The Herpetology is the study scientist of different amphibians and reptiles that exist in the world. Like most other fields of biology of vertebrates, herpetology consists of several disciplines that relate to each other like behavior, ecology, physiology, anatomy, paleontology, taxonomy and others.


What is herpetology?

Herpetology is the branch of zoology that deals with the study of reptiles and amphibians , such as snakes, turtles, and iguanas. It involves the study of their behaviors , geographic ranges , physiology , development , genetics, and more.

  • Definition
  • What does herpetology study
  • History
  • What is herpetology for
  • Profits
  • Importance
  • Featured Herpetologists
  • Herpetology in the world


Herpetology is the branch of biology that is responsible for studying fundamental aspects of basic biology that amphibians and reptiles possess . They are based primarily on studies conducted with respect to taxonomy , genetics , systematics, ecology , current geographic distribution, and history and evolution .


Scientific research areas in the field of herpetology may include studies related to behavior , genetics , anatomy , physiology , ecology , health, and reproduction . After completing a research study and analyzing the collected data, herpetologists publish their findings in scientific journals where they can be reviewed by others in the field.

What does herpetology study

Herpetologists study animals in the wild , where they determine or evaluate potential threats to them from contamination, invasive species , disease, and other factors. They are usually in charge of taking an inventory or calculating the different populations of animals that exist. Herpetology is a science that studies the behavior , development , genetics and distributions of these groups of animals in order to understand their ecological niches , their ecosystems and the challenges they face.

Herpetologists conduct research on reptile and amphibian species such as frogs, toads, salamanders, newts, snakes, turtles, aquatic turtles, crocodiles, and lizards. Research on these animals can be done in the field or in controlled laboratory settings . Some herpetologists, primarily those who study anatomy and physiology , also study animal samples found in museums.


The science of herpetology dates back to the 18th century when amphibians and reptiles were artificially grouped into the same group . Probably this union occurred because during that period, Carolus Linnaeus , who was considered the father of systematics, made a wrong classification with respect to the two groups, classifying both as amphibians .

At present, herpetologists find amphibians and reptiles a very interesting aspect for research, and they recognize around 6,420 species of amphibians and 8, 730 reptiles worldwide , which have different forms as well as their behaviors .

What is herpetology for

Using herpetology, experts can make recommendations to national policy makers regarding the protection of species with the aim of reducing the danger of extinction . Since many reptiles and amphibians are considered “indicator species” , their research can be used to assess the changes generally occurring in the middle atmosphere . Herpetologists can plan and administer species conservation and control programs to help control some diseases .


Some of the benefits that herpetology produces are the following:

  • They help to find toxins and poisons produced by some amphibians and reptiles that are useful in the area of medicine
  • Production of antivenom serums or antidotes against snake bites.
  • They help to know the changes in the ecology and the environment .


The work of herpetologists is important for the conservation of threatened and endangered species , such as American crocodiles and sea turtles. Many species of frogs are attacked by various threats, including disease and climate change . Herpetologists can then focus on saving a particular species or using it to assess the general environmental conditions that exist within an ecosystem .

Featured Herpetologists

Some of the most famous herpetologists in the world have been:

  • Gabriel Bibron: He  was a French zoologist who managed to classify several species of reptiles. He worked at the Museum of Natural History in Paris, collaborated in the treatise Erpétologie générale and his main contribution was the construction of the genera of species.
  • George Albert Boulenger : he worked at the Museum of Natural History in the Department of the Museum British , and was assigned the task of cataloging of amphibians. He published 34 articles on botanical topics, managed to describe more than 1,096 species of fish , 556 species of amphibians and 872 species of reptiles . He was recognized for his monographs on amphibians, lizards, and other reptiles and fish, as well as for his monographs on the fish of Africa.
  • Leo Brongersma :  Dutch zoologist , author and lecturer . He went on several expeditions in search of zoological specimens from New Guinea, and is credited with identifying several new species , including Python Boelen, Morelia boeleni, and Python Savu, and Liasis mackloti savuensis.
  • Leopold Fitzinger :  Austrian zoologist who opposed the ideas of Charles Darwin .

Herpetology in the world


The head of the Spanish Herpetology is the Information Server Amphibians and Reptiles of Spain ( SIARE ). They are responsible for disseminating information to facilitate access to information regarding amphibians and reptiles in the country. Its main function is to provide information, create a volunteer in the branch, monitor the evolution of the species and propose projects that help these ends.


The Chilean Herpetology Network Association is the group of specialists who are in charge of science and who are dedicated to studying different topics related to amphibians and reptiles that inhabit the country. They seek to generate projects , and provide information to study centers both inside and outside the country, and that are related to amphibians and reptiles.


The country has the Sociedad Mexicana Herpetological which is a nonprofit organization formed by professors , researchers , students and the public in generally an interest in knowledge and conservation of amphibians and reptiles Mexican.


The Argentine Herpetological Association is a non-profit scientific society that is in charge of the area of ​​herpetology. It was founded in Buenos Aires on September 8, 1982.

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