A summary of reptile and anuran amphibian species from Brazilian sandy coastal plains: 31 years of sampling efforts of the “Laboratório de Ecologia de Vertebrados, Universidade do Estado do Rio de Janeiro”

Um resumo das espécies de répteis e anfíbios anuros das planícies costeiras arenosas brasileiras: 31 anos de esforços de amostragem do “Laboratório de Ecologia de Vertebrados da Universidade do Estado do Rio de Janeiro”

C. F. D. Rocha C. M. Militão D. Vrcibradic M. Van Sluys J. Pereira-Ribeiro E. J. R. Dias R. V. Marra H. G. Bergallo G. R. Winck C. A. B. Galdino M. Cunha-Barros M. C. Kiefer F. B. S. Telles P. Almeida-Santos F. H. Hatano V. A. Menezes C. C. Siqueira J. P. Miranda T. Maia-Carneiro J. C. F. Oliveira About the authors

Abstract

Although currently there is already a set of studies regarding ecological aspects of some particular reptile and amphibian species living in Brazilian sandy coastal plains (including the so-called “restinga” and “campo nativo” habitats), there is comparatively few information on the species composition usually associated to these environments. During 31 years (1988-2019) of herpetological studies carried out in sandy coastal plains environments by our research team of the Laboratory of Vertebrate Ecology (Department of Ecology, Universidade do Estado do Rio de Janeiro, in Rio de Janeiro Brazil) we have surveyed reptile and amphibian communities and performed different studies with similar methods in 70 sites from 10 different states along the Brazilian coast. Our surveys resulted in records of 87 species of reptile (five turtles, two crocodylians, six amphisbaenians, 36 lizards and 39 snakes) from 24 families, and 77 species of anuran amphibians from nine families. We have studied multiple natural history topics for anurans and reptiles which resulted in the publication of some specific ecological studies, especially regarding some species, encompassing population and community ecology, foraging and feeding habits, species activity, thermoregulation, reproduction, use of microhabitats, and parasitism by ecto and endoparasites. Our results along these three decades have also contributed for the description of four new lizard species (Ameivula nativo, Glaucomastix littoralis, G. abaetensis and G. itabaianensis). Our studies constitute an important contribution to the knowledge of the ecology of anuran amphibians and reptiles in these ecosystems, as well as to the conservation of sandy coastal plains environment. The checklist presented in this study, based on our records of sandy coastal plains herpetofauna, provides for many localities along the Brazilian coast, the needed knowledge on species occurrence, including the presence of endemic and/or endangered species, which can be of value for many conservation actions.

Keywords:
campo nativo; endemism; herpetofauna; restinga; threatened species

Resumo

Embora atualmente exista um conjunto de estudos sobre aspectos ecológicos de algumas espécies de répteis e de anfíbios que ocorrem nas planícies costeiras arenosas brasileiras (incluindo os chamados habitats de “restinga” e de “campo nativo”), há relativamente poucas informações sobre a composição de espécies geralmente associada a esses ambientes. Durante 31 anos (1988-2019) de estudos herpetológicos realizados em restingas por nossa equipe de pesquisa do Laboratório de Ecologia de Vertebrados (Departamento de Ecologia, Universidade do Estado do Rio de Janeiro, Rio de Janeiro, Brasil) nós estudamos comunidades de répteis e de anfíbios e realizamos diferentes estudos com métodos semelhantes em 70 localidades de dez diferentes Estados ao longo da costa brasileira. Nossas pesquisas resultaram em registros de 87 espécies de répteis (cinco tartarugas, dois crocodilianos, seis anfisbênios, 36 lagartos e 39 serpentes) de 24 famílias, e 77 espécies de anfíbios anuros de nove famílias. Estudamos vários tópicos de história natural sobre anuros e répteis, que resultaram na publicação de alguns estudos ecológicos específicos, especialmente em relação a algumas espécies, abrangendo ecologia populacional e de comunidades, forrageamento e dieta, horário de atividade de espécies, termorregulação, reprodução, uso do microhabitat e parasitismo por ecto e endoparasitas. Nossos resultados ao longo dessas três décadas também contribuíram para a descrição de quatro novas espécies de lagartos (Ameivula nativo, Glaucomastix littoralis, G. abaetensis e G. itabaianensis). Nossos estudos constituem uma importante contribuição para o conhecimento da ecologia de répteis e de anfíbios anuros nesses ecossistemas, bem como para a conservação dos ecossistemas de restinga. A lista de espécies apresentada neste estudo, com base em nossos registros de herpetofauna das planícies costeiras arenosas, fornece para muitas localidades ao longo da costa brasileira o conhecimento necessário sobre a ocorrência de espécies, incluindo a presença de espécies endêmicas e/ ou ameaçadas de extinção, que podem ser úteis para muitas ações de conservação.

Palavras-chave:
campo nativo; endemismo; herpetofauna; restinga; espécies ameaçadas

1. Introduction

The sandy coastal plains in Brazil are mostly open habitats dominated by herbaceous and shrubby vegetation, characterized by high rates of solar radiation and temperatures (Rocha, 1988ROCHA, C.F.D., 1988. Ritmo de atividade e microclimatologia do habitat de Liolaemus lutzae (Sauria: Iguanidae) na Restinga de Barra de Marica, RJ. In: Anais do VI Seminário Regional de Ecologia de São Carlos, 22-24 Outubro 1988, São Carlos. São Carlos, SP: Departamento de Ciências Biológicas, Universidade Federal e São Carlos, pp. 269-281.; Rocha et al., 2000aROCHA, C.F.D., VRCIBRADIC, D. and ARAÚJO, A.F.B., 2000a. Ecofisiologia de Répteis de Restinga. In: F.A. ESTEVES and L.D. LACERDA, orgs. Ecologia de Restingas e Lagoas Costeiras. Macaé: Núcleo de Pesquisas Ecológicas de Macaé – NUPEM/UFRJ, pp. 117-149.), with limited availability of free water or freshwater (mostly accumulated inside tank bromeliads, or in permanent or temporary ponds or in lagoons; Araújo and Henriques, 1984ARAÚJO, D.S.D. and HENRIQUES, R.P.B., 1984. Análise florística das restingas do estado do Rio de Janeiro. In: L.D. LACERDA, D.S.D. ARAÚJO, R. CERQUEIRA & B. TURCQ eds. Restingas: origem, estrutura e processos. Niterói: CEUFF, pp. 159-193.; Enrich-Prast et al., 2004ENRICH-PRAST, A., BOZELLI, R.L., ESTEVES, F.A. and MEIRELLES, F.P., 2004. Lagoas costeiras da Restinga de Jurubatiba: Descrição de suas variáveis limnológicas. In: C.F.D. ROCHA, F.A. ESTEVES and F.R. SCARANO, eds. Pesquisas de longa duração na Restinga de Jurubatiba – Ecologia, história natural e conservação. São Carlos: RiMa, pp. 245-253.; Van Sluys et al., 2004VAN SLUYS, M., ROCHA, C.F.D., HATANO, F.H., BOQUIMPANI-FREITAS, L. and MARRA, R.V., 2004. Anfíbios da Restinga de Jurubatiba: composição e história natural. In: C.F.D. ROCHA, F.A. ESTEVES, S.F.R. CARANO, orgs., Pesquisas ecológicas de longa duração na Restinga de Jurubatiba: ecologia, história natural e conservação. São Carlos: Rima Editora, pp. 165-178.). This type of environment favors the occurrence of reptiles due to their remarkable morpho-physiological capacity in minimizing water loss and ability to reabsorb water during excretion, as well as the capacity of some species to tolerate high solar radiation rates. Thus, sandy coastal plains are suitable environments for reptiles, as suggested by the relatively high presence of species endemism, particularly for lizards (e.g. Rocha et al., 1997ROCHA, C.F.D., BERGALLO, H.G. and PECCININI-SEALE, D., 1997. Evidence of an unisexual population of the Brazilian whiptail lizard genus Cnemidophorus (Teiidae) with description of a new species. Herpetologica, vol. 53, no. 3, pp. 374-382.; 2000bROCHA, C. F. D., ARAUJO, A. F. B., VRCIBRADIC D. and COSTA, E. M. M., 2000b. New Cnemidophorus (Squamata, Teiidae) from coastal Rio de Janeiro State, Southeastern Brazil. Copeia, vol. 2000, no. 2, pp. 501-509.; Dias et al., 2002DIAS, E.J.R., ROCHA, C.F.D. and VRCIBRADIC, D., 2002. New Cnemidophorus (Squamata: Teiidae) from Bahia State, northeastern Brazil. Copeia, vol. 2002, no. 4, pp. 928-937. http://dx.doi.org/10.1643/0045-8511(2002)002[1070:NCSTFB]2.0.CO;2.
http://dx.doi.org/10.1643/0045-8511(2002...
; Winck et al., 2014WINCK, G.R., ALMEIDA-SANTOS, P. and ROCHA, C.F.D., 2014. Potential distribution of the endangered endemic lizard Liolaemus lutzae Mertens, 1938 (Liolaemidae): are there other suitable areas for a geographically restricted species? Brazilian Journal of Biology = Revista Brasileira de Biologia, vol. 74, no. 2, pp. 338-348. http://dx.doi.org/10.1590/1519-6984.18612. PMid:25166318.
http://dx.doi.org/10.1590/1519-6984.1861...
; Martins et al., 2017MARTINS, L.F., GUIMARÃES, M. and VERRASTRO, L., 2017. Population estimates for the sand lizard, Liolaemus arambarensis: contributions to the conservation of an endemic species of southern Brazil. Herpetologica, vol. 73, no. 1, pp. 55-62. http://dx.doi.org/10.1655/Herpetologica-D-16-00046.1.
http://dx.doi.org/10.1655/Herpetologica-...
). On the other hand, the different sources of free water provide favorable conditions for many amphibian species, especially those having an aquatic larval stage (Carvalho-e-Silva et al., 2000CARVALHO-E-SILVA, S.P., IZECKSOHN, E. and CARVALHO-E-SILVA, A.M.P.T., 2000. Anfíbios. In: F.R. DI MAIO and M.B.R. SILVA, orgs. Espécies ameaçadas de extinção no Município do Rio de Janeiro: flora e fauna. Rio de Janeiro: Secretaria Municipal de Meio Ambiente, pp. 50-51.; Van Sluys et al., 2004VAN SLUYS, M., ROCHA, C.F.D., HATANO, F.H., BOQUIMPANI-FREITAS, L. and MARRA, R.V., 2004. Anfíbios da Restinga de Jurubatiba: composição e história natural. In: C.F.D. ROCHA, F.A. ESTEVES, S.F.R. CARANO, orgs., Pesquisas ecológicas de longa duração na Restinga de Jurubatiba: ecologia, história natural e conservação. São Carlos: Rima Editora, pp. 165-178.; Bastazini et al., 2007BASTAZINI, C.V., MUNDURUCA, J.F., ROCHA, P.L.B. and NAPOLI, M.F., 2007. Which environmental variables better explain changes in anuran community composition? A case study in the restinga of Mata de São João, Bahia, Brazil. Herpetologica, vol. 63, no. 4, pp. 459-471. http://dx.doi.org/10.1655/0018-0831(2007)63[459:WEVBEC]2.0.CO;2.
http://dx.doi.org/10.1655/0018-0831(2007...
; Oliveira et al., 2017OLIVEIRA, J.C.F., WINCK, G.R., PEREIRA-RIBEIRO, J. and ROCHA, C.F.D., 2017. Local environmental factors influence the structure of frog communities on the sandy coastal plains of Southeastern Brazil. Herpetologica, vol. 73, no. 4, pp. 307-312. http://dx.doi.org/10.1655/Herpetologica-D-16-00075.1.
http://dx.doi.org/10.1655/Herpetologica-...
).

A few studies have presented preliminary checklists of reptiles (Araújo, 1991ARAÚJO, A.F.B., 1991. Structure of a white sand-dune lizard community of coastal Brazil. Brazilian Journal of Biology = Revista Brasileira de Biologia, vol. 51, no. 4, pp. 857-865.; Rocha and Bergallo, 1997ROCHA, C.F.D. and BERGALLO, H.G., 1997. Intercommunity variation in the distribution of abundance of dominant lizard species in Restinga habitats. Ciência e Cultura, vol. 49, no. 4, pp. 269-274.; Teixeira, 2001TEIXEIRA, R.L., 2001. Comunidade de lagartos da restinga de Guriri, São Mateus-ES, sudeste do Brasil. Atlântica, vol. 23, pp. 77-84.; Rocha et al., 2004bROCHA, C.F.D., VAN SLUYS, M., VRCIBRADIC, D., HATANO, F.H., GALDINO, C.A., CUNHA-BARROS, M.C. and KIEFER, M.C., 2004b. A Comunidade de Répteis da Restinga de Jurubatiba. In: C.F.D. ROCHA, F.A. ESTEVES. and F.R. SCARANO, orgs. Pesquisas Ecológicas de Longa Duração na Restinga de Jurubatiba: Ecologia, história natural e conservação. São Carlos: Rima Editora, pp. 179-198.; 2005ROCHA, C.F.D., VAN SLUYS, M., BERGALLO, H.G. and ALVES, M.A.S., 2005. Endemic and threatened tetrapods in the restingas of the biodiversity corridors of Serra do Mar and of the central da Mata Atlântica in Eastern Brazil. Brazilian Journal of Biology = Revista Brasileira de Biologia, vol. 65, no. 1, pp. 159-168. http://dx.doi.org/10.1590/S1519-69842005000100019. PMid:16025914.
http://dx.doi.org/10.1590/S1519-69842005...
; 2014ROCHA, C.F.D., VRCIBRADIC, D., KIEFER, M.C., MENEZES, V.A., FONTES, A.F., HATANO, F.H., GALDINO, C.A., BERGALLO, H.G. and VAN SLUYS, M., 2014. Species composition, richness and nestedness of lizard assemblages from Restinga habitats along the Brazilian coast. Brazilian Journal of Biology = Revista Brasileira de Biologia, vol. 74, no. 2, pp. 349-354. http://dx.doi.org/10.1590/1519-6984.18712. PMid:25166319.
http://dx.doi.org/10.1590/1519-6984.1871...
; Carvalho et al., 2007CARVALHO, A.L.G., ARAÚJO, A.F.B. and SILVA, H.R., 2007. Lagartos da Marambaia, um remanescente insular de restinga e Floresta Atlântica no Estado do Rio de Janeiro, Brasil. Biota Neotropica, vol. 7, no. 2, pp. 221-226. http://dx.doi.org/10.1590/S1676-06032007000200025.
http://dx.doi.org/10.1590/S1676-06032007...
; Oliveira et al., 2019OLIVEIRA, J.C.F., PEREIRA-RIBEIRO, J., WINCK, G.R. and ROCHA, C.F.D., 2019. Lizard assemblages on sandy coastal plains in southeastern Brazil: an analysis of occurrence and composition, and the role of habitat structure. Anais da Academia Brasileira de Ciências, vol. 91, no. 1, pp. e20170403. http://dx.doi.org/10.1590/0001-3765201820170403. PMid:30569964.
http://dx.doi.org/10.1590/0001-376520182...
) and amphibians (e.g. Carvalho-e-Silva et al., 2000CARVALHO-E-SILVA, S.P., IZECKSOHN, E. and CARVALHO-E-SILVA, A.M.P.T., 2000. Anfíbios. In: F.R. DI MAIO and M.B.R. SILVA, orgs. Espécies ameaçadas de extinção no Município do Rio de Janeiro: flora e fauna. Rio de Janeiro: Secretaria Municipal de Meio Ambiente, pp. 50-51.; Rocha et al., 2004aROCHA, C.F.D., VAN SLUYS, M., HATANO, F.H., BOQUIMPANI-FREITAS, L., MARRA, R.V. and MARQUES, R.V., 2004a. Relative efficiency of anuran sampling methods in a restinga habitat (Jurubatiba, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil). Brazilian Journal of Biology = Revista Brasileira de Biologia, vol. 64, no. 4, pp. 879-884. http://dx.doi.org/10.1590/S1519-69842004000500018. PMid:15744429.
http://dx.doi.org/10.1590/S1519-69842004...
; 2005ROCHA, C.F.D., VAN SLUYS, M., BERGALLO, H.G. and ALVES, M.A.S., 2005. Endemic and threatened tetrapods in the restingas of the biodiversity corridors of Serra do Mar and of the central da Mata Atlântica in Eastern Brazil. Brazilian Journal of Biology = Revista Brasileira de Biologia, vol. 65, no. 1, pp. 159-168. http://dx.doi.org/10.1590/S1519-69842005000100019. PMid:16025914.
http://dx.doi.org/10.1590/S1519-69842005...
; 2008bROCHA, C.F.D., ARIANI, C.V. and SIQUEIRA, C.C., 2008b. Liolaemus lutzae Mertens 1938. In: M. MACHADO, G. DRUMMOND and A. PAGLIA, orgs. Livro vermelho da fauna brasileira ameaçada de extinção. Brasília, DF: Ministério do Meio Ambiente e Fundação Biodiversitas, vol. 2, pp. 345-347.; Van Sluys et al., 2004VAN SLUYS, M., ROCHA, C.F.D., HATANO, F.H., BOQUIMPANI-FREITAS, L. and MARRA, R.V., 2004. Anfíbios da Restinga de Jurubatiba: composição e história natural. In: C.F.D. ROCHA, F.A. ESTEVES, S.F.R. CARANO, orgs., Pesquisas ecológicas de longa duração na Restinga de Jurubatiba: ecologia, história natural e conservação. São Carlos: Rima Editora, pp. 165-178.; Bastazini et al., 2007BASTAZINI, C.V., MUNDURUCA, J.F., ROCHA, P.L.B. and NAPOLI, M.F., 2007. Which environmental variables better explain changes in anuran community composition? A case study in the restinga of Mata de São João, Bahia, Brazil. Herpetologica, vol. 63, no. 4, pp. 459-471. http://dx.doi.org/10.1655/0018-0831(2007)63[459:WEVBEC]2.0.CO;2.
http://dx.doi.org/10.1655/0018-0831(2007...
; Silva et al., 2008SILVA, H.R., CARVALHO, A.L.G. and BITTENCOURT-SILVA, G.B., 2008. Frogs of Marambaia: a naturally isolated Restinga and Atlantic Forest remnant of southeastern Brazil. Biota Neotropica, vol. 8, no. 4, pp. 167-174. http://dx.doi.org/10.1590/S1676-06032008000400017.
https://doi.org/10.1590/S1676-0603200800...
; Wachlevski and Rocha, 2010WACHLEVSKI, M. and ROCHA, C.F.D., 2010. Amphibia, Anura, restinga of Baixada do Maciambu, municipality of Palhoça, state of Santa Catarina, southern Brazil. Check List, vol. 6, no. 4, pp. 602-604. http://dx.doi.org/10.15560/6.4.602.
http://dx.doi.org/10.15560/6.4.602...
; Telles et al., 2012TELLES, F.B.S., MENEZES, V.A., MAIA-CARNEIRO, T., DORIGO, T.A., WINCK, G.R. and ROCHA, C.F.D., 2012. Anurans from the ‘Restinga’ of Parque Natural Municipal de Grumari. Check List, vol. 8, no. 6, pp. 1267-1273. http://dx.doi.org/10.15560/8.6.1267.
http://dx.doi.org/10.15560/8.6.1267...
; Oliveira et al., 2017OLIVEIRA, J.C.F., WINCK, G.R., PEREIRA-RIBEIRO, J. and ROCHA, C.F.D., 2017. Local environmental factors influence the structure of frog communities on the sandy coastal plains of Southeastern Brazil. Herpetologica, vol. 73, no. 4, pp. 307-312. http://dx.doi.org/10.1655/Herpetologica-D-16-00075.1.
http://dx.doi.org/10.1655/Herpetologica-...
, Oliveira et al., 2020OLIVEIRA, J.C.F., PEREIRA-RIBEIRO, J., FAVALESSA, A. and ROCHA, C.F.D., 2020. Frog communities from five remnants of sandy coastal plains in Espírito Santo state, southeastern Brazil. Journal of Coastal Conservation, vol. 24, no. 7, pp. 1-8. http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s11852-019-00720-z.
http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s11852-019-007...
) from several areas of Brazilian restinga. Most of the information on those studies was based on primary data, although some also included secondary data obtained from the literature (e.g. Carvalho-e-Silva et al., 2000CARVALHO-E-SILVA, S.P., IZECKSOHN, E. and CARVALHO-E-SILVA, A.M.P.T., 2000. Anfíbios. In: F.R. DI MAIO and M.B.R. SILVA, orgs. Espécies ameaçadas de extinção no Município do Rio de Janeiro: flora e fauna. Rio de Janeiro: Secretaria Municipal de Meio Ambiente, pp. 50-51.; Oliveira and Rocha, 2015OLIVEIRA, J.C.F. and ROCHA, C.F.D., 2015. A review on the anurofauna of Brazil’s sandy coastal plains. How much do we know about it? Journal of Coastal Conservation, vol. 19, no. 1, pp. 35-49. http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s11852-014-0354-8.
http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s11852-014-035...
). However, considering the large extension of these environments along the Brazilian coast (more than 5,000 km of the 7,491 km of coast), the currently available published information can be considered introductory, suggesting that we still lack a comprehensive view on the reptile and amphibian species inhabiting these ecosystems.

The knowledge on the species composition of a particular locality or on the occurrence of some species in certain habitats is of value for conservation issues because they can provide the first step to allow conservation efforts on species, communities or environments. However, in many cases when conservation efforts are needed, the lack of local checklists or species occurrence records for a locality may constitute a limiting factor. Along the 31 years (1988-2019) of herpetological studies carried out by our research team of the Vertebrate Ecology Laboratory (Department of Ecology, Universidade do Estado do Rio de Janeiro, in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil), we have surveyed several reptile and amphibian communities and performed ecological and zoological studies in sandy coastal plains areas along the Brazilian coast. Here we present a checklist of amphibian and reptile species recorded during these studies through herpetofaunal surveys/inventories in Brazilian sandy coastal plains.

2. Material and Methods

2.1. Study sites

Throughout more than three decades of studies, we have sampled 70 sites along the Brazilian coast, in ten different states (Table 1). Those sites include “restinga” and “campo nativo” habitats, which are contained within the Atlantic Forest domain (Suguio and Tessler, 1984SUGUIO, K. and TESSLER, M.G., 1984. Planícies de cordões litorâneos quaternários do Brasil: Origem e nomenclatura. In: L.D. LACERDA, D.S. ARAÚJO, D.R. CERQUEIRA and B. TURCQ, eds. Restingas: Origem, Estrutura e Processos. Niterói: CEUFF, pp. 15-26.), one of the biodiversity “hotspots” on the planet (Mittermeier et al., 2011MITTERMEIER, R.A., GILL, P.R., HOFFMANN, M., PILGRIM, J., BROOKS, J., MITTERMEIER, C.J., LAMOURUX, J. and FONSECA, G.A.B. 2011. Global biodiversity conservation: the critical role of hotspots, In: F.E. ZACHOS and J.C. HABEL, eds. Biodiversity Hotspots - Distribution and protection of conservation priority areas. Berlin: Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg, pp. 3-22. http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/978-3-642-20992-5_1.
http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/978-3-642-2099...
). Restingas are Quaternary sand dune habitats with deposits of marine origin and characterized by sparse, mostly xerophilous shrubby and herbaceous vegetation (Suguio and Tessler, 1984SUGUIO, K. and TESSLER, M.G., 1984. Planícies de cordões litorâneos quaternários do Brasil: Origem e nomenclatura. In: L.D. LACERDA, D.S. ARAÚJO, D.R. CERQUEIRA and B. TURCQ, eds. Restingas: Origem, Estrutura e Processos. Niterói: CEUFF, pp. 15-26.). They vary both floristically (Araújo and Henriques, 1984ARAÚJO, D.S.D. and HENRIQUES, R.P.B., 1984. Análise florística das restingas do estado do Rio de Janeiro. In: L.D. LACERDA, D.S.D. ARAÚJO, R. CERQUEIRA & B. TURCQ eds. Restingas: origem, estrutura e processos. Niterói: CEUFF, pp. 159-193.) and structurally along the Brazilian coast (Rocha and Bergallo, 1997ROCHA, C.F.D. and BERGALLO, H.G., 1997. Intercommunity variation in the distribution of abundance of dominant lizard species in Restinga habitats. Ciência e Cultura, vol. 49, no. 4, pp. 269-274.). Campo nativo habitats are structurally similar to restingas, but originated during the Tertiary period, occurring as open-habitat enclaves within lowland rainforests in southern Bahia and northern Espírito Santo states, and differ from restinga habitats mainly due to the partially fluvial origin of the sandy deposits (Peixoto et al., 2008PEIXOTO, A.L., SILVA, I.M., PEREIRA, O.J., SIMONELLI, M., JESUS, R.M. and ROLIM, S.G., 2008. Tabuleiro forests north of the Rio Doce: their representation in the Vale do Rio Doce Natural Reserve, Espírito Santo, Brazil. In: W.W. THOMAS and E.G. BRITTON, eds. The Atlantic Coastal Forest of Northeastern Brazil. New York: Memoirs of the New York Botanical Garden, pp. 313-348.; Kierulff et al., 2014KIERULFF, M.C.M., AVELAR, L.H.S., FERREIRA, M.E.S., POVOA, K.F. and BÉRNILS, R.S., 2014. Reserva Natural Vale: história e aspectos físicos. Ciência & Ambiente, vol. 49, pp. 7-40.). The climate of the sandy coastal plains varies according to geographic regions and, in general, has dry and rainy seasons (Nimer, 1979NIMER, E., 1979. Climatologia do Brasil. Rio de Janeiro: IBGE. 422 p.). Mean annual temperature vary little among areas, usually averaging around 23° C and the mean annual rainfall usually ranges from 1000 to 1350 mm (Nimer, 1979NIMER, E., 1979. Climatologia do Brasil. Rio de Janeiro: IBGE. 422 p.).

Table 1
Checklist of localities on Brazilian sandy coastal plains sampled for reptiles and amphibians by the research team of the Vertebrate Ecology Laboratory (Department of Ecology, Universidade do Estado do Rio de Janeiro).

Our surveys were carried out from the states of Maranhão to Rio Grande do Sul (Figure 1, Table 1), including remnants of natural habitats within legally protected areas (Public Conservation Units and Private Natural Heritage Reserves) and anthropically disturbed areas. Among these study sites, seven were located on coastal islands (Table 1). Our field data came from 19 projects, which included different studies and herpetofaunal surveys (Appendix 1).

Figure 1
Localities sampled for Reptile and Amphibian records on Brazilian sandy coastal plains. (1) Parque Lençóis Maranhenses – Maranhão State; (2) Genipapu – Rio Grande do Norte state; (3) Piaçabuçu – Alagoas state; (4 – 8, Sergipe State) Pacatuba, Pirambu, Barra dos Coqueiros, Praia do Porto, Itaporanga D'Ajuda; (9 – 25, Bahia state) Costa Azul, Baixio, Guarajuba, Camaçari, Abaeté, Salvador, Guaibim, Boipeba, Cassange, Maraú, Ilha de Camamu (Ilha Grande), Taipé, Trancoso, Prado, Cumuruxatiba, Caravelas, Nova Viçosa; (26 – 37, Espírito Santo state) Parque Estadual de Itaúnas, Praia de Conceição da Barra, Ilha de Guriri, Reserva Natural Vale, Pontal do Ipiranga, Reserva Biológica de Comboios, Barra do Sahy, Ilha de Vitória, Ponta da Fruta, Setiba, Marataízes, Praia das Neves (38 – 66, Rio de Janeiro state) Grussaí, Jurubatiba, Itapebussus, Peró, Praia do Forte, Praia das Conchas, Jacarepiá, Barra Nova, Jaconé, Massambaba, Pernambuca, Figueiras, Praia do Foguete, Araruama, Saquarema, Barra de Maricá, Ponta Negra, Praia Grande, Itaipuaçu, Sepetiba, Barra da Tijuca, Recreio, Praia da Macumba, Ilha de Pombeba, Prainha, Grumari, Ilha da Marambaia, Lopes Mendes (Ilha Grande), Praia do Sul (Ilha Grande); (67, São Paulo state) Caraguatatuba; (68 – 69, Santa Catarina state), Restinga de Joaquina, Parque Estadual da Serra do Tabuleiro; (70, Rio Grande do Sul state) Estação Ecologica do Taim.

We used a similar method in our studies: sampling along transects with time-constrained active search (Campbell and Christman, 1982CAMPBELL, H.W. and CHRISTMAN, S.P. 1982, Field techniques for herpetofaunal community analysis. In: N.J. SCOTT JUNIOR, ed. Herpetological communities: a symposium of the society for the study of amphibians and reptiles and the herpetologis’s league. Washington: Fish Wildlife Service, pp. 193-200.), performed in different mesohabitats at each studied site. The sampling was carried out by a different number of researchers in different sampling periods. Transects were searched by observers moving along at a slow walking pace looking for reptiles and amphibians. In some surveys, samplings were carried out at different periods of the day. Some of these studies have been supplemented with pitfall traps (Crump and Scott Junior, 1994CRUMP, M.L. and SCOTT JUNIOR, N.J., 1994. Visual Encounter Surveys. In: W.R. HEYER, M.A. DONNELLY, R.W. MCDIARMID, L.-A.C., HAYEK and M.S. FOSTER. Measuring and monitoring biodiversity: standard methods for Amphibians. Washington: Smithsonian Institution Press.) installed in different sites and with variable number of buckets. At each site, we collected individuals to serve as voucher specimens and deposited them in Brazilian herpetological collections (Appendix 2). We considered records of all amphibian and reptile species on which studies have been published by our research team in indexed journals. We followed Costa and Bérnils (2018)COSTA, H.C. and BÉRNILS, R.S., 2018. Répteis do Brasil e suas unidades federativas: lista de espécies. Herpetologia Brasileira, vol. 7, no. 1, pp. 11-57. and Segalla et al. (2019)SEGALLA, M.V., CARAMASCHI, U., CRUZ, C.A.G., GRANT, T., HADDAD, C.F.B., GARCIA, P.C.A., BERNECK, B.V.M. and LANGONE, J.A., 2019. Brazilian Amphibians: List of species. Herpetologia Brasileira, vol. 5, no. 2, pp. 34-46. for reptile and amphibian nomenclature, respectively. We used the global IUCN Red List (IUCN, 2019IUCN, 2019 [viewed 18 September 2019]. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Version 2019-2 [online]. Available from: http://www.iucnredlist.org
http://www.iucnredlist.org...
), the national red list from the Instituto Chico Mendes de Conservação da Biodiversidade/Brazilian Ministry of Environment (ICMBIO, 2018INSTITUTO CHICO MENDES DE CONSERVAÇÃO DA BIODIVERSIDADE – ICMBIO, 2018. Livro vermelho da fauna brasileira ameaçada de extinção. V 1. 1. ed. Brasília: ICMBio/MMA.) and also state red lists, when available (Bahia: SEMA, 2017SECRETARIA ESTADUAL DO MEIO AMBIENTE - SEMA, 2017. Lista de Espécies da Fauna Ameaçadas de Extinção do Estado da Bahia. Portaria nº 37, de 15 de agosto de 2017. Superintendência de Estudos e Pesquisas Ambientais (SEP), Salvador., Rio Grande do Sul: Marques et al. 2002MARQUES, A.A.B., FONTANA, C.S., VÉLEZ, E., BENCKE, G.A., SCHNEIDER, M. and DOS REIS, R.E., org., 2002. Lista das Espécies da Fauna Ameaçadas de Extinção no Rio Grande do Sul. Decreto nº 41.672, de 11 de junho de 2002. Porto Alegre: FZB/MCTPUCRS/PANGEA, 52 p., Espírito Santo: Passamani and Mendes, 2007PASSAMANI, M. and MENDES, S.L., 2007. Espécies da fauna ameaçadas de extinção no Estado do Espírito Santo. Vitória: Instituto de Pesquisas da Mata Altântica, 140 p., Rio de Janeiro: Bergallo et al., 2000BERGALLO, H.G., ROCHA, C.F.D., ALVES, M.A.S. and VAN SLUYS, M., org. 2000. A fauna ameaçada de extinção do Estado do Rio de Janeiro. Rio de Janeiro: Ed. UERJ, 166 p., São Paulo: Marques et al., 2009MARQUES, O.A.V., NOGUEIRA, C.C., SAWAYA, R.J., BERNILS, R., MARTINS, M., MOLINA, F.B., FERRAREZZI, H., FRANCO, F.L. and GERMANO, V.J., 2009. Répteis. In: BRESSAN, P.M., KIERULFF, M.C.M., SUGIEDA, A.M., org. Fauna ameaçada de extinção no estado de São Paulo: vertebrados. 1. ed. São Paulo: Secretaria do Meio Ambiente, pp. 285-327., Santa Catarina: CONSEMA, 2011CONSELHO ESTADUAL DO MEIO AMBIENTE – CONSEMA. SECRETARIA DE ESTADO DO DESENVOLVIMENTO ECONÔMICO SUSTENTÁVEL, 2011. Resolução CONSEMA nº 002, de 06 de dezembro de 2011. Reconhece a Lista Oficial de Espécies da Fauna Ameaçadas de Extinção no Estado de Santa Catarina e dá outras providências. Florianópolis.) to categorize the conservation status of each species. The classification of endemism was defined according to Rossa-Feres et al. (2017)ROSSA-FERES, D., GAREY, M.V., CARAMASCHI, U., NAPOLI, M.F., NOMURA, F., BISPO, A.A., BRASILEIRO, C.A., THOMÉ, M.T.C., SAWAYA, R.J., CONTE, C.E., CRUZ, C.A.G., NASCIMENTO, L.B., GASPARINI, J.L., ALMEIDA, A.P. and HADDAD, C.F.B. 2017. Anfíbios da Mata Atlântica: lista de espécies, histórico dos estudos, biologia e conservação. In: E.L.A. MONTEIRO-FILHO and C.E. CONTE, Revisões em Zoologia: Mata Atlântica, 1. ed., Curitiba: Editora UFPR, pp. 237-314. for amphibians and Tozetti et al. (2017)TOZETTI, A.M., SAWAYA, R.J., MOLINA, F.B., BÉRNILS, R.S., BARBO, F.E., LEITE, J.C.M., BORGES-MARTINS, M., RECODER, R., TEIXEIRA JUNIOR, M., ARGÔLO, A.J.S., MORATO, S.A.A. and RODRIGUES, M.T., 2017. Répteis. In: E.L.A. MONTEIRO-FILHO and C.E. CONTE, orgs. Revisões em Zoologia: Mata Atlântica. 1. ed., Curitiba: Editora UFPR, pp. 315-364. for reptiles.

3. Results

Along the 31 years of surveys and studies in sandy coastal plains in the 70 sites studied, we recorded 87 species of reptiles (five Testudines, two Crocodylians, six amphisbaenians, 36 lizards, 39 snakes) from 24 families (Table 2, Figure 2) and 77 species of anuran amphibians from nine families (Table 3, Figure 3). We produced specific ecological studies on several of them, especially regarding population and community ecology, foraging and feeding habits, activity, thermoregulation, reproduction, use of habitats, ecto- and endoparasites associated, and effects of climate changes. Our data gathered from studies along these decades contributed for the discovery and formal description of four lizard species [Ameivula nativo (Rocha et al., 1997ROCHA, C.F.D., BERGALLO, H.G. and PECCININI-SEALE, D., 1997. Evidence of an unisexual population of the Brazilian whiptail lizard genus Cnemidophorus (Teiidae) with description of a new species. Herpetologica, vol. 53, no. 3, pp. 374-382.), Glaucomastix littoralis (Rocha et al., 2000bROCHA, C. F. D., ARAUJO, A. F. B., VRCIBRADIC D. and COSTA, E. M. M., 2000b. New Cnemidophorus (Squamata, Teiidae) from coastal Rio de Janeiro State, Southeastern Brazil. Copeia, vol. 2000, no. 2, pp. 501-509.), G. abaetensis (Dias et al., 2002DIAS, E.J.R., ROCHA, C.F.D. and VRCIBRADIC, D., 2002. New Cnemidophorus (Squamata: Teiidae) from Bahia State, northeastern Brazil. Copeia, vol. 2002, no. 4, pp. 928-937. http://dx.doi.org/10.1643/0045-8511(2002)002[1070:NCSTFB]2.0.CO;2.
http://dx.doi.org/10.1643/0045-8511(2002...
), and G. itabaianensis (Rosário et al., 2019ROSÁRIO, I.R., SANTOS, R.M.L., ARIAS, F., ROCHA, C.F.D., DIAS, E.J.R., CARVALHO, C.M. and RODRIGUES, M.T., 2019. Phylogeography of the endangered sand dune whiptail lizard Glaucomastix abaetensis (Dias, Rocha & Vrcibradic, 2002) with the description of a new species. Zootaxa, vol. 4624, no. 4, pp. 451-477. http://dx.doi.org/10.11646/zootaxa.4624.4.1. PMid:31716195.
http://dx.doi.org/10.11646/zootaxa.4624....
)]. Seven reptile species and six anuran species recorded during our projects are endemic of sandy coastal plains ecosystems (Tables 2 and 3).

Table 2
Reptile species studied along Brazilian sandy coastal plains, their conservation status determined by The IUCN (2019)IUCN, 2019 [viewed 18 September 2019]. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Version 2019-2 [online]. Available from: http://www.iucnredlist.org
http://www.iucnredlist.org...
, Instituto Chico Mendes de Conservação da Biodiversidade – ICMBio (2018)INSTITUTO CHICO MENDES DE CONSERVAÇÃO DA BIODIVERSIDADE – ICMBIO, 2018. Livro vermelho da fauna brasileira ameaçada de extinção. V 1. 1. ed. Brasília: ICMBio/MMA. and state lists, and endemism.
Figure 2
Some anuran species recorded in sandy coastal plains of Brazil during 31 years of sampling efforts by the research team of the Laboratory of Vertebrate Ecology (Universidade do Estado do Rio de Janeiro). (A) Aparasphenodon brunoi; (B) Arcovomer passarelli; (C) Melanophryniscus setiba; (D) Physalaemus marmoratus; (E) Ololygon agilis; (F) Trachycephalus nigromaculatus. Photos A, B, D, F: JCFO; C: Pedro Peloso; E: JPR.
Table 3
Anuran species studied along Brazilian sandy coastal plains, their conservation status determined by The IUCN (2019)IUCN, 2019 [viewed 18 September 2019]. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Version 2019-2 [online]. Available from: http://www.iucnredlist.org
http://www.iucnredlist.org...
, Instituto Chico Mendes de Conservação da Biodiversidade – ICMBIO (2018)INSTITUTO CHICO MENDES DE CONSERVAÇÃO DA BIODIVERSIDADE – ICMBIO, 2018. Livro vermelho da fauna brasileira ameaçada de extinção. V 1. 1. ed. Brasília: ICMBio/MMA. and state lists, and endemism.
Figure 3
Some reptile species recorded in sandy coastal plains of Brazil during 31 years of sampling efforts by the research team of the Laboratory of Vertebrate Ecology (Universidade do Estado do Rio de Janeiro). (G) Micrablepharus maximiliani; (H) Brasiliscincus agilis; (I) Glaucomastix abaetensis; (J) Oxybelis aeneus; (K) Leptodeira annulata; (L) Rhinoclemmys sp. nov. Photos G: JPR; H, J, K, L: JCFO; I: Moacir Tinoco.

Regarding conservation status, two species of reptiles in our list are categorized in the IUCN Red List as Endangered (EN) [Chelonia mydas (Linnaeus, 1758), and Trachemys adiutrix Vanzolini, 1995] and three species as Vulnerable (VU) [Dermochelys coriacea (Vandelli, 1761), Liolaemus lutzae Mertens, 1938, and L. occipitalis Boulenger, 1885]. Regarding the national red list, two reptile species are listed as Critically Endangered (CR), five as Endangered (EN), three as Vulnerable (VU), two as Near Threatened (NT) and one as Deficient Data (DD). Eleven reptile species are listed in the state lists (Table 2). The species of Crocodylia in our list, Caiman crocodilus (Linnaeus, 1758) and Caiman latirostris (Daudin, 1802), are currently categorized as Least Concern (LC) in the national red list, while in the state lists C. latirostris, for example, is evaluated as “Endangered” in Rio de Janeiro state. Regarding Testudines, only Rhinoclemmys sp. nov., a new species from a restinga habitat in Linhares municipality, Espírito Santo state (Oliveira et al., 2018OLIVEIRA, J.C.F., CASTRO, T.M., SILVA-SOARES, T. and ROCHA, C.F.D., 2018. First-order effects of fire and prolonged-drought effects on an undescribed semi-aquatic turtle in Atlantic rainforest in southeastern Brazil. Journal of Coastal Conservation, vol. 23, pp. 1-6. http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s11852-018-0668-z.
https://doi.org/10.1007/s11852-018-0668-...
), whose formal description is in course (U. Caramaschi, pers. comm.) has not had its status of conservation evaluated yet. The other five species of Testudines are classified as Endangered, Vulnerable, Critically Endangered, and Near Threatened (Table 2). The reptile list includes one non-indigenous lizard species, the gecko Hemidactylus mabouia (Moreau de Jonnès, 1818). Amphibian species include one classified as Critically Endangered (CR) in the national red list (Melanophryniscus setiba Peloso, Faivovich, Grant, Gasparini & Haddad, 2012) and two as Endangered (EN) [Chiasmocleis lacrimae Peloso, Sturaro, Forlani, Gaucher, Motta & Wheeler, 2014 and Xenohyla truncata (Izecksohn, 1959)]. The latter is listed in the IUCN Red List as Near Threatened (NT). Four anuran species are listed as Data Deficient (DD), and all the others as Least Concern (LC) (Table 3).

4. Discussion

Our studies throughout the 31-year period at the sandy coastal plains of Brazil involved 29% of all reptile species reported to occur in the Atlantic Forest biome (about 300 species - Tozetti et al., 2017TOZETTI, A.M., SAWAYA, R.J., MOLINA, F.B., BÉRNILS, R.S., BARBO, F.E., LEITE, J.C.M., BORGES-MARTINS, M., RECODER, R., TEIXEIRA JUNIOR, M., ARGÔLO, A.J.S., MORATO, S.A.A. and RODRIGUES, M.T., 2017. Répteis. In: E.L.A. MONTEIRO-FILHO and C.E. CONTE, orgs. Revisões em Zoologia: Mata Atlântica. 1. ed., Curitiba: Editora UFPR, pp. 315-364.). Regarding the anuran fauna, our studies involved 13% of all amphibian species known to occur in the Atlantic Forest (about 600 species - Rossa-Feres et al., 2017ROSSA-FERES, D., GAREY, M.V., CARAMASCHI, U., NAPOLI, M.F., NOMURA, F., BISPO, A.A., BRASILEIRO, C.A., THOMÉ, M.T.C., SAWAYA, R.J., CONTE, C.E., CRUZ, C.A.G., NASCIMENTO, L.B., GASPARINI, J.L., ALMEIDA, A.P. and HADDAD, C.F.B. 2017. Anfíbios da Mata Atlântica: lista de espécies, histórico dos estudos, biologia e conservação. In: E.L.A. MONTEIRO-FILHO and C.E. CONTE, Revisões em Zoologia: Mata Atlântica, 1. ed., Curitiba: Editora UFPR, pp. 237-314.).

Our studies contributed significantly to the knowledge of the herpetofauna of the coastal plains (e.g. Rocha et al., 1997ROCHA, C.F.D., BERGALLO, H.G. and PECCININI-SEALE, D., 1997. Evidence of an unisexual population of the Brazilian whiptail lizard genus Cnemidophorus (Teiidae) with description of a new species. Herpetologica, vol. 53, no. 3, pp. 374-382.; Rocha, 2000aROCHA, C.F.D., 2000a. Biogeografia de Répteis de Restinga: Distribuição, ocorrência e endemismos. In: F.A. ESTEVES and L.D. LACERDA, orgs. Ecologia de restingas e lagoas costeiras. Macaé: Núcleo de Pesquisas Ecológicas de Macaé – NUPEM/UFRJ, pp. 99-116.; Rocha et al., 2000aROCHA, C.F.D., VRCIBRADIC, D. and ARAÚJO, A.F.B., 2000a. Ecofisiologia de Répteis de Restinga. In: F.A. ESTEVES and L.D. LACERDA, orgs. Ecologia de Restingas e Lagoas Costeiras. Macaé: Núcleo de Pesquisas Ecológicas de Macaé – NUPEM/UFRJ, pp. 117-149.; Dias et al., 2002DIAS, E.J.R., ROCHA, C.F.D. and VRCIBRADIC, D., 2002. New Cnemidophorus (Squamata: Teiidae) from Bahia State, northeastern Brazil. Copeia, vol. 2002, no. 4, pp. 928-937. http://dx.doi.org/10.1643/0045-8511(2002)002[1070:NCSTFB]2.0.CO;2.
http://dx.doi.org/10.1643/0045-8511(2002...
; Rocha and Van Sluys, 2007ROCHA, C.F.D. and VAN SLUYS, M., 2007. Herpetofauna de Restingas. In: L.B. NASCIMENTO and M.E. OLIVEIRA, orgs. Herpetologia no Brasil II. Belo Horizonte: Sociedade Brasileira de Herpetologia, pp. 44-65.; Rosário et al., 2019ROSÁRIO, I.R., SANTOS, R.M.L., ARIAS, F., ROCHA, C.F.D., DIAS, E.J.R., CARVALHO, C.M. and RODRIGUES, M.T., 2019. Phylogeography of the endangered sand dune whiptail lizard Glaucomastix abaetensis (Dias, Rocha & Vrcibradic, 2002) with the description of a new species. Zootaxa, vol. 4624, no. 4, pp. 451-477. http://dx.doi.org/10.11646/zootaxa.4624.4.1. PMid:31716195.
http://dx.doi.org/10.11646/zootaxa.4624....
). For example, our data on lizard thermal ecology allowed conducing a global collaborative study aiming to understand the effects of climate change on the thermal niche of lizards around the world and to assess its role on the extinction of populations and species of lizards worldwide (Sinervo et al., 2010SINERVO, B., MENDEZ-DE-LA-CRUZ, F., MILES, D.B., HEULIN, B., BASTIAANS, E., VILLAGRAN-SANTA CRUZ, M., LARA-RESENDIZ, R., MARTINEZ-MENDEZ, N., CALDERON-ESPINOSA, M.L., MEZA-LAZARO, R.N., GADSDEN, H., AVILA, L.J., MORANDO, M., DE LA RIVA, I.J., SEPULVEDA, P.V., ROCHA, C.F.D., IBARGUENGOYTIA, N., PUNTRIANO, C.A., MASSOT, M., LEPETZ, V., OKSANEN, T.A., CHAPPLE, D.G., BAUER, A.M., BRANCH, W.R., CLOBERT, J. and SITES, J.W, 2010. Erosion of lizard diversity by climate change and altered thermal niches. Science, vol. 328, no. 5980, pp. 894-899. Available from: http://doi.org. http://dx.doi.org/10.1126/science.1184695. PMid:20466932.
http://doi.org...
). We have also investigated feeding and foraging habits of different components of herpetofauna in restinga which allowed us to understand the trophic relationships among sympatric lizard species, frogs and other local vertebrates and invertebrates as prey and predators to produce an approximation to a trophic net among species in a restinga area in the state of Rio de Janeiro (Rocha and Vrcibradic, 1998ROCHA, C.F.D. and VRCIBRADIC, D., 1998. Reptiles as predators and as preys in a restinga habitat of Southeastern Brazil. Ciência e Cultura, vol. 50, no. 5, pp. 364-368.), and to assess how adult lizards may constitute a mortality source for juvenile lizards in their own communities (Siqueira and Rocha, 2008SIQUEIRA, C.C. and ROCHA, C.F.D., 2008. Predation by lizards as mortality source for juvenile lizards in Brazil. South American Journal of Herpetology, vol. 3, no. 1, pp. 82-87. https://doi.org/10.2994/1808-9798(2008)3[82:PBLAAM]2.0.CO;2
https://doi.org/10.2994/1808-9798(2008)3...
). Our investigations have also dealt with reproductive rates of species (e.g. clutch size and clutch number in lizards and amphibians) in an attempt to assess life history traits. Most of the data published by us concerning the reproductive strategies showed that some species are cyclic in reproduction and tend to have multiple clutches [e.g. Tropidurus torquatus (Wied, 1820) - Van Sluys et al., 2010VAN SLUYS, M., MARTELOTTE, S.B., KIEFER, M.C. and ROCHA, C.F.D., 2010. Reproduction in neotropical Tropidurus lizards (Tropiduridae): evaluating the effect of environmental factors on T. torquatus. Amphibia-Reptilia, vol. 31, no. 1, pp. 117-126. http://dx.doi.org/10.1163/156853810790457920.
http://dx.doi.org/10.1163/15685381079045...
; Liolaemus lutzae - Rocha, 1992ROCHA, C.F.D., 1992. Reproductive and fat body cycles of the tropical sand lizard (Liolaemus lutzae) of Southeastern Brazil. Journal of Herpetology, vol. 26, no. 1, pp. 17-23. http://dx.doi.org/10.2307/1565016.
http://dx.doi.org/10.2307/1565016...
] while others have extended reproductive seasons and tend to reproduce once or twice throughout the year (e.g. Ameivula nativo - Menezes et al., 2004MENEZES, V.A., ROCHA, C.F.D. and DUTRA, G.F., 2004. Reproductive ecology of the parthenogenetic whiptail lizard Cnemidophorus nativo in a Brazilian Restinga Habitat. Journal of Herpetology, vol. 38, no. 2, pp. 280-282. http://dx.doi.org/10.1670/219-02N.
http://dx.doi.org/10.1670/219-02N...
; Ameiva ameiva - Rocha, 2008ROCHA, C.F.D., 2008. Body size, female reproduction and sexual dimorphism in the lizard Ameiva ameiva (Teiidae) in a restinga of southeastern Brazil. Revista Brasileira de Zoologia, vol. 25, no. 2, pp. 370-372. http://dx.doi.org/10.1590/S0101-81752008000200024.
http://dx.doi.org/10.1590/S0101-81752008...
). An important issue is some differences in age at maturity among populations of the same species and a general trend of an effect of female body size on clutch size, egg volume and/or on relative clutch mass (Rocha and Vrcibradic, 1999ROCHA, C.F.D. and VRCIBRADIC, D., 1999. Reproductive traits of two sympatric skinks (Mabuya macrorhyncha and M. agilis) in a Brazilian restinga habitat. The Herpetological Journal, vol. 9, no. 2, pp. 43-53.; Vrcibradic and Rocha, 2011VRCIBRADIC, D. and ROCHA, C.F.D., 2011. An overview of female reproductive traits in South American Mabuya (Squamata, Scincidae), with emphasis on brood size and its correlates. Journal of Natural History, vol. 45, no. 13-14, pp. 813-825. http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/00222933.2010.535920.
http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/00222933.2010....
; Winck and Rocha, 2012WINCK, G.R. and ROCHA, C.F.D., 2012. Reproductive trends of Brazilian lizards (Reptilia, Squamata): the relationship between clutch size and body size in females. North-Western Journal of Zoology, vol. 8, no. 1, pp. 57-62.; Menezes and Rocha, 2014MENEZES, V.A. and ROCHA, C.F.D., 2014. Clutch size in populations and species of cnemidophorines (Squamata: Teiidae) on the eastern coast of Brazil. Anais da Academia Brasileira de Ciências, vol. 86, no. 2, pp. 707-722. http://dx.doi.org/10.1590/0001-37652014112212. PMid:30514023.
http://dx.doi.org/10.1590/0001-376520141...
). Further studies on reproductive traits of many sandy coastal plain’s species are still needed to better understand general patterns for families along its geographical distribution.

We have produced many data about lizards from those environments, especially regarding the species endemic to sandy coastal plain habitats: Liolaemus lutzae (Liolaemidae), Ameivula nativo, Glaucomastix littoralis, G. abaetensis and G. itabaianensis (Teiidae). For L. lutzae, we evaluated several aspects of its natural history, including thermal ecology (e.g. Rocha, 1995ROCHA, C.F.D., 1995. Ecologia termal de Liolaemus lutzae (Sauria: Tropiduridae) em uma área de restinga do sudeste brasileiro. Revista Brasileira de Biologia =. Brazilian Journal of Biology = Revista Brasileira de Biologia, vol. 55, no. 3, pp. 481-489.; Maia-Carneiro et al., 2012MAIA-CARNEIRO, T., DORIGO, T.A. and ROCHA, C.F.D., 2012. Influences of seasonality, thermal environment and wind intensity on the thermal ecology of Brazilian sand lizards in a restinga remnant. South American Journal of Herpetology, vol. 7, no. 3, pp. 241-251. https://doi.org/10.2994/057.007.0306
https://doi.org/10.2994/057.007.0306...
; Almeida-Santos et al., 2015ALMEIDA-SANTOS, P., MILITÃO, C.M., NOGUEIRA-COSTA, P., MENEZES, V.A. and ROCHA, C.F.D., 2015. Thermal ecology of five remaining populations of an endangered lizard (Liolaemus lutzae) in different restinga habitats in Brazil. Journal of Coastal Conservation, vol. 19, no. 3, pp. 335-343. http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s11852-015-0395-7.
http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s11852-015-039...
), activity patterns and spatial distribution (e.g. Rocha, 1988ROCHA, C.F.D., 1988. Ritmo de atividade e microclimatologia do habitat de Liolaemus lutzae (Sauria: Iguanidae) na Restinga de Barra de Marica, RJ. In: Anais do VI Seminário Regional de Ecologia de São Carlos, 22-24 Outubro 1988, São Carlos. São Carlos, SP: Departamento de Ciências Biológicas, Universidade Federal e São Carlos, pp. 269-281., 1991ROCHA, C.F.D., 1991. Composicão do habitat e uso do espaco por Liolaemus lutzae (Sauria: Iguanidae) em uma área de restinga. Revista Brasileira de Biologia, vol. 51, no. 4, pp. 839-845., 1999ROCHA, C.F.D., 1999. Home range of the tropidurid lizard Liolaemus lutzae: sexual and body size differences. Revista Brasileira de Biologia = Brazilian Journal of Biology = Revista Brasileira de Biologia, vol. 59, no. 1, pp. 125-130. http://dx.doi.org/10.1590/S0034-71081999000100016.
http://dx.doi.org/10.1590/S0034-71081999...
), feeding habits (e.g. Rocha, 1989ROCHA, C.F.D., 1989. Diet of the Brazilian sand lizard (Liolaemus lutzae) in Southeastern Brazil. Journal of Herpetology, vol. 23, no. 3, pp. 292-294. http://dx.doi.org/10.2307/1564451.
http://dx.doi.org/10.2307/1564451...
, 1996ROCHA, C.F.D., 1996. Seasonal shift in lizard diet: the seasonality in food resources affecting the diet of Liolaemus lutzae (Tropiduridae). Ciencia e Cultura, vol. 48, no. 4, pp. 264-269., 2000bROCHA, C.F.D., 2000b. Selectivity in plant food consumption in the lizard Liolaemus lutzae from Southeastern Brazil. Studies on Neotropical Fauna and Environment, vol. 35, no. 1, pp. 14-18. http://dx.doi.org/10.1076/0165-0521(200004)35:1;1-M;FT014.
http://dx.doi.org/10.1076/0165-0521(2000...
), behavior (e.g. Rocha, 1993ROCHA, C.F.D., 1993. The set of defence mechanisms in a tropical sand lizard (Liolaemus lutzae) of southeastern Brazil. Ciencia e Cultura, vol. 45, no. 2, pp. 116-122.; Maia-Carneiro and Rocha, 2013MAIA-CARNEIRO, T. and ROCHA, C.F.D., 2013. The behaviour of orientation of openings of burrows by Liolaemus lutzae (Squamata: Liolaemidae): is it influenced by environmental factors? Journal of Natural History, vol. 47, no. 3-4, pp. 253-262. http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/00222933.2012.743612.
http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/00222933.2012....
), and reproduction (e.g. Rocha, 1990ROCHA, C.F.D., 1990. Reproductive effort in the Brazilian sand lizard Liolaemus lutzae (Sauria: iguanidae). Ciencia e Cultura, vol. 42, no. 12, pp. 1203-1206., 1992ROCHA, C.F.D., 1992. Reproductive and fat body cycles of the tropical sand lizard (Liolaemus lutzae) of Southeastern Brazil. Journal of Herpetology, vol. 26, no. 1, pp. 17-23. http://dx.doi.org/10.2307/1565016.
http://dx.doi.org/10.2307/1565016...
). We have also estimated the geographic distribution and local populational densities (Rocha and Bergallo, 1992ROCHA, C.F.D. and BERGALLO, H.G., 1992. Population decrease: the case of Liolaemus lutzae, an endemic lizard of southeastern Brazil. Ciencia e Cultura, vol. 44, no. 1, pp. 52-54.; Rocha et al., 2009aROCHA, C.F.D., SIQUEIRA, C.C. and ARIANI, C.V., 2009a. The endemic and threatened lizard Liolaemus lutzae (Squamata: Liolaemidae): current geographic distribution and areas of occurrence with estimated population densities. Zoologia, vol. 26, no. 3, pp. 454-460. http://dx.doi.org/10.1590/S1984-46702009000300009.
http://dx.doi.org/10.1590/S1984-46702009...
), as well as the suitability of habitat for this species at a geographical scale (Winck et al., 2014WINCK, G.R., ALMEIDA-SANTOS, P. and ROCHA, C.F.D., 2014. Potential distribution of the endangered endemic lizard Liolaemus lutzae Mertens, 1938 (Liolaemidae): are there other suitable areas for a geographically restricted species? Brazilian Journal of Biology = Revista Brasileira de Biologia, vol. 74, no. 2, pp. 338-348. http://dx.doi.org/10.1590/1519-6984.18612. PMid:25166318.
http://dx.doi.org/10.1590/1519-6984.1861...
). Furthermore, we have assessed the genetic diversity of existing populations of L. lutzae in order to propose management and conservation measures for the species (Ariani et al., 2013ARIANI, C.V., PICKLES, R.S.A., LOBO-HAJDU, G., JORDAN, W.C. and ROCHA, C.F.D., 2013. Mitochondrial DNA and microsatellite loci data supporting a management plan for a critically endangered lizard from Brazil. Conservation Genetics Journal, vol. 14, no. 5, pp. 943-951. http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s10592-013-0484-9.
http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s10592-013-048...
). Our data for the nine species of Teiidae from the studied areas contributed for the discovery and formal description of four new lizard species (A. nativoRocha et al., 1997ROCHA, C.F.D., BERGALLO, H.G. and PECCININI-SEALE, D., 1997. Evidence of an unisexual population of the Brazilian whiptail lizard genus Cnemidophorus (Teiidae) with description of a new species. Herpetologica, vol. 53, no. 3, pp. 374-382.; G. abaetensisDias et al., 2002DIAS, E.J.R., ROCHA, C.F.D. and VRCIBRADIC, D., 2002. New Cnemidophorus (Squamata: Teiidae) from Bahia State, northeastern Brazil. Copeia, vol. 2002, no. 4, pp. 928-937. http://dx.doi.org/10.1643/0045-8511(2002)002[1070:NCSTFB]2.0.CO;2.
http://dx.doi.org/10.1643/0045-8511(2002...
, G. littoralisRocha et al., 2000bROCHA, C. F. D., ARAUJO, A. F. B., VRCIBRADIC D. and COSTA, E. M. M., 2000b. New Cnemidophorus (Squamata, Teiidae) from coastal Rio de Janeiro State, Southeastern Brazil. Copeia, vol. 2000, no. 2, pp. 501-509.; G. itabaianensisRosário et al., 2019ROSÁRIO, I.R., SANTOS, R.M.L., ARIAS, F., ROCHA, C.F.D., DIAS, E.J.R., CARVALHO, C.M. and RODRIGUES, M.T., 2019. Phylogeography of the endangered sand dune whiptail lizard Glaucomastix abaetensis (Dias, Rocha & Vrcibradic, 2002) with the description of a new species. Zootaxa, vol. 4624, no. 4, pp. 451-477. http://dx.doi.org/10.11646/zootaxa.4624.4.1. PMid:31716195.
http://dx.doi.org/10.11646/zootaxa.4624....
). We also studied the ecology of three of these species (A. nativo, G. littoralis, and G. abaetensis) in their community (e.g. Ribas et al., 1995RIBAS, S., ROCHA, C.F.D., TEIXEIRA-FILHO, P. and VICENTE, J.J., 1995. Helminths (Nematoda) of the lizard Cnemidophorus ocellifer (Sauria: Teiidae): Assessing the effect of rainfall, body size and sex in the nematode infection rates. Ciencia e Cultura, vol. 47, no. 1, pp. 88-91.; Rocha and Bergallo, 1997ROCHA, C.F.D. and BERGALLO, H.G., 1997. Intercommunity variation in the distribution of abundance of dominant lizard species in Restinga habitats. Ciência e Cultura, vol. 49, no. 4, pp. 269-274.; Hatano et al., 2001HATANO, F.H., VRCIBRADIC, D., GALDINO, C.A.B., CUNHA-BARROS, M., ROCHA, C.F.D. and VAN SLUYS, M., 2001. Thermal ecology and activity patterns of the lizard community of the restinga of Jurubatiba, Macaé, RJ. Brazilian Journal of Biology = Revista Brasleira de Biologia, vol. 61, no. 2, pp. 287-294. http://dx.doi.org/10.1590/S0034-71082001000200011. PMid:11514896.
http://dx.doi.org/10.1590/S0034-71082001...
; Rocha et al., 2005ROCHA, C.F.D., VAN SLUYS, M., BERGALLO, H.G. and ALVES, M.A.S., 2005. Endemic and threatened tetrapods in the restingas of the biodiversity corridors of Serra do Mar and of the central da Mata Atlântica in Eastern Brazil. Brazilian Journal of Biology = Revista Brasileira de Biologia, vol. 65, no. 1, pp. 159-168. http://dx.doi.org/10.1590/S1519-69842005000100019. PMid:16025914.
http://dx.doi.org/10.1590/S1519-69842005...
; Dias and Rocha, 2014DIAS, E.J.R. and ROCHA, C.F.D., 2014. Habitat structural effect on Squamata Fauna of the Restinga Ecosystem in Northeastern Brazil. Anais da Academia Brasileira de Ciências, vol. 86, no. 1, pp. 359-371. http://dx.doi.org/10.1590/0001-3765201420130006. PMid:24676173.
http://dx.doi.org/10.1590/0001-376520142...
; Winck et al., 2016WINCK, G.R., HATANO, F., VRCIBRADIC, D., VAN SLUYS, M. and ROCHA, C.F.D., 2016. Lizard assemblage from a sand dune habitat from southeastern Brazil: a niche overlap analysis. Anais da Academia Brasileira de Ciências, vol. 88, suppl. 1, pp. 677-687. http://dx.doi.org/10.1590/0001-3765201620150335. PMid:27142553.
http://dx.doi.org/10.1590/0001-376520162...
; Oliveira et al., 2019OLIVEIRA, J.C.F., PEREIRA-RIBEIRO, J., WINCK, G.R. and ROCHA, C.F.D., 2019. Lizard assemblages on sandy coastal plains in southeastern Brazil: an analysis of occurrence and composition, and the role of habitat structure. Anais da Academia Brasileira de Ciências, vol. 91, no. 1, pp. e20170403. http://dx.doi.org/10.1590/0001-3765201820170403. PMid:30569964.
http://dx.doi.org/10.1590/0001-376520182...
) and populational ecology perspectives (e.g. Teixeira-Filho et al., 2003TEIXEIRA-FILHO, P.F., ROCHA, C.F.D. and RIBAS, S.C., 2003. Relative feeding specialization may depress ontogenetic, seasonal and sexual variations in diet: the endemic lizard Cnemidophorus littoralis (Teiidae). Brazilian Journal of Biology = Revista Brasileira de Biologia, vol. 63, no. 2, pp. 321-328. http://dx.doi.org/10.1590/S1519-69842003000200017. PMid:14509854.
http://dx.doi.org/10.1590/S1519-69842003...
; Dias and Rocha, 2004DIAS, E.J.R. and ROCHA, C.F.D., 2004. Thermal ecology, activity patterns and microhabitat use by two sympatric whiptail lizards (Cnemidophorus abaetensis and Cnemidophorus ocellifer) from northeastern Brazil. Journal of Herpetology, vol. 38, no. 4, pp. 586-588. http://dx.doi.org/10.1670/80-03N.
http://dx.doi.org/10.1670/80-03N...
; 2007DIAS, E.J.R. and ROCHA, C.F.D., 2007. Niche differences between two sympatric whiptail lizards (Cnemidophorus abaetensis and C. ocellifer, Teiidae) in the restinga habitat of northeastern Brazil. Brazilian Journal of Biology = Revista Brasileira de Biologia, vol. 67, no. 1, pp. 41-46. http://dx.doi.org/10.1590/S1519-69842007000100006. PMid:17505748.
http://dx.doi.org/10.1590/S1519-69842007...
; Menezes et al., 2004MENEZES, V.A., ROCHA, C.F.D. and DUTRA, G.F., 2004. Reproductive ecology of the parthenogenetic whiptail lizard Cnemidophorus nativo in a Brazilian Restinga Habitat. Journal of Herpetology, vol. 38, no. 2, pp. 280-282. http://dx.doi.org/10.1670/219-02N.
http://dx.doi.org/10.1670/219-02N...
, 2006MENEZES, V.A., AMARAL, V.C., SLUYS, M.V. and ROCHA, C.F., 2006. Diet and foraging of the endemic lizard Cnemidophorus littoralis (Squamata, Teiidae) in restinga of Jurubatiba, Macaé - RJ. Brazilian Journal of Biology = Revista Brasileira de Biologia, vol. 66, no. 3, pp. 803-807. http://dx.doi.org/10.1590/S1519-69842006000500005. PMid:17119827.
http://dx.doi.org/10.1590/S1519-69842006...
, 2008MENEZES, V.A., DUTRA, G.F. and ROCHA, C.F.D., 2008. Feeding habits of the endemic tropical parthenogenetic lizard Cnemidophorus nativo (Teiidae) in a restinga area of northeastern Brazil. Journal of Natural History, vol. 42, no. 39-40, pp. 2575-2583. http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/00222930701637423.
http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/00222930701637...
; Cosendey et al., 2016COSENDEY, B.N., ROCHA, C.F.D. and MENEZES, V.A., 2016. Population density and conservation status of the teiid lizard Cnemidophorus littoralis, an endangered species endemic to the sandy coastal plains (restinga habitats) of Rio de Janeiro state, Brazil. Journal of Coastal Conservation, vol. 20, no. 2, pp. 97-106. http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s11852-016-0421-4.
http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s11852-016-042...
; Oliveira et al., in pressOLIVEIRA, J.C.F., CASTRO, T.M.C., FERREGUETTI, A.C. and ROCHA, C.F.D., in press. Factors affecting abundance and occurrence of an endemic and threatened whiptail lizard from Brazilian sandy coastal plains. South American Journal of Herpetology). The effects of habitat structure on the occurrence of G. littoralis was evaluated in the restinga of Grussaí, in the state of Rio de Janeiro, and it was demonstrated that habitat destruction and alteration negatively affect its populations, considerably reducing the density and abundance of individuals (Cosendey et al., 2016COSENDEY, B.N., ROCHA, C.F.D. and MENEZES, V.A., 2016. Population density and conservation status of the teiid lizard Cnemidophorus littoralis, an endangered species endemic to the sandy coastal plains (restinga habitats) of Rio de Janeiro state, Brazil. Journal of Coastal Conservation, vol. 20, no. 2, pp. 97-106. http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s11852-016-0421-4.
http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s11852-016-042...
; Oliveira et al., in pressOLIVEIRA, J.C.F., CASTRO, T.M.C., FERREGUETTI, A.C. and ROCHA, C.F.D., in press. Factors affecting abundance and occurrence of an endemic and threatened whiptail lizard from Brazilian sandy coastal plains. South American Journal of Herpetology). We also studied the reproductive biology of A. ocellifera, A. nativo, G. abaetensis, G. littoralis and Contomastix lacertoides (Duméril & Bibron, 1839) from 16 populations from different sandy coastal plains along the Brazilian coast and we observed that these five species (one parthenogenetic and four bisexual) are somewhat similar in their reproductive characteristics as, for example, clutch size (Menezes and Rocha, 2013MENEZES, V.A. and ROCHA, C.F.D., 2013. Geographic distribution, population densities, and issues on conservation of whiptail lizards in restinga habitats along the eastern coast of Brazil. North-Western Journal of Zoology, vol. 9, pp. 337-344.).

Another important contribution of our studies regards the knowledge on the biology and ecology of skinks (Mabuyidae) in restingas: parasites (Cunha-Barros and Rocha, 1995CUNHA-BARROS, M. and ROCHA, C.F.D., 1995. Parasitismo por ácaros Eutrombicula alfredugesi (Trombiculae) em duas espécies simpátricas de Mabuya (Sauria: Scincidae): Efeito do habitat na prevalência e intensidade parasitária. Oecologia Brasiliensis, vol. 1, pp. 307-316. http://dx.doi.org/10.4257/oeco.1995.0101.19.
http://dx.doi.org/10.4257/oeco.1995.0101...
; Vrcibradic et al., 2000VRCIBRADIC, D., CUNHA-BARROS, M., VICENTE, J.J., GALDINO, C.A.B., HATANO, F.H., VAN SLUYS, M. and ROCHA, C.F.D., 2000. Nematode infection patterns in four sympatric lizards from a restinga habitat (Jurubatiba) in Rio de Janeiro, southeastern Brazil. Amphibia-Reptilia, vol. 21, no. 2, pp. 307-316. http://dx.doi.org/10.1163/156853800507507.
https://doi.org/10.1163/156853800507507...
, 2002aVRCIBRADIC, D., ROCHA, C.F.D., BURSEY, C.R. and VICENTE, J.J., 2002a. Helminths infecting Mabuya agilis (Lacertilia: Scincidae) in a ‘restinga’ habitat (Grumari) of Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. Amphibia-Reptilia, vol. 23, no. 2, pp. 109-114. http://dx.doi.org/10.1590/S1519-69842003000100017.
https://doi.org/10.1590/S1519-6984200300...
, 2002bVRCIBRADIC, D., ROCHA, C.F.D., BURSEY, C.R. and VICENTE, J.J., 2002b. Helminth communities of two sympatric skinks (Mabuya agilis and Mabuya macrohyncha) from two ‘restinga’ habitats in southeastern Brazil. Journal of Helminthology, vol. 76, no. 4, pp. 335-361. http://dx.doi.org/10.1079/JOH2002134. PMid:12498639.
http://dx.doi.org/10.1079/JOH2002134...
), diet (Vrcibradic and Rocha, 1995VRCIBRADIC, D. and ROCHA, C.F.D., 1995. Variação sazonal na dieta de Mabuya macrorhyncha (Sauria, Scincidae) na restinga da Barra de Maricá, RJ. Oecologia Brasiliensis, vol. 1, no. 01, pp. 143-153. http://dx.doi.org/10.4257/oeco.1995.0101.05.
http://dx.doi.org/10.4257/oeco.1995.0101...
, 1996VRCIBRADIC, D. and ROCHA, C.F.D., 1996. Ecological differences in tropical sympatric skinks (Mabuya macrorhyncha and Mabuya agilis) in southeastern Brazil. Journal of Herpetology, vol. 30, no. 1, pp. 60-67. http://dx.doi.org/10.2307/1564707.
http://dx.doi.org/10.2307/1564707...
, 2002bVRCIBRADIC, D. and ROCHA, C.F.D., 2002b. Ecology of Mabuya agilis (Raddi) (Lacertilia, Scincidae) at the restinga of Grumari, Rio de Janeiro, southeastern Brazil. Revista Brasileira de Zoologia, vol. 19, suppl. 2, pp. 19-29. http://dx.doi.org/10.1590/S0101-81752002000600002.
http://dx.doi.org/10.1590/S0101-81752002...
; Rocha et al., 2004cROCHA, C.F.D., VRCIBRADIC, D. and VAN SLUYS, M., 2004c. Diet of the lizard Mabuya agilis (Sauria; Scincidae) in an insular habitat (Ilha Grande, RJ, Brazil). Brazilian Journal of Biology = Revista Brasileira de Biologia, vol. 64, no. 1, pp. 135-139. http://dx.doi.org/10.1590/S1519-69842004000100015. PMid:15195372.
http://dx.doi.org/10.1590/S1519-69842004...
), microhabitat use (Vrcibradic and Rocha, 1996VRCIBRADIC, D. and ROCHA, C.F.D., 1996. Ecological differences in tropical sympatric skinks (Mabuya macrorhyncha and Mabuya agilis) in southeastern Brazil. Journal of Herpetology, vol. 30, no. 1, pp. 60-67. http://dx.doi.org/10.2307/1564707.
http://dx.doi.org/10.2307/1564707...
; Vrcibradic and Rocha, 2002bVRCIBRADIC, D. and ROCHA, C.F.D., 2002b. Ecology of Mabuya agilis (Raddi) (Lacertilia, Scincidae) at the restinga of Grumari, Rio de Janeiro, southeastern Brazil. Revista Brasileira de Zoologia, vol. 19, suppl. 2, pp. 19-29. http://dx.doi.org/10.1590/S0101-81752002000600002.
http://dx.doi.org/10.1590/S0101-81752002...
), thermal ecology (Rocha and Vrcibradic, 1996ROCHA, C.F.D. and VRCIBRADIC, D., 1996. Thermal biology of two sympatric skinks (Mabuya macrorhyncha and Mabuya agilis) in a Brazilian restinga habitat. Australian Journal of Ecology, vol. 21, no. 1, pp. 110-113. http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/j.1442-9993.1996.tb00590.x.
http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/j.1442-9993.19...
; Vrcibradic and Rocha, 2002aVRCIBRADIC, D. and ROCHA, C.F.D., 2002a. Use of cacti as heat sources by thermoregulating Mabuya agilis (Raddi) and Mabuya macrorhyncha Hoge (Lacertilia; Scincidae) in two restinga habitats in southeastern Brazil. Revista Brasileira de Zoologia, vol. 19, no. 1, pp. 77-83. http://dx.doi.org/10.1590/S0101-81752002000100005.
http://dx.doi.org/10.1590/S0101-81752002...
, 2004VRCIBRADIC, D. and ROCHA, C.F.D., 2004. Field body temperatures of pregnant and nonpregnant females of three species of viviparous skinks (Mabuya) from southeastern Brazil. Journal of Herpetology, vol. 38, no. 3, pp. 447-451. http://dx.doi.org/10.1670/129-03N.
http://dx.doi.org/10.1670/129-03N...
), and reproduction (Rocha and Vrcibradic, 1999ROCHA, C.F.D. and VRCIBRADIC, D., 1999. Reproductive traits of two sympatric skinks (Mabuya macrorhyncha and M. agilis) in a Brazilian restinga habitat. The Herpetological Journal, vol. 9, no. 2, pp. 43-53.; Rocha et al., 2002ROCHA, C.F.D., VRCIBRADIC, D., TEIXEIRA, R.L. and CUZZUOL, M.G.T., 2002. Interpopulational variation in litter size of the skink Mabuya agilis in southeastern Brazil. Copeia, vol. 2002, no. 3, pp. 857-864.; Vrcibradic and Rocha, 2002bVRCIBRADIC, D. and ROCHA, C.F.D., 2002b. Ecology of Mabuya agilis (Raddi) (Lacertilia, Scincidae) at the restinga of Grumari, Rio de Janeiro, southeastern Brazil. Revista Brasileira de Zoologia, vol. 19, suppl. 2, pp. 19-29. http://dx.doi.org/10.1590/S0101-81752002000600002.
http://dx.doi.org/10.1590/S0101-81752002...
). Autoecological studies were also done on one of the commonest and widest-ranging species in the coastal sandy plains, the tropidurid Tropidurus torquatus, with studies addressing diet (Bergallo and Rocha, 1994BERGALLO, H.G. and ROCHA, C.F D., 1994. Spatial and trophic niche differentiation in two sympatric lizards (Tropiduridus torquatus and Cnemidophorus ocellifer) with different foraging tatics. Australian Journal of Ecology, vol. 19, no. 1, pp. 72-75. https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1442-9993.1994.tb01545.x
https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1442-9993.1994...
; Fialho et al., 2000FIALHO, R.F., ROCHA, C.F.D. and VRCIBRADIC, D., 2000. Feeding Ecology of Tropidurus torquatus: ontogenetic shift in plant consumption and seasonal trends in diet. Journal of Herpetology, vol. 34, no. 2, pp. 325-330. http://dx.doi.org/10.2307/1565437.
http://dx.doi.org/10.2307/1565437...
), thermal ecology and activity patterns (Bergallo and Rocha, 1993BERGALLO, H.G. and ROCHA, C.F.D., 1993. Activity patterns and body temperatures of two sympatric lizards with different foraging tactics in southeastern Brazil. Amphibia-Reptilia, vol. 14, no. 7, pp. 312-315. https://doi.org/10.1163/156853893X00525
https://doi.org/10.1163/156853893X00525...
; Teixeira-Filho et al., 1996TEIXEIRA-FILHO, P.F., ROCHA, C.F.D. and RIBAS, S.C., 1996. Ecologia termal e uso do habitat por Tropidurus torquatus (Sauria: Tropiduridae) em uma área de restinga do sudeste do Brasil. In: J.E. PEFAUR, org. Herpetologia Neotropical. 1. ed. Merida, Venezuela: Consejo de Publicaciones - Universidad de Los Andes, pp. 255-267.; Hatano et al., 2001HATANO, F.H., VRCIBRADIC, D., GALDINO, C.A.B., CUNHA-BARROS, M., ROCHA, C.F.D. and VAN SLUYS, M., 2001. Thermal ecology and activity patterns of the lizard community of the restinga of Jurubatiba, Macaé, RJ. Brazilian Journal of Biology = Revista Brasleira de Biologia, vol. 61, no. 2, pp. 287-294. http://dx.doi.org/10.1590/S0034-71082001000200011. PMid:11514896.
http://dx.doi.org/10.1590/S0034-71082001...
), reproduction (Van Sluys et al., 2010VAN SLUYS, M., MARTELOTTE, S.B., KIEFER, M.C. and ROCHA, C.F.D., 2010. Reproduction in neotropical Tropidurus lizards (Tropiduridae): evaluating the effect of environmental factors on T. torquatus. Amphibia-Reptilia, vol. 31, no. 1, pp. 117-126. http://dx.doi.org/10.1163/156853810790457920.
http://dx.doi.org/10.1163/15685381079045...
), and parasitism by chigger mites (Cunha-Barros and Rocha, 2000CUNHA-BARROS, M. and ROCHA, C.F.D., 2000. Ectoparasitism by chigger mites (Eutrombicula alfredugesi: Trombiculidae) in a restinga lizard community. Ciência e Cultura, vol. 52, no. 2, pp. 108-114.; Cunha-Barros et al., 2003CUNHA-BARROS, M., VAN SLUYS, M., VRCIBRADIC, D., GALDINO, C.A.B., HATANO, F.H. and ROCHA, C.F.D., 2003. Patterns of infestation by chigger mites in four diurnal lizard species from a restinga habitat (Jurubatiba) of Southeastern Brazil. Brazilian Journal of Biology = Revista Brasileira de Biologia, vol. 63, no. 3, pp. 393-399. http://dx.doi.org/10.1590/S1519-69842003000300005. PMid:14758698.
http://dx.doi.org/10.1590/S1519-69842003...
) and by helminths (Ribas et al., 1998RIBAS, S.C., ROCHA, C.F.D., TEIXEIRA-FILHO, P. and VICENTE, J.J., 1998. Nematode infection in two sympatric lizards (Tropidurus torquatus and Ameiva ameiva) with different foraging tactics. Amphibia-Reptilia, vol. 19, no. 3, pp. 323-330. http://dx.doi.org/10.1163/156853898X00232.
http://dx.doi.org/10.1163/156853898X0023...
; Vrcibradic et al., 2000VRCIBRADIC, D., CUNHA-BARROS, M., VICENTE, J.J., GALDINO, C.A.B., HATANO, F.H., VAN SLUYS, M. and ROCHA, C.F.D., 2000. Nematode infection patterns in four sympatric lizards from a restinga habitat (Jurubatiba) in Rio de Janeiro, southeastern Brazil. Amphibia-Reptilia, vol. 21, no. 2, pp. 307-316. http://dx.doi.org/10.1163/156853800507507.
https://doi.org/10.1163/156853800507507...
). We also studied the ecological aspects of that species in a geographical context assessing how their populations may vary along its distributional range in the different restinga habitats regarding diet composition and degree of plant consumption (Dutra et al., 2011DUTRA, G.F., SIQUEIRA, C.C., VRCIBRADIC, D., KIEFER, M. and ROCHA, C.F.D., 2011. Plant consumption of insular and mainland populations of a tropical lizard. Herpetologica, vol. 67, no. 1, pp. 32-45. http://dx.doi.org/10.1655/HERPETOLOGICA-D-09-00009.1.
http://dx.doi.org/10.1655/HERPETOLOGICA-...
; Siqueira et al., 2011SIQUEIRA, C.C., KIEFER, M.C., VAN SLUYS, M. and ROCHA, C.F.D., 2011. Plant consumption in coastal populations of the lizard Tropidurus torquatus (Reptilia: Squamata: Tropiduridae): how do herbivory rates vary along their geographic range? Journal of Natural History, vol. 45, no. 3-4, pp. 171-182. http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/00222933.2010.520826.
http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/00222933.2010....
, 2013SIQUEIRA, C.C., KIEFER, M.C., VAN SLUYS, M. and ROCHA, C.F.D., 2013. Variation in the diet of the lizard Tropidurus torquatus along its coastal range in Brazil. Biota Neotropica, vol. 13, no. 3, pp. 93-101. http://dx.doi.org/10.1590/S1676-06032013000300012.
http://dx.doi.org/10.1590/S1676-06032013...
), thermal ecology (Kiefer et al., 2005KIEFER, M.C., VAN SLUYS, M. and ROCHA, C.F.D., 2005. Body temperatures of Tropidurus torquatus (Squamata, Tropiduridae) from coastal populations: Do body temperatures vary along their geographic range? Journal of Thermal Biology, vol. 30, no. 6, pp. 449-456. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jtherbio.2005.05.004.
https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jtherbio.2005....
, 2007KIEFER, M.C., VAN SLUYS, M. and ROCHA, C.F.D., 2007. Thermoregulatory behaviour in Tropidurus torquatus (Squamata, Tropiduridae) from Brazilian coastal populations: an estimate of passive and active thermoregulation in lizards. Acta Zoologica, vol. 88, no. 1, pp. 81-87. http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/j.1463-6395.2007.00254.x.
http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/j.1463-6395.20...
), and reproductive traits (Kiefer et al., 2008KIEFER, M.C., VAN SLUYS, M. and ROCHA, C.F.D., 2008. Clutch and egg size of the tropical lizard Tropidurus torquatus (Tropiduridae) along its geographic range in coastal eastern Brazil. Canadian Journal of Zoology, vol. 86, no. 12, pp. 1376-1388. http://dx.doi.org/10.1139/Z08-106.
http://dx.doi.org/10.1139/Z08-106...
).

We also recorded the non-indigenous gekkonid Hemidactylus mabouia, a species of African origin, as invasive in different restinga habitats (e.g. Hatano et al., 2001HATANO, F.H., VRCIBRADIC, D., GALDINO, C.A.B., CUNHA-BARROS, M., ROCHA, C.F.D. and VAN SLUYS, M., 2001. Thermal ecology and activity patterns of the lizard community of the restinga of Jurubatiba, Macaé, RJ. Brazilian Journal of Biology = Revista Brasleira de Biologia, vol. 61, no. 2, pp. 287-294. http://dx.doi.org/10.1590/S0034-71082001000200011. PMid:11514896.
http://dx.doi.org/10.1590/S0034-71082001...
; Rocha and Bergallo, 2011ROCHA, C.F.D. and BERGALLO, H.G., 2011. Conquering Brazil: the invasion by the exotic gekkonid lizard Hemidactylus mabouia (Squamata) in Brazilian natural environments. Zoologia, vol. 28, no. 6, pp. 747-754. http://dx.doi.org/10.1590/S1984-46702011000600007.
http://dx.doi.org/10.1590/S1984-46702011...
; Telles et al., 2015TELLES, F.B.S., MILITÃO, C.M., BERGALLO, H.G. and ROCHA, C.F.D., 2015. Invasion of the alien gecko Hemidactylus mabouia (Moureau de Jonnès, 1818) in a natural habitat at Praia do Sul Biological Reserve, Ilha Grande, RJ, Brazil. Brazilian Journal of Biology = Revista Brasileira de Biologia, vol. 75, no. 3, pp. 768-770. http://dx.doi.org/10.1590/1519-6984.19614. PMid:26292102.
http://dx.doi.org/10.1590/1519-6984.1961...
; Oliveira et al., 2016OLIVEIRA, J.C.F., WINCK, G.R., PEREIRA-RIBEIRO, J. and ROCHA, C.F.D., 2016. Anthropogenic effect or niche preference? contributions to the knowledge of Hemidactylus mabouia invasion in South America. North-Western Journal of Zoology, vol. 12, no. 2, pp. 389-392.; Winck et al., 2016WINCK, G.R., HATANO, F., VRCIBRADIC, D., VAN SLUYS, M. and ROCHA, C.F.D., 2016. Lizard assemblage from a sand dune habitat from southeastern Brazil: a niche overlap analysis. Anais da Academia Brasileira de Ciências, vol. 88, suppl. 1, pp. 677-687. http://dx.doi.org/10.1590/0001-3765201620150335. PMid:27142553.
http://dx.doi.org/10.1590/0001-376520162...
). In one study we analyzed the lizard species in 16 restinga habitats encompassing three Brazilian states (Rio de Janeiro, Espírito Santo and Bahia) and along more than 1500 km of Brazilian coast, registering this invasive lizard in some of them (Rocha et al., 2014ROCHA, C.F.D., VRCIBRADIC, D., KIEFER, M.C., MENEZES, V.A., FONTES, A.F., HATANO, F.H., GALDINO, C.A., BERGALLO, H.G. and VAN SLUYS, M., 2014. Species composition, richness and nestedness of lizard assemblages from Restinga habitats along the Brazilian coast. Brazilian Journal of Biology = Revista Brasileira de Biologia, vol. 74, no. 2, pp. 349-354. http://dx.doi.org/10.1590/1519-6984.18712. PMid:25166319.
http://dx.doi.org/10.1590/1519-6984.1871...
). In another study we reported that species in natural habitats in four sites in Espírito Santo state and evaluated the environmental factors at each site that presumably facilitate the invasion and the establishment of the species in natural environments (Oliveira et al., 2016OLIVEIRA, J.C.F., WINCK, G.R., PEREIRA-RIBEIRO, J. and ROCHA, C.F.D., 2016. Anthropogenic effect or niche preference? contributions to the knowledge of Hemidactylus mabouia invasion in South America. North-Western Journal of Zoology, vol. 12, no. 2, pp. 389-392.). That study suggested that H. mabouia may be benefiting from human alterations in sandy dune habitats of Brazil, especially through vegetation removal. Regarding biotic interactions, Winck et al. (2017)WINCK, G.R., ALMEIDA-SANTOS, M., DORIGO, T.A., TELLES, F.B.S. and ROCHA, C.F.D., 2017. When invasion may not be harmful: niche relations in a lizard assemblage. Biotropica, vol. 49, no. 1, pp. 117-129. http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/btp.12348.
http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/btp.12348...
showed that H. mabouia does not seem to have significant effects on native lizard populations, through niche evaluation. Our studies regarding this lizard as a component of several communities in natural habitats in Brazilian restingas (Hatano et al., 2001HATANO, F.H., VRCIBRADIC, D., GALDINO, C.A.B., CUNHA-BARROS, M., ROCHA, C.F.D. and VAN SLUYS, M., 2001. Thermal ecology and activity patterns of the lizard community of the restinga of Jurubatiba, Macaé, RJ. Brazilian Journal of Biology = Revista Brasleira de Biologia, vol. 61, no. 2, pp. 287-294. http://dx.doi.org/10.1590/S0034-71082001000200011. PMid:11514896.
http://dx.doi.org/10.1590/S0034-71082001...
, Oliveira et al., 2016OLIVEIRA, J.C.F., WINCK, G.R., PEREIRA-RIBEIRO, J. and ROCHA, C.F.D., 2016. Anthropogenic effect or niche preference? contributions to the knowledge of Hemidactylus mabouia invasion in South America. North-Western Journal of Zoology, vol. 12, no. 2, pp. 389-392.; Winck et al., 2016WINCK, G.R., HATANO, F., VRCIBRADIC, D., VAN SLUYS, M. and ROCHA, C.F.D., 2016. Lizard assemblage from a sand dune habitat from southeastern Brazil: a niche overlap analysis. Anais da Academia Brasileira de Ciências, vol. 88, suppl. 1, pp. 677-687. http://dx.doi.org/10.1590/0001-3765201620150335. PMid:27142553.
http://dx.doi.org/10.1590/0001-376520162...
, 2017WINCK, G.R., ALMEIDA-SANTOS, M., DORIGO, T.A., TELLES, F.B.S. and ROCHA, C.F.D., 2017. When invasion may not be harmful: niche relations in a lizard assemblage. Biotropica, vol. 49, no. 1, pp. 117-129. http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/btp.12348.
http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/btp.12348...
) suggested that it may be expanding its distribution in natural environments in Brazil in the last decades, and that invasion is favored in open habitats such as coastal sandy plain habitats in Brazil (Rocha and Bergallo, 2011ROCHA, C.F.D. and BERGALLO, H.G., 2011. Conquering Brazil: the invasion by the exotic gekkonid lizard Hemidactylus mabouia (Squamata) in Brazilian natural environments. Zoologia, vol. 28, no. 6, pp. 747-754. http://dx.doi.org/10.1590/S1984-46702011000600007.
http://dx.doi.org/10.1590/S1984-46702011...
). We also recorded an established invasive population of Iguana iguana (Linnaeus, 1758) in Vila Velha, in Espírito Santo state, whose occurrence was suggested as resulting from the release of pet individuals in natural areas (Oliveira and Castro, 2017OLIVEIRA, J.C.F. and CASTRO, T.M., 2017. Range extension of Iguana iguana Linnaeus, 1758 (Squamata: Iguanidae): the first record of an established population in southeastern Brazil. Check List, vol. 13, no. 2, pp. 1-4. http://dx.doi.org/10.15560/13.2.2097.
http://dx.doi.org/10.15560/13.2.2097...
).

Regarding Testudines, we evaluated the first-order effects of fire and of a prolonged drought on a semi-aquatic turtle species (Rhinoclemmys sp. nov.) on the “campo nativo” and in adjacent areas in Espírito Santo state, and our results provided important insights on the mortality of turtles caused by non-natural fires and droughts in southeastern Brazil (Oliveira et al., 2018OLIVEIRA, J.C.F., CASTRO, T.M., SILVA-SOARES, T. and ROCHA, C.F.D., 2018. First-order effects of fire and prolonged-drought effects on an undescribed semi-aquatic turtle in Atlantic rainforest in southeastern Brazil. Journal of Coastal Conservation, vol. 23, pp. 1-6. http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s11852-018-0668-z.
https://doi.org/10.1007/s11852-018-0668-...
).

Our studies also helped to fill important knowledge gaps on reptile communities of the sandy coastal plains of Brazil and significantly contributed with information for conservation of such environments. For example, we studied the effect of habitat structure on Squamata reptile species in ten different sites in Bahia state (Dias and Rocha, 2014DIAS, E.J.R. and ROCHA, C.F.D., 2014. Habitat structural effect on Squamata Fauna of the Restinga Ecosystem in Northeastern Brazil. Anais da Academia Brasileira de Ciências, vol. 86, no. 1, pp. 359-371. http://dx.doi.org/10.1590/0001-3765201420130006. PMid:24676173.
http://dx.doi.org/10.1590/0001-376520142...
), and in five different sites in Espírito Santo state (Oliveira et al., 2019OLIVEIRA, J.C.F., PEREIRA-RIBEIRO, J., WINCK, G.R. and ROCHA, C.F.D., 2019. Lizard assemblages on sandy coastal plains in southeastern Brazil: an analysis of occurrence and composition, and the role of habitat structure. Anais da Academia Brasileira de Ciências, vol. 91, no. 1, pp. e20170403. http://dx.doi.org/10.1590/0001-3765201820170403. PMid:30569964.
http://dx.doi.org/10.1590/0001-376520182...
). Lizard communities on sandy coastal plains of Espírito Santo state tend to be similar regarding richness and abundance of species (Oliveira et al., 2019OLIVEIRA, J.C.F., PEREIRA-RIBEIRO, J., WINCK, G.R. and ROCHA, C.F.D., 2019. Lizard assemblages on sandy coastal plains in southeastern Brazil: an analysis of occurrence and composition, and the role of habitat structure. Anais da Academia Brasileira de Ciências, vol. 91, no. 1, pp. e20170403. http://dx.doi.org/10.1590/0001-3765201820170403. PMid:30569964.
http://dx.doi.org/10.1590/0001-376520182...
). In general, the highest lizard species richness is in shrubby vegetation and/or in open Clusia zones. The species from this ecosystem are specifically associated with some microhabitats and mesohabitats, for example, teiid lizards are associated with the presence of bromeliads on open habitats (Oliveira et al., 2019OLIVEIRA, J.C.F., PEREIRA-RIBEIRO, J., WINCK, G.R. and ROCHA, C.F.D., 2019. Lizard assemblages on sandy coastal plains in southeastern Brazil: an analysis of occurrence and composition, and the role of habitat structure. Anais da Academia Brasileira de Ciências, vol. 91, no. 1, pp. e20170403. http://dx.doi.org/10.1590/0001-3765201820170403. PMid:30569964.
http://dx.doi.org/10.1590/0001-376520182...
). We also explored the biotic relations among lizard species within communities in sandy coastal plains in Rio de Janeiro state, showing how the species partitioned meso and microhabitats and analyzing their realized niches, and revealed that the trophic axis is the most important niche element structuring those lizard communities (Winck et al., 2016WINCK, G.R., HATANO, F., VRCIBRADIC, D., VAN SLUYS, M. and ROCHA, C.F.D., 2016. Lizard assemblage from a sand dune habitat from southeastern Brazil: a niche overlap analysis. Anais da Academia Brasileira de Ciências, vol. 88, suppl. 1, pp. 677-687. http://dx.doi.org/10.1590/0001-3765201620150335. PMid:27142553.
http://dx.doi.org/10.1590/0001-376520162...
, 2017WINCK, G.R., ALMEIDA-SANTOS, M., DORIGO, T.A., TELLES, F.B.S. and ROCHA, C.F.D., 2017. When invasion may not be harmful: niche relations in a lizard assemblage. Biotropica, vol. 49, no. 1, pp. 117-129. http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/btp.12348.
http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/btp.12348...
). We also filled a gap of knowledge on Squamata species from Lençóis Maranhenses National Park, in Maranhão state, which led to the first reptile inventory for the area, resulting in the register of 42 species (Miranda et al., 2012MIRANDA, J.P., ROCHA, C.F.D. and COSTA, J.C.L., 2012. Reptiles from Lençóis Maranhenses National Park, Maranhão, northeastern Brazil. ZooKeys, vol. 246, no. 246, pp. 51-68. http://dx.doi.org/10.3897/zookeys.246.2593. PMid:23275751.
http://dx.doi.org/10.3897/zookeys.246.25...
). Additionally, a recent study with the lizard community on a “campo nativo” habitat from Linhares, Espírito Santo state, showed that this formation presented greater abundance of lizards when compared to the adjacent forest formations, and also harbored exclusive species, such as the endemic and endangered lizard Ameivula nativo.

Regarding anuran amphibians, our studies focused mainly on species composition of communities. For example, a survey of anurans from the Restinga de Maciambu, in Santa Catarina state, southern Brazil, recorded 15 species during fieldwork (Wachlevski and Rocha, 2010WACHLEVSKI, M. and ROCHA, C.F.D., 2010. Amphibia, Anura, restinga of Baixada do Maciambu, municipality of Palhoça, state of Santa Catarina, southern Brazil. Check List, vol. 6, no. 4, pp. 602-604. http://dx.doi.org/10.15560/6.4.602.
http://dx.doi.org/10.15560/6.4.602...
). A study on community structure of anurans in five sites along sandy coastal plains of Espírito Santo recorded 32 species and suggested that frog species composition was not related to habitat structure in general, but rather to the availability of spawning sites (sources of freestanding water), which appears to be the most important ecological factor structuring those communities (Oliveira et al., 2017OLIVEIRA, J.C.F., WINCK, G.R., PEREIRA-RIBEIRO, J. and ROCHA, C.F.D., 2017. Local environmental factors influence the structure of frog communities on the sandy coastal plains of Southeastern Brazil. Herpetologica, vol. 73, no. 4, pp. 307-312. http://dx.doi.org/10.1655/Herpetologica-D-16-00075.1.
http://dx.doi.org/10.1655/Herpetologica-...
). In the “campo nativo” habitat in Linhares, Espírito Santo, the studies that evaluated the seasonal variation and the pattern of anuran activity indicated that the abundance of individuals in this formation remains relatively stable during the dry and rainy seasons, probably due to the amount of free water deposited inside tank-bromeliads (Pereira-Ribeiro et al., 2020PEREIRA-RIBEIRO, J., FERREGUETTI, A.C., BERGALLO, H.G. and ROCHA, C.F.D., 2020. Changes in the community structure of anurans in the coastal plain forest, southeastern Brazil. Ecological Research, vol. 35, pp. 1-10. https://doi.org/10.1111/1440-1703.12108.
https://doi.org/10.1111/1440-1703.12108...
). Another study evaluated frog species richness, community composition and β-diversity in ten sites along the coasts of Rio de Janeiro, Espírito Santo and Bahia states, showing that beta-diversity of frogs change along the coast and that the rate of species turnover was partially affected by the geographical distance among areas (Rocha et al., 2008dROCHA, C.F.D., HATANO, F.H., VRCIBRADIC, D. and VAN SLUYS, M., 2008d. Frog species richness, composition and beta-diversity in coastal Brazilian restinga habitats. Brazilian Journal of Biology = Revista Brasileira de Biologia, vol. 68, no. 1, pp. 101-107. http://dx.doi.org/10.1590/S1519-69842008000100014. PMid:18470383.
http://dx.doi.org/10.1590/S1519-69842008...
). We also produced data regarding the important effects of fire on local anuran fauna in some areas: Rocha et al. (2008a)ROCHA, C.F.D., ARIANI, C.V., MENEZES, V.A. and VRCIBRADIC, D., 2008a. Effects of a fire on a population of treefrogs (Scinax cf. alter) in a restinga habitat in southern Brazil. Brazilian Journal of Biology = Revista Brasileira de Biologia, vol. 68, no. 3, pp. 539-543. http://dx.doi.org/10.1590/S1519-69842008000300011. PMid:18833475.
http://dx.doi.org/10.1590/S1519-69842008...
estimated the impact of a fire on Scinax tymbamirim (= S. cf. alter; see Nunes et al., 2012NUNES, I., KWET, A. and POMBAL JUNIOR, J.P., 2012. Taxonomic revision of the Scinax alter species complex (Anura: hylidae). Copeia, vol. 2012, no. 3, pp. 554-569. http://dx.doi.org/10.1643/CH-11-088.
http://dx.doi.org/10.1643/CH-11-088...
) at Dunas da Joaquina, in Santa Catarina state, by comparing data on the density and diet composition of the frogs in the area affected by the fire and in an adjacent area that had not been burned. The authors concluded that fire affected negatively the local population of S. tymbamirim through the charring of their main shelters (i.e. bromeliads) or indirectly by depleting its main food source (i.e. invertebrates). The effects of fire were also estimated for the anuran community of Parque Estadual Paulo César Vinha, at Setiba, Espírito Santo. Data collected two years before and two years after the fire demonstrated the negative effect of fire mainly by eliminating microhabitats of the different species. Additionally, we reviewed data on anuran species living in restinga habitats, resulting in a checklist of the species’ occurrences and endemisms based on the current knowledge of frog species living on these ecosystems (Oliveira and Rocha, 2015OLIVEIRA, J.C.F. and ROCHA, C.F.D., 2015. A review on the anurofauna of Brazil’s sandy coastal plains. How much do we know about it? Journal of Coastal Conservation, vol. 19, no. 1, pp. 35-49. http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s11852-014-0354-8.
http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s11852-014-035...
). That review showed that the relative lack of studies on the anurofauna and the high rate of habitat degradation are negative factors that can lead to frog population extirpations or extinctions in these environments before we can even begin to understand the patterns and processes that act on local anuran communities.

The degree of habitat loss and the risk of disappearance of sandy coastal plains remnants have been evaluated by our team based on satellite images and data from fieldwork and the record of factors that might cause environmental degradation (Rocha et al., 2007ROCHA, C.F.D., BERGALLO, H.G., VAN SLUYS, M., ALVES, M.A.S. and JAMEL, C.E., 2007. The remnants of restinga habitats in the Brazilian Atlantic Forest of Rio de Janeiro state, Brazil: habitat loss and risk of disappearance. Brazilian Journal of Biology = Revista Brasileira de Biologia, vol. 67, no. 2, pp. 263-273. http://dx.doi.org/10.1590/S1519-69842007000200011. PMid:17876436.
http://dx.doi.org/10.1590/S1519-69842007...
). That study showed that all sites evaluated had disturbed portions under strong pressure due to human activities. To sum up, the herpetofaunal studies of the Laboratório de Ecologia de Vertebrados along the last 31 years constitute not only a contribution for the understanding of different aspects of the ecology of anuran amphibian and reptile species in coastal ecosystems, but also provide valuable information for their conservation in those habitats (e.g. Dias and Rocha, 2005DIAS, E.J.R. and ROCHA, C.F.D., 2005. Os Répteis nas restingas da Bahia: pesquisa e ações para sua conservação. 1. ed. Rio de Janeiro: Instituto Biomas, 36 p.; Rocha et al., 2003ROCHA, C.F.D., BERGALLO, H.G., ALVES, M.A.S. and VAN SLUYS, M., 2003. A biodiversidade nos grandes remanescentes florestais do Estado do Rio de Janeiro e nas restingas dos corredores da Mata Atlântica. São Carlos: Rima Editora, 160 p., 2005ROCHA, C.F.D., VAN SLUYS, M., BERGALLO, H.G. and ALVES, M.A.S., 2005. Endemic and threatened tetrapods in the restingas of the biodiversity corridors of Serra do Mar and of the central da Mata Atlântica in Eastern Brazil. Brazilian Journal of Biology = Revista Brasileira de Biologia, vol. 65, no. 1, pp. 159-168. http://dx.doi.org/10.1590/S1519-69842005000100019. PMid:16025914.
http://dx.doi.org/10.1590/S1519-69842005...
, 2008bROCHA, C.F.D., ARIANI, C.V. and SIQUEIRA, C.C., 2008b. Liolaemus lutzae Mertens 1938. In: M. MACHADO, G. DRUMMOND and A. PAGLIA, orgs. Livro vermelho da fauna brasileira ameaçada de extinção. Brasília, DF: Ministério do Meio Ambiente e Fundação Biodiversitas, vol. 2, pp. 345-347., 2008cROCHA, C.F.D., DIAS, E.J.R. and MENEZES, V.A., 2008c. Cnemidophorus abaetensis Dias, Rocha & Vrcibradic, 2002. In: M. MACHADO, G. DRUMMOND and A. PAGLIA, orgs. Livro vermelho da fauna brasileira ameaçada de extinção. Brasília, DF: Ministério do Meio Ambiente e Fundação Biodiversitas, vol. 2, pp. 339-340., 2008eROCHA, C.F.D., MENEZES, V.A. and BERGALLO, H.G., 2008e. Cnemidophorus nativo Rocha, Bergallo & Peccinini-Seale, 1997. In: M. MACHADO, G. DRUMMOND and A. PAGLIA, orgs. Livro vermelho da fauna brasileira ameaçada de extinção. Brasília, DF: Ministério do Meio Ambiente e Fundação Biodiversitas, vol. 2, pp. 342-343., 2008fROCHA, C.F.D., VRCIBRADIC, D. and MENEZES, V.A., 2008f. Cnemidophorus littoralis Rocha, Araújo, Vrcibradic & Costa, 2000. In: M. MACHADO, G. DRUMMOND and A. PAGLIA, orgs. Livro vermelho da fauna brasileira ameaçada de extinção. Brasília, DF: Ministério do Meio Ambiente e Fundação Biodiversitas, vol. 2, pp. 340-341., 2009bROCHA, C.F.D., SIQUEIRA, C.C. and ARIANI, C.V., 2009b. A conservação de Liolaemus lutzae: Lagarto endêmico das restingas do Estado do Rio de Janeiro ameaçado de extinção. Rio de Janeiro: Instituto Biomas, 40 p.). The present checklist of our records of Brazilian sandy coastal plains’ herpetofauna provides, for many localities along the Brazilian coast, the needed knowledge on the species’ occurrence in certain localities, local species composition, and presence of endemics or of endangered species, which is of potential value for many conservation actions.

Appendix 1   List of the main projects developed between 1988 and 2019 in the Laboratory of Vertebrate Ecology (Universidade do Estado do Rio de Janeiro) that yielded information on herpetofauna from Brazilian sandy coastal plains.

Project Years
Comunidade de répteis da restinga da Barra de Maricá, Rio de Janeiro 1988-1995
Comunidade de répteis da Reserva Natural Vale, Linhares 1987-1992
Variação nas comunidades de lagartos ao longo das costas dos estados do Rio de Janeiro, Espírito Santo e Bahia 1995- 1997
Lagartos em três restingas e três ilhas do Arquipélago dos Abrolhos na Bahia 2000
Diversidade, Ecologia e composição dos répteis da restinga de Jurubatiba (PELD/CNPq/Jurubatiba) 1996-2006
Projeto Expedição Restingas Brasileiras 1997- 1999
Ecologia e conservação das comunidades de répteis em restingas da costa do Estado da Bahia 1999-2006
Comunidades de lagartos nos remanescentes de restinga do Estado do Rio de Janeiro 2008-2012
Os anfíbios da restinga de Grumari, RJ, Brasil 2008-2011
A anurofauna da Reserva Biológica Estadual da Praia do Sul 2010-2015
As comunidades de anfíbios e lagartos dos remanescentes de restinga do Estado do Espírito Santo 2011-2015
Os efeitos do fogo sobre a comunidade de anfíbios em uma restinga no sudeste do Brasil 2014-2016
Ecologia e conservação da comunidade de anfíbios e répteis do Parque Nacional dos Lençóis Maranhenses 2004-2007
Anfíbios anuros do Parque Estadual da Serra do Tabuleiro: composição, distribuição e conservação 2007-2011
Mapeamento da ocorrência, distribuição, status de conservação de répteis endêmicos e ameaçados em restingas da porção baiana do Corredor de Biodiversidade Central da Mata Atlântica 2003-2005
Ecologia e conservação das populações remanescentes do lagarto-branco-da-praia Liolaemus lutzae no litoral do Estado do Rio de Janeiro 2009-2014
Risco de extinção de lagartos ameaçados na costa leste do Brasil: ligando mudanças climáticas globais, ecologia térmica, metais pesados e a genética para a conservação das espécies 2012 - present
As comunidades de anfíbios e répteis em uma área de Floresta de Tabuleiro na Mata Atlântica do Espírito Santo: fatores influenciando na estruturação das comunidades 2015 - present

Appendix 2   Voucher specimens of taxa recorded during field samplings in restingas by the research team of the Laboratory of Vertebrate Ecology (Universidade do Estado do Rio de Janeiro) that have not yet figured in articles published by the team. Legend: LABEVA: Laboratório de Biologia e Ecologia de Vertebrados of the Universidade Federal de Sergipe, Sergipe State; MBML: Museu de Biologia Professor Melo Leitão, Espírito Santo state.

Taxa Voucher
ANURA
Boana raniceps LABEVA 127-129, 1114-1115
Dendropsophus nanus LABEVA 51-54, 283-286
Dermatonotus muelleri LABEVA 59, 639
Elachistocleis cesarii LABEVA 36, 1106,1118
Gastrotheca fissipes LABEVA 1057
Leptodactylus macrosternum LABEVA 39-41
Leptodactylus mystaceus LABEVA 69
Leptodactylus natalensis LABEVA 62-63
Leptodactylus troglodytes LABEVA 466, 603, 753
Leptodactylus vastus LABEVA 49, 68, 191
Phyllodytes punctatus LABEVA 1134-1135
Pithecopus nordestinus LABEVA 624, 751
Pleurodema diplolister LABEVA 123-124, 146-147
SQUAMATA (snakes)
Cercophis auratus MBML 4033

Acknowledgements

CFDR benefitted from grants of CNPq (process n. 302974/2015-6 and 424473/2016-0) and from FAPERJ through “Cientistas do Nosso Estado” Program (process No. E-26/202.920.2015) and FAPERJ/Biota Program (process No. E-26/010.001639/2014). JCFO and PAS thanks Fundação Carlos Chagas Filho de Amparo à Pesquisa do Estado do Rio de Janeiro (FAPERJ) for her postdoctoral fellowship grants (Processes E-26/202.388/2017, E-26/101.412/2014). JPR thanks FAPERJ for the PhD scholarship (FAPERJ nota 10 - process No. E-26/201.756.2019). We thank Pedro Peloso for the photo of Melanophryniscus setiba. Conselho Nacional de Desenvolvimento Científico e Tecnológico (CNPQ) provides post doctoral research grant to GW (process n. 206876/2017-3). EDRD thanks the Aliança para Conservação da Mata Atlântica, IDEAWILD and Fundação O Boticário for research grants. VAM received a Visiting Professor Grant from FAPERJ/UERJ and currently receives PROTEC fellowship from FAPERJ/UEZO (process n° E-26/200.031/2019). MCK thanks CNPq (processes146442/1999-7 and 150353/2003-0) and FAPERJ (process E-26/171.168/2006). CCS thanks FAPERJ (Process E-26/202.477/2019) for the PhD fellowship grant. HGB benefitted from grants of the CNPq (process n° 307781/2014-3), and from FAPERJ through “Cientistas do Nosso Estado” Program (process n° E-26/201.267/2014) and Prociência-UERJ.

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  • VRCIBRADIC, D. and ROCHA, C.F.D., 2002a. Use of cacti as heat sources by thermoregulating Mabuya agilis (Raddi) and Mabuya macrorhyncha Hoge (Lacertilia; Scincidae) in two restinga habitats in southeastern Brazil. Revista Brasileira de Zoologia, vol. 19, no. 1, pp. 77-83. http://dx.doi.org/10.1590/S0101-81752002000100005
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  • WINCK, G.R., ALMEIDA-SANTOS, P. and ROCHA, C.F.D., 2014. Potential distribution of the endangered endemic lizard Liolaemus lutzae Mertens, 1938 (Liolaemidae): are there other suitable areas for a geographically restricted species? Brazilian Journal of Biology = Revista Brasileira de Biologia, vol. 74, no. 2, pp. 338-348. http://dx.doi.org/10.1590/1519-6984.18612 PMid:25166318.
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  • WINCK, G.R., HATANO, F., VRCIBRADIC, D., VAN SLUYS, M. and ROCHA, C.F.D., 2016. Lizard assemblage from a sand dune habitat from southeastern Brazil: a niche overlap analysis. Anais da Academia Brasileira de Ciências, vol. 88, suppl. 1, pp. 677-687. http://dx.doi.org/10.1590/0001-3765201620150335 PMid:27142553.
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Publication Dates

  • Publication in this collection
    23 Oct 2020
  • Date of issue
    Oct-Dec 2021

History

  • Received
    05 Oct 2019
  • Accepted
    21 Apr 2020
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