agamid lizard in Sri Lanka. A. A. Thasun Amarasinghe, Franz Tiedemann and D. M. S. Suranjan Karunarathna. Amphibian and Reptile Conservation 5(2):90-100.

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 Calotes nigrilabris  Calotes nigrilabris

Summary: Here we redescribe Calotes nigrilabris, Peters, 1860, based on the holotype, newly collected material from Thangappuwa (~1000 m a.s.l.) in the Knuckles massif in 2003, and published literature. Observations on the ecology, natural history, reproduction, and behavior of C. nigrilabris are noted. Current habitat destruction and pesticide use are considered as primary threats to C. nigrilabris. A key to identifying members of the genus Calotes in Sri Lanka is provided.

Territorial and site fidelity behavior of Lyriocephalus scutatus (Agamidae: Draconinae) in Sri Lanka. 2012. Imesh Nuwan Bandara. 2012. Amphibian and Reptile Conservation 5(2):101-113(e56).

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  Lyriocephalus scutatus  Lyriocephalus scutatus 2 web

Summary: Territorial behavior is an important component of the life history of Lyriocephalus scutatus. Lyriocephalus scutatus belongs a the monotypic genus and its uniqueness extends to its unusual behavior and atypical site fidelity. The degree of “aerial horizontal distribution” of L. scutatus seems to be a novel behavior among lizards. Individual L. scutatus are highly territorial over other individuals of the same sex, as adult males observed in the study sites solely performed their territorial displays on a specific tree, whereas females occupied the largest territories.

Habitat preferences of the endemic shrub frog Pseudophilautus regius (Manamendra-Arachchi and Pethiyagoda 2005) at Mihintale Sanctuary, Sri Lanka. 2012. Duminda S. B Dissanayake, Supun Mindika Wellappuli-Arachchi. Amphibian and Reptile Conservation 5(2):114-124(e57).

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Pseudophautus regius


Summary: Six different habitat types which included forest edge, seasonal pond, rock, shrub, grassland, and home garden habitats were selected and systematically sampled to identify the habitat preference of Pseudophilautus regius. The highest percentage (53%) of individuals were recorded from the forest edge habitats, 23% from shrub land habitats, 20% from home gardens, and 2% from grassland and seasonal ponds. No individuals were found in the rocky areas. The number of observed individuals of Pseudophilautus regius increased with the rainfall in forest habitats and simultaneously decreased in the home gardens.


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     Dr Robert Browne

    Dr. Robert Browne Chairperson

    Dr. Browne established the Internet based ARC in 2011 and expanded it globally in 2013. Robert is committed to achieving the ARC's goal to provide for the sustainable management of amphibians and reptiles. He has a wide international experience in herpetological conservation and has published over 40 scientific articles on amphibian and reptile conservation. see Biography