Glossary

Amplexus: The physical contact during sexual reproduction in amphibians, a male clasping a female during mating when eggs are released and fertilized by sperm.

Anal Plate: Also called anal scale, the ventral scale that covers the cloacal opening or vent. It is either entire or divided across the middle.

Anterior: Located at or near the head end of an organism.

Anuran: A subclass of amphibians without tails in adult form; toads and frogs.

Boss: A bony or glandular bump on top of the head and between the eyes; spadefoots.

Carapace: The dorsal, top shell in turtles.

Carnivore: An organism that gets its energy and nutrition from eating animal tissue.

CL: Abbreviation for carapace length; the straight-line distance between the anterior and posterior edge of the carapace.

Cloaca: A common urogenital cavity receiving the contents from the excretory, digestive, and reproductive tracts of amphibians and reptiles.

Community: A group of organisms, plant and animal, interacting in a common environment.

Cranial Crest: A raised ridge on top of the head and between the eyes; toads.

Crepuscular: Active during dawn and dusk.

Disjunct: A population that is separate or isolated from a larger population.

Diurnal: Active during daylight.

Dorsal: Located on or near the top surface.

Fossorial: An underground lifestyle adapted for digging or burrowing.

Granular: Small, rounded scales; smooth without a ridge.

Gravid: A female containing and distended with eggs.

Gular Fold: A pleat or wrinkle of loose skin located on the throat.

Habitat: The natural environment where an organism lives.

Hibernaculum: A den or place used during winter and usually located underground beneath frost line.

Hemipenis: A paired copulatory organ in snakes and lizards located within the cloaca; singular hemipene.

Incubation: Period of time from fertilization until hatching from the egg occurs.

Insectivore: A specialized carnivore that gets its energy and nutrition from eating insects or other similar organisms.

Keeled: Scales with a distinct midline ridge.

Larvae: The developmental stage of amphibians that is between the egg stage and metamorphosis to the adult stage; tadpoles are the larval stage of anurans.

Metamorphosis: The transformation in amphibians that occurs when larvae change into the adult body form.

Nocturnal: Active during night.

Oviparous: Animals that lay eggs with little or no embryonic development occurring inside the mother’s body.

Ovoviviparous: Animals that produce eggs and the development of the embryos occurs within the eggs while inside the mother’s body until they are ready to hatch.

Parapatric: A type of distribution where the range of two subspecies or closely related species of animals lay adjacent to each other but individuals do not interbreed.

Parotoid Gland: A large gland located behind the eye in toads (frogs); the secretions are sometimes poisonous.

Plastron: The ventral, lower shell in turtles.

Posterior: Located at or near the tail end of an organism.

Rostral: The scale at the tip of the snout in snakes.

Scute: Large scales covering the main body of turtles.

SVL: Abbreviation for snout-vent length; used to describe the distance between the tip of the snout to the trailing edge of the cloacal opening.

Sympatric: A type of distribution where two subspecies, species, or closely related species of animals occupy the same geographic space without interbreeding.

TL: Abbreviation for total length; used to describe the distance between the tip of the snout to the tip of the tail.

Tubercle: A bony, horny, or keratinized growth on the hind feet of toads and spadefoots.

Tympanum: A membrane covering the inner parts of the ear in frogs.

Vent: The cloacal opening.

Ventral: Located on or near the bottom or lower surface.

Viviparous: Animals that give birth to live young that have developed within the mother’s body rather than developing and hatching from eggs.

 

 

Bibliography

Baxter, G. T. and M. D. Stone. 1985. Amphibians and Reptiles of Wyoming. 2nd Ed. Cheyenne; Wyoming Game and Fish Department.

Degenhart, W. G., C. W. Painter, and A. H. Price. 1996. Amphibians and Reptiles of New Mexico. Albuquerque; University of New Mexico Press.

Ernst, C. H., and E. M. Ernst. 2003. Snakes of the United States and Canada. Washington D.C.; Smithsonian Institute Press.

Goin, C.  J., O. B. Goin, and G. R. Zug. 1978. Introduction to Herpetology. 3rd Ed. San Francisco; W. H. Freeman and Co.

Hammerson, G. A. 1999. Amphibians and Reptiles in Colorado. 2nd Ed. Niwot, CO; University Press of Colorado.

Porter, K. R. 1972, Herpetology. Philadelphia; W. B. Saunders.

Stebbins, R. C. 2003. A Field Guide to the Western Reptiles and Amphibians. 3rd Ed. Boston; Houghton Mifflin.

Stebbins, R. C. and N. W. Cohen. 1995. A Natural History of Amphibians. Princeton; Princeton University Press.

Vitt, L. J. and J. P. Caldwell. 2009. Herpetology: An Introductory Biology of Amphibians and Reptiles. 3rd Ed. Burlington, MA; Academic Press.

Werner, J. K., A. M. Bryce, P. Hendricks, and D. L. Flath. 2004. Amphibians and Reptiles of Montana. Missoula; Mountain Press Publishing Co.

Wyoming GAP Analysis, A Geographic analysis of Bioversity. USGS Biological Resources Division, 1996.