An Introduction to the Herpetology of Honduras
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Click on a department to view a list of the documented herpetofauna from that region

* For selected images and text regarding Honduran herpetofauna visit the link for Gracias a Dios

ATLÁNTIDA    CHOLUTECA    COLÓN     COMAYAGUA     COPÁN    CORTÉS        


EL PARAISO     FRANSISCO MORAZÁN     GRACIAS A DIOS    INTIBUCÁ     


ISLA DE LA BAHÍA     LA PAZ    LEMPIRA     OCOTEPEQUE     OLANCHO    


SANTA BÁRBARA     VALLE     YORO





  Central America has captivated the imagination and motivations of numerous biologist, archaeologist, zoologist, thrill seekers, and a host of other intrepid visitors.  Undoubtedly the motivating factor behind such a wide base of interest reflected towards this geographic location are the natural wonders possessed therein.  What makes Central America unique in the grand scope of the Western Hemisphere?  To begin one must first understand the definition of Central America.  Currently two definitions exist.  The first definition merely encapsulates political boundaries.  These boundaries contain Mexico, El Salvador, Belize, Guatemala, Honduras, Nicaragua, Costa Rica, and Panama.  The second type of definition used in reference to Central America rest upon geographic boundaries.  Under this definition, Central America is the land mass south of Mexico's Isthmus de Tehuantepec and north of the Panama Canal.
    Resting between two major land masses, Central America is believed to have played a vital role in dispersing and distributing many species of plants and animals between North and South America.  However, such conclusions have only been accomplished after several intensive studies documenting the distribution of flora and fauna had been conducted.  Biotic surveys provide science with a basal understanding regarding distribution, abundance, and the ecology of many species.  Through these basic understandings and further surveys we can begin "re-constructing" portions of the past that may explain some of the natural events currently happening in Middle America.
    Possibly the most profound theory surrounding Central American bio-geography is the concept of the Land Bridge.  It is widely believed that prior to the last Ice age a continuous mountain range was present in what is now Central America.  This mountain range served as a corridor for the dispersal of various species and also serves as the most pragmatic explanation for many of the current floral and faunal distribution patterns in the Western Hemisphere.  What happened to this once utilized "species corridor"?  The simplest of answers is erosion.  Perhaps melting of the glaciers combined with other significant geologic and meteorological events caused divisions in  the land bridge.  In turn, this isolated various biotic communities.  The result of which is evidenced by the unique biodiversity within many of the disappearing cloud forest.  This also offers some explanation as to why some faunal distribution patterns are disjunct from each other.
    Honduras is one of such countries that can truly provide a rich and rugged tropical experience.  In fact, Honduras possesses considerable expanses of under explored land holding untold biological richness and awaiting discoveries.  The purpose of this text is to provide information regarding various species of amphibians and reptiles found in Honduras. Of course this web site should be viewed as a cursory source of information regarding the herpetofauna of Honduras and not as a definitive guide.  Updates will be made as new species and geographic distributions are documented.  Please feel free to e-mail any comments or questions.       
By
Carl J. Franklin
copyright 2002, 2003, 2004, 2005

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