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Journal of Herpetology's Covers


Image and text by William W. Lamar.

The Common Thornytail (Uracentron flaviceps), pictured here in Amazonian Peru, is a canopy-dwelling tropidurid lizard that is found in the Amazon basin and is one of only two species in the genus. Thornytails live in family groups that occupy hollows in living trees and individuals forage for ants on tree trunks by day. Adult males (see cover image) develop a salmon color on the head and anterior portion of the body during breeding season. Thorny tails are now easily viewed by people from canopy walks that have been constructed by the ecotourism industry.


Image and text by William W. Lamar.

The Common Liana Snake, Siphlophis cervinus (pictured here from Amazonian Peru), is an uncommon, nocturnal and mostly arboreal snake (< 1 m total length) that is found in humid lowland rainforests of Panama and South America including Trinidad and Tobago. While much of its natural history remains a mystery, lizards are known to be a regular part of the diet of S. cervinus. Juveniles, upon hatching, are identical in color and pattern to the adults. Siphlophis cervinus is one of seven Siphlophis species that are found in Central and South America.


Image and text by William W. Lamar.

The Giant Gladiator Frog (Boana boans) occurs along tropical rivers from Panama throughout lowland South America. When waters recede during the dry season, stretches of moist sand become the stage for impressive amphibian combat. Male B. boans descend from the trees to create and defend circular breeding pools. Wherever they occur, their sonorous "BWACK, BWACK, BWACK" calls are an integral part of the night. The large male in the image was photographed along Amazonian Peru's Momόn River.


Image and text by William Lamar

Amazon Milk Frog (Trachycephalus cunauaru) from Santa Cruz Reserve on the Río Mazán in Loreto, Peru, South America. The Amazon Milk Frog completes its entire life cycle in water-filled cavities of trees. The two-note sound of calling males can be heard over a long distance in the rainforest by night and the tree cavities may serve as call resonators.


Image by Jacquelyn Guzy and text by Leigh Anne Harden

Adult female Diamondback Terrapin (Malaclemmys terrapin) at sunset in a South Carolina tidal creek. The individual in the image has been captured several times as part of a long-term capture-mark-recapture research project on Kiawah Island, SC. From Texas to Massachusetts, Diamondback Terrapins occupy brackish coastal waters where they consume mostly mollusks and crustaceans. Females are larger than males and have proportionally broader heads than do males.


Image and text by John Rowe

Marine Iguana (Amblyrhynchus cristatus) on Floreana, Galápagos, Ecuador. With as many as seven subspecies recognized, Marine Iguanas are endemic to Galápagos and are the only lizard that routinely occupies the marine environment. Nasal salt glands aid in the excretion of electrolytes that are ingested while foraging on marine algae. Males may form leks during the mating season and typically attain much larger body size and have broader heads with larger tubercles when compared to females.


Photo and text by Greg Sievert

A pair of Spring Peepers, Pseudacris crucifer, in amplexus with freshly-laid eggs in the background. Pseudacris crucifer is one of the first anurans to breed in late winter and early spring in the eastern half of the United States. The pair in the image was photographed in Auburn, Alabama, USA.


Image and text by William W. Lamar

A 4.1 m male American Crocodile, Crocodylus acutus, from the Río Reventazón, Limón Province, Costa Rica. Crocodylus acutus ranges from northwestern South America, through Central America and Mexico, and northward across the Greater Antilles to Florida in the United States. As a euryhaline species, C. acutus occupies freshwater to fully marine habitats. The diverse diet of C. acutus varies ontogenetically and includes aquatic invertebrates and various vertebrates, very commonly fish.

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