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Refereed Book Chapters and Journal Articles


  1. Somaweera, R., Putra, A. Sukuma Wati, S., et al. 2024. Trimeresurus insularis (White-lipped Island Pit Viper): Colour. Herpetological Review 54(3):501-502 (Get PDF).

  2. Aubert, C and 18 co-authors including Somaweera, R. 2024. Estimating total length of partially submerged crocodylians from drone imagery. Drones. 8(3):115; (Read Here)



  1. Somaweera, R., Udyawer, V., de Fresnes, J., Amarasinghe, T. and Catherall, J. and Molchanova, G. 2023. Coordinated and communal hunting behaviours by Erabu sea krait Laticauda semifactiata. Scientific Reports. 13:21471 (Get PDF).

  2. Somaweera, R. and Rene de Roland, L-A. 2023. Crocs in the clouds: highest elevational record for a crocodilian. IUCN Crocodile Specialist Group Newsletter. 42(4):8-10 (Get PDF).

  3. Bradley, H. and 11 co-authors including Somaweera, R. (accepted). Conserving the Pilbara leaf-nosed bat: directions for future research and management. Pacific Conservation Biology.

  4. Silva, A., de Alwis, T., Wijesekara, S. and Somaweera, R. 2023. Minimising misidentification of common medically important snakes of Sri Lanka in the hospital setting. Anuradhapura Medical Journal. 17(2):50-57 (Read here).

  5. Batabyal, A., Zambre, A., Mclaren, T., Rankin, K.J., Somaweera, R., Stuart-Fox, D. and Thaker, M. 2023. The extent of rapid colour change in male agamid lizards is unrelated to overall sexual dichromatism. Ecology and Evolution. 2023;13:e10293 (Get PDF).

  6. Somaweera, R., Suyanto, A., Quah, R., Jensen, M. and Amarasinghe, T. 2023.  Trimeresurus insularis (White-lipped Island Pit Viper): Terrestriality. Herpetological Review 54(1):145-146 (Get PDF).

  7. Goldstein, E., Erinjery, J., Martin, G., Kasturiratne, A., Ediriweera, D., Somaweera, R., de Silva, H.J., Diggle, P., Lalloo, D., Murray, K., & Iwamura, T. 2023. Climate change maladaptation for health: Agricultural practice against shifting seasonal rainfall affects snakebite risk for farmers in the tropics. iScience. 26 (2): 105946 (Read here)

  8. Martín, G., Erinjery, J.J., Ediriweera, D., Goldstein, E., Somaweera, R., de Silva, H.J. Lalloo, D.G., Iwamura, T. and Murray, K.A. (submitted) Global change effects on snakebite: environmental and health sustainability trade-offs. The Lancet Planetary Health.



  1. Somaweera, R. 2022. Crocodiles. In Smith, B., Waudby, H., Alberthsen, C. & Hampton, J. (Eds.)  Wildlife research in Australia: A practical guide. CSIRO Publishing: Melbourne, Australia (Read more).

  2. Speed, C.W., Wilson, N.G., Somaweera, R., Udyawer, V., Meekan, M.G., Whisson, C., & Miller, K. 2022. Video surveys of sea snakes in the mesophotic zone shed light on trends in populations. Frontiers in Marine Science 9:921542. doi: 10.3389/fmars.2022.921542 (Get PDF).

  3. Aiyer, A., Shine, R., Somaweera, R., Bell, T. and Ward-Fear, G. 2022. Shifts in the foraging tactics of crocodiles following invasion of toxic prey. Scientific Reports. (Get PDF).

  4. Aiyer, A., Bell, T., Shine, R., Somaweera, R., Bruny, M. and Ward-Fear, G. 2022. Taking the bait: Developing a bait delivery system to target free-ranging crocodiles and varanid lizards with a novel conservation strategy. Ecology and Evolution. (Get PDF).


  1. Martín, G., Erinjery, J., Gumbs, R., Somaweera, R., Ediriweera, D., Diggle, P., Kasturiratne, A., de Silva, J., Lalloo, D., Iwamura, T. and Murray, K. 2021. Integrating snake distribution, abundance and expert-derived behavioural traits predicts snakebite risk. Journal of Applied Ecology. (Get PDF).

  2. Somaweera, R., Udyawer, V., Guinea, M., Ceccarelli, D., Clarke, R., Glover, M., Hourston, M., Keesing, J., Rasmussen, A.R., Sanders, K., Shine., R., Thomson, D., and Webber, B. 2021. Pinpointing Drivers of Extirpation in Sea Snakes: A Synthesis of Evidence From Ashmore Reef. Frontiers in Marine Science. (Read here).

  3. Somaweera, R. and Somaweera, R. 2021. Nuclear–follower foraging behaviour between Western
    Australian common octopus and brown-spotted wrasse. Marine and Freshwater Research. (Read here).

  4. Somaweera, R., Hoff, O. and Lilley, R. 2021. Gekko kuhli (Kuhl’s Flying Gecko): Indonesia. Herpetological Review 52(3): 576. (Get PDF)

  5. Lachlan, P., Somaweera, R., Kaiser, S., Ward-Fear, G. and Shine, R. 2021. The impact of invasive toads (Bufonidae) on monitor lizards (Varanidae): an overview and prospectus. Quarterly Review of Biology. 96(2): 105-125 (Get PDF).


  1. Somaweera, R., Nifong, J., Rosenblatt, A., Brien, M.L., Combrink, X., Elsey, R.M., Grigg, G., Magnusson, W.E., Mazzotti, F.J., Pearcy, A., Platt, S.G., Shirley, M.H., Tellez, M., van der Ploeg, J., Webb, G., Whitaker, R., and Webber, B.L. 2020. The ecological importance of crocodylians: towards evidence-based justification for their conservation. Biological Reviews (Get PDF)

  2. Barr, J., Somaweera, R., Godfrey, S.S., Gardner, M.G. and Bateman, P.W. (2020). When one tail isn’t enough: Abnormal caudal regeneration in non-serpent Squamates and Rhynchocephalia and their potential ecological impacts. Biological Review doi: 10.1111/brv.12625 (Get PDF)

  3. Somaweera, R., Yeoh, P.B., Jucker, T., Clarke, R.H. and Webber, B.L. 2020. Historical context, current status and management priorities for introduced Asian house geckos at Ashmore Reef, north-western Australia. Bioinvasion Records 9(2):408-420 (Get PDF

  4. Cao, R., Somaweera, R., Brittain, K., FitzSimmons, N.N., Georges, A. and Gongora, J. 2020 Genetic structure and diversity of Australian freshwater crocodiles (Crocodylus johnstoni) from the Kimberley, Western Australia. Conservation Genetics (Get PDF)

  5. Udyawer, V., Somaweera, R., Nitschke, C., d'Anastasi, B., Sanders, K., Webber, B., Hourston, M. and Heupel, M. 2020 Prioritising search effort to locate previously unknown populations of endangered marine reptiles. Global Ecology and Conservation (Read)

  6. Muga, K., Robillard, A.J. and Somaweera, R. 2020. Eretmochelys imbricata (Hawksbill Sea Turtle): Predation. Herpetological Review 51(2):313 (Get PDF).

  7. Sramek, P. and Somaweera, R.  2020. Limnonectes macrodon from Bali, Indonesia. Taprobanica 9(2) 220-221 (Get PDF).

  8. Böhm, M. and 46 co-authors including Somaweera, R. (submitted). Retrospective IUCN Red List assessments show increasing trend in extinction risk of reptiles. Biological Conservation.


  1. Somaweera, R., Brien, M.L., Sonneman, T., Didham, R.K., and Webber, B.L.  2019. Absence of evidence is not evidence of absence: knowledge shortfalls threaten the effective conservation of freshwater crocodiles. Global Ecology and Conservation 20: e00773 (Read).

  2. Shine, R. and Somaweera, R.  2019. Last lizard standing: the enigmatic persistence of the Komodo dragon. Global Ecology and Conservation 18(2019):e00624 (Get PDF).

  3. Sieniawski, K. and Somaweera, R. 2019. Varanus salvator (Asian water monitor): deep diving. Herpetological Review 50(2):382-383 (Get PDF).

  4. Pyron, A.R. and Somaweera, R.  2019. Further notes on the Sri Lankan uropeltid snakes Rhinophis saffragamus (Kelaart, 1853) and Uropeltis ruhunae Deraniyagala, 1954. Zootaxa 4560(3):592-600 (Get PDF).

  5. Nordberg, E.J., Macdonald, S., Hoskins, A., Somaweera, R. and Perry, J. 2019. Can plastic save turtles?: Measuring the impacts of predators and the effectiveness of plastic meshing on marine turtle nests along the western Cape York Peninsula, Australia. Biological Conservation (Get PDF).

  6. Tingley, R. and 52 co-authors including Somaweera, R. 2019. Geographic and taxonomic patterns of extinction risk in Australian squamates. Biological Conservation (Read).

  7. Barr, J., Boisvert, C., Somaweera, R., Trinajstic, K., and Bateman, P. 2019. Re-regeneration to reduce negative effects associated with tail loss in lizards. Scientific Reports 9:18717 (Read).


  1. Somaweera, R., Platt, S., Brien, M., Manolis, C. and Webber, B. 2018. Direct and indirect interactions with vegetation shape crocodylian life history traits at multiple scales. Freshwater Biology DOI:10.1111/fwb.13 (Get PDF).

  2. Barr, J., Somaweera, R., Godfrey, S.S., and Bateman, P.W. 2018. Increased tail length in the King’s skink, Egernia kingii (Reptilia: Scincidae): an anti-predation tactic for juveniles? Biological Journal of the Linnean Society DOI: 10.1093/biolinnean/bly196 (Get PDF).

  3. Udyawer, V. 27 authors including Somaweera, R. 2018. Future directions in marine snake research and management. Frontiers in Marine Science DOI: 10.3389/fmars.2018.00399 (Get PDF). 

  4. Gabadage, D., Surasinghe, T., De Silva, A., Somaweera, R. Madawala, M. and Karunarathna, S. 2018. Zoological and ecological study of the Sri Lankan Keelback (Balanophis ceylonensis): with implications for conservation of a poorly known, endemic snake from Sri Lanka. Vertebrate Zoology 68(3):225-236 (Get PDF).

  5. Somaweera, R., Lilley, R., Putra, A., Ganz, P., Govendan, P.N., McKay, J.L. and Milenkaya, O. 2018. Recent additions to the herpetofauna diversity of the island of Bali, Indonesia. Sauria 40(1): 75-86 (Get PDF).

  6. Somaweera, R., Rhind, D., Reynolds, S., Eisenberg, C., Sonneman, T. and Woods, D. 2018. Observations of mammalian feeding by Australian freshwater crocodiles (Crocodylus johnstoni) in the Kimberley region of Western Australia. Records of the West Australian Museum 33(1): 103-107 (Get PDF).

  7. Barr, J., Somaweera, R. & Bateman, B. 2018. Ctenotus fallens (West coast ctenotus). Anomalous death through use of modelling clay for research. Herpetological Review 49(2): 327-328 (Get PDF).


  1. Morgan, D.L., Somaweera, R., Gleiss, A.C., Beatty, S.J. and Whitty, J.M. 2017. An upstream migration fought with danger: freshwater sawfish fending off sharks and crocodiles. Ecology DOI: 10.1002/ecy.1737 (Get PDF).

  2. Karunarathna, S., Surasinghe, T., Madawala, M., Somaweera, R., Amarasinghe, T. (published online - Ecological and behavioral traits of the Sri Lanka water monitor (Varanus salvator) in an urban landscape of Western Province in Sri Lanka. Marine and Freshwater Research (Get PDF).


  1. Pyron, R. A., Ganesh, S., Sayyed, A., Sharma, V., Wallach, V. and Somaweera, R. 2016. A catalogue and systematic overview of the shield-tailed snakes (Serpentes: Uropeltidae). Zoosystema 38(4):453-506 (Get PDF).

  2. Auliya, M. and 36 co-authors including Somaweera, R. 2016. Trade in live reptiles and its impact on reptile diversity: the European pet market as a case study. Biological Conservation. 204:103-119 (Get PDF).


  1. Whiting, M.J., Noble, D.W.A. and Somaweera, R. 2015. Sexual dimorphism in conspicuousness and ornamentation in enigmatic leaf-nosed lizard Ceratophora tennentii from Sri Lanka. Biological Journal of the Linnean Society 116(3):614-625 (Get PDF).

  2. Somaweera, R., Pantoja, D.L. and Deepak, V. 2015. Forgotten records of Chrysopelea taprobanica Smith, 1943 (Squamata: Colubridae) from India. Zootaxa. 3947:597-600 (Get PDF).

  3. Somaweera, R., Meegaskumbura, M., Bowatte, G. and Wijayathilaka, N. 2015. Conservation in a changing landscape: habitat occupancy of the Critically Endangered Tennent's Leaf-nosed Lizard (Ceratophora tennentii) in Sri Lanka. Journal of Natural History 49(31-32):1961-1985 (Get PDF).

  4. van Rooijen, J., Vogel, G. and Somaweera, R. 2015. A revision of the taxonomy of the Australopapuan species of the colubrid genus Dendrelaphis (Serpentes: Colubridae). Salamandra. 51:33-56 (Get PDF).

  5. Sudasinghe, H. and Somaweera, R. 2015. Calotes versicolor (Oriental Garden Lizard). Diet. Herpetological Review 46:625-629 (Get PDF).

  6. de Silva, A. and Somaweera, R. 2015. Were human babies used as bait in crocodile hunts in colonial Sri Lanka? ournal of Threatened Taxa. 7(1):6805-6809 (Get PDF).

  7. Somaweera, R. and Sanders, K. 2015. Guide to the Sea Snakes of the Kimberley Coast of Western Australia. Department of Parks and Wildlife, Perth (Get PDF).


  1. Somaweera, R., Woods, D. and Sonneman, T. 2014. A note on the Australian freshwater crocodiles inhabiting Tunnel Creek cave. Records of the West Australian Museum 29:24-29 (Get PDF).


  1. Somaweera, R., Shine, R., Webb, J., Dempster, T. and Letnic, M. 2013. Why does vulnerability to toxic invasive cane toads vary among populations of Australian freshwater crocodiles? Animal Conservation 16:86-96 (Get PDF).

  2. Somaweera, R., Brien, M. and Shine, R. 2013. The role of predation in shaping the natural history of crocodilians: a review. Herpetological Monographs 27:23-51 (Get PDF).

  3. Pyron, R.A., Kandambi, D. Hendry, C.R., Pushpamal, V., Burbrink, F.T., and Somaweera, R. 2013. Genus-level molecular phylogeny of snakes reveals the origins of species richness in the Sri Lanka biodiversity hotspot. Molecular Phylogenetics and Evolution 66:969-978 (Get PDF).

  4. Böhm, M., et al. 2013. The conservation status of the world's reptiles. Biological Conservation 157:372-385 (Get PDF).

  5. Somaweera, R. and Shine, R. 2013. Nest-site selection by crocodiles at a rocky site in the Australian tropics: making the best of a bad lot. Austral Ecology 38:313-325 (Get PDF).

  6. Maryan, B., Somaweera, R., Lloyd, R., Bunce, M. and O’Connell, M. 2013. Status of the Airlie Island Ctenotus, Ctenotus angusticeps (Lacertilia: Scincidae), with notes on its distribution, habitat and genetic variation. West Australian Naturalist 29:103-119 (Get PDF).

  7. Somaweera, R., Webb, J. and Shine, R. 2013. Extreme monsoonal floods affect Australian freshwater crocodile hatchlings by degrading habitat quality. Pp 197-202 In Proceedings of the 22nd working meeting of the IUCN-SSC Crocodile Specialist Group. IUCN: Gland, Switzerland.

  8. Somaweera, R. 2013. Book Review: Reptile Biodiversity- standard methods for inventory and monitoring. Ceylon Journal of Science (Bio. Sc.) 42:73-74 (Get PDF).   

  9. Somaweera, R. 2013. A 'good' snake. LT Magazine. Oct 2013. 98-102 (Get PDF).


  1. Somaweera, R. and Shine, R. 2012. Australian freshwater crocodiles (Crocodylus johnstoni) transport their hatchlings to the water. Journal of Herpetology 46:407-411 (Get PDF)

  2. Somaweera, R., Wijethilake, N. and Bowatte, G. 2012. Does the invasive shrub Ulex europaeus benefit an endemic Sri Lankan lizard? Herpetological Conservation and Biology 7:219-226 (Get PDF).

  3. Pizzatto, L., Somaweera, R., Kelehear, C. and Brown, G.P. 2012. Rhinella marina (Bufo marinus: Cane Toad). Prey. Herpetological Review 43:469-47 (Get PDF).


  1. Somaweera, R., Webb, J. and Shine, R. 2011. It’s a dog-eat-croc world: dingo predation on the nests of freshwater crocodiles in tropical Australia. Ecological Research 26:957-967 (Get PDF).

  2. Somaweera, R., Crossland, M.R. and Shine, R. 2011. Assessing the potential impact of invasive cane toads on a commercial freshwater fishery in tropical Australia. Wildlife Research 38:380-385 (Get PDF).

  3. Somaweera, R. and Shine, R. 2011. The (non) impact of invasive cane toads on freshwater crocodiles at Lake Argyle in tropical Australia. Animal Conservation. 15:152-163 (Get PDF).

  4. Somaweera, R., Webb, J. and Shine, R. 2011. Determinants of habitat selection by hatchling crocodiles (Crocodylus johnstoni). PLoS ONE 6(12):e28533. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0028533 (Get PDF).

  5. Somaweera, R., Webb, J., Brown, G.P. and Shine, R. 2011. Hatchling Australian freshwater crocodiles rapidly learn to avoid toxic invasive cane toads. Behavior 148:501-517 (Get PDF).

  6. Somaweera, R. 2011. A report of a probable unprovoked attack by an Australian freshwater crocodile at Lake Argyle in Western Australia. Australian Zoologist 35: 973-976 (Get PDF).


  1. Somaweera, R., Somaweera, N. and Shine, R. 2010. Frogs under friendly fire: how well can Australians distinguish native frogs from invasive cane toads? Biological Conservation 143:1477-1484 (Get PDF).

  2. Somaweera, R. and Somaweera, N. 2010. Serpents in Jars: Snake Wine Industry in Vietnam. Journal of Threatened Taxa 2(11):1251-1260 (Get PDF).

  3. Somaweera, R. 2009. Observations on the reproductive ecology of the Kandyan Day Gecko Cnemaspis kandiana in Gannoruwa, Sri Lanka. Journal of the National Science Foundation of Sri Lanka 37:13-22 (Get PDF).

  4. Somaweera, R. and Somaweera, N. 2009. An Overview of Sri Lankan Sea Snakes with an Annotated Checklist and a Field Key. Taprobanica 1:43-57 (Get PDF).

  5. Smith, E.N., Manamendra-Arachchi, K. and Somaweera, R. 2008. A new species of coralsnake of the genus Calliophis (Squamata: Elapidae) from the Central Province of Sri Lanka. Zootaxa 1847:19-33 (Get PDF).

  6. Somaweera, R. and Das, I. 2008. Lepidodactylus lugubris (Mourning Gecko) in Malaysia: Sarawak. Herpetological Review 39:368 (Get PDF).

  7. Wickramasinghe, M. and Somaweera, R. 2008. Changes in the distribution ranges of the Sri Lankan Hemidactylus species. Gekko 5:44-60 (Get PDF).

Before 2008

  1. Somaweera, R., Ukuwela, K. and Alagoda, T. 2006. A note on specimens of Gerarda prevostiana (Coubridae: Serpentes) collected from Sri Lanka. Ceylon Journal of Science (Bio. Sci.) 35:91-93 (Get PDF).

  2. Somaweera, R. 2006. Defensive posture in Kaloula taprobanica Parker (Microhylidae: Amphibia). Journal of the Bombay Natural History Society 103:108-109 (Get PDF).

  3. Somaweera, R. 2004. A bark gecko (Hemidactylus leschenaultii) preying on a wolf snake (Lycodon striatus sinhaleyus). Gekko 4(2):8-10 (Get PDF).

  4. Somaweera, R. 2004. The Sri Lankan Colubrid snakes. Sri Lanka Naturalist 6:32-46 (Get PDF).
  5. Somaweera, R., Wijayamohan, S., Vandercone, R., Wijesundara, C. and Santiapillai, C. 2004. Discovery of crocodiles on Mannar  island, Sri Lanka. IUCN Crocodile specialist group newsletter 23:10-11 (Get PDF).
  6. Somaweera, R., Sarathchandra, K., Karunaratne, S. and Nuwansiri, C. 2004. A study on the avifauna and herpetofauna of Panama, Eastern Province, Sri Lanka. Sri Lanka Naturalist 6:1-9 (Get PDF).

  7. Wickramasinghe, M. and Somaweera, R. 2003. Distribution and current status of the endemic geckos of Sri Lanka. Gekko 3:2-13 (Get PDF).

  8. Somaweera, R. and Ukuwela, K. 2001. The amphibian fauna of Menikdena Archaeological Reserve and Arboretum, Sri Lanka. Lyriocephalus 4:110-115 .


‘Snakes of Sri Lanka’

(2nd Edition)

2023. Published by Authors.

Order copies


Amphibians and Reptiles of Komodo National Park


Aaranya Odysseys



The Ultimate Book of Reptiles

2023. Nat Geo Kids, USA

Available online

Reptiles of Bali_Ruchira Somaweera.jpg

Reptiles & Amphibians of Bali (1st Edition)

2017. John Beaufoy Publishing, UK.

Available online


Wildlife Research in Australia

2022. CSIRO, Australia

Available online

Lizards of Sri Lanka

Lizards of Sri Lanka: A colour guide with field keys.

2009. Chaimaira, Germany

Available online


Reptiles & Amphibians of Bali (2nd Edition)

2020. John Beaufoy Publishing, UK.

Available online

Snakes of Sri Lanka

‘Snakes of Sri Lanka’

(1st Edition)

2006. Wildlife Heritage Trust of Sri Lanka

Get PDF (draft version)

Fogg Dam Book

Fogg Dam: How Scientists See Nature.

2013. University of Sydney, e-book.


Venomous Snakes of Sri Lanka

Venomous Land Snakes of

Sri Lanka

2011. Sri Lanka Wildlife Conservation Society


Carnivorous Mammals of Sri Lanka

Carnivorous Mammals of

Sri Lanka

2007. Sri Lanka Wildlife Conservation Society


Herbivorous Mammals of Sri Lanka

Herbivorous Mammals of

Sri Lanka

2007. Sri Lanka Wildlife Conservation Society

Pythons of Australia

Pythons of Australia

2010. The University of Sydney


Snakes of Darwin

Snakes of Darwin

2009. The University of Sydney



Reptiles of Barrow Island, Western Australia

2023. Ru Somaweera and

Steve Wilson.


Herps of Komodo Poster.PNG

Amphibians and Reptiles of Komodo National Park

2018. Aaranya Wildlife Odysseys.


Sea snake of Kimberley_Somaweera.jpg

Guide to the Sea Snakes of the Kimberley Coast of WA

2015. Department of Parks and Wildlife


Mettems pool fish poster-Recovered.jpg

Fishes of Mettam's Pool

2021. Woodlands Primary School 


Argyle Fish copy.jpg

Fishes of Argyle

2024. Stantec 


Omeo_fish_poster copy.jpg

Fishes of Omeo



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