Vertebrate Zoology

Instructions for authors

Vertebrate Zoology (formerly Zoologische Abhandlungen) is a scientific journal published by the Senckenberg Gesellschaft für Naturforschung. The official website of the journal is at The journal is published in parallel in a print version and an online version according to the Creative Commons Licence. Only manuscripts in English language are considered for publication.

Research fields covered by Vertebrate Zoology are taxonomy, morphology, anatomy, phylogeny (molecular and morphology-based), historical biogeography, and palaeontology of vertebrates. Original contributions as well as reviews are welcome. Descriptions of new taxa should be integrated into a proper context (e.g. complete revision of a taxon, phylogenetic or biogeographical framework). Studied specimens have to be deposited in a public scientific collection to allow re-examination and reproducibility of results.

After acceptance of works including descriptions of new taxa, it is mandatory that the authors register the publication and the new taxa in ZooBank prior to publication. The digital object identifiers of ZooBank have to be included in the print and online versions of the respective article.

Submission of a manuscript implies that the same work has not been published or submitted elsewhere. For the structuring of manuscripts, please consult the most recent issue of Vertebrate Zoology. It is anticipated that authors make every effort to make the text concise and linguistically correct. Manuscripts not conforming to expectations are returned to the authors.

As of now, the following citation style has to be used:

Cite references in the text chronologically and if two or more works of the same year are cited, alphabetically. In parentheses, separate the year from the author name by a comma. If more than one study by the same author(s) is cited, add subsequent letters. Two or more cited works in parentheses are to be separated by semicolons, except for repeated author names (e.g. Aman & Beman, 1899a, b and not Aman & Beman, 1899a; Aman & Beman, 1899b). Use small caps for author names throughout the text. Use ‘&’ for two authors (example: Aman & Beman, 1899) and ‘et al.’ (italicized) for more than two authors in the flow text (example: Aman et al., 1899).

References in parentheses: Several studies provided evidence that birds are animals (Zetman, 2001a, b; Efman, 2005; Egman, 2005; Aman, 2010; Aman et al., 2010).

References in the flow text: Zetman (2001a, b), Efman (2005), Egman (2005), Aman (2010) and Aman et al. (2010) provided evidence that birds are animals.

Do not use small caps for describer names, e.g. Testudo graeca Linnaeus, 1758.

Use small caps for software but do not start upper-case, e.g. structure 2.3.4.

Under the heading ‘References’ use the following style:


Acosta-Galvis, A. R. & Vargas-Ramírez, M. (2018). A new species of Hyloxalus Jiménez De La Espada, 1871 (Anura: Dendrobatidae: Hyloxalinae) from a cloud forest near Bogotá, Colombia, with comments on the subpunctatus clade. Vertebrate Zoology, 68, 123–141.

Journal name italicized, separated from volume number in bold by comma, cite no issue number, page range separated by comma.

If not printed yet, cite the digital object identifier if available:

Michels, J. & Vargas-Ramírez, M. (2018). Red-headed Amazon river turtles in Venezuela and Colombia: population separation and connection along the famous route of Alexander von Humboldt. Zoologydoi:10.1016/j.zool.2018.07.004

Journal name italicized, separated from doi by comma.


Wilson, E. O. (1993). The Diversity of Life. London, Penguin Press.

Italicized title, separated by period from location of publishing house, separated by comma from publishing house.


de Carvalho Freitas, C. E., Rivas, A. A. F., Pereira Campos, C., Sant’Ana, I., Kahn, J. R., de Almeida Correa, M. A. & Catarino, M. F. (2013). The potential impacts of global climatic changes and dams on Amazonian fish and their fisheries, pp. 175–195 in: Türker, H. (ed.) New Advances and Contributions to Fish Biology. London, IntechOpen.

Chapter title separated by comma from page range (here pp. 175–195) followed by italicized ‘in:’, then editor name(s) followed by ‘(ed.)’ or ‘(eds)’ and italicized title, separated by period from location of publishing house, separated by comma from publishing house.

Please do not capitalize vernacular names of species.

All manuscripts will be reviewed by two or more peers. Mainly based on their reports the editors decide whether a manuscript will be accepted for publication.

By submission of a manuscript to VERTEBRATE ZOOLOGY, authors give permission to the publisher to publish their contribution and accept the copyright note of the journal. There are no page charges, and no royalties will be paid to authors.

Authors receive PDFs of their published papers free of charge and are welcome to distribute them for non-commercial purposes. The PDFs will also be freely accessible at It is anticipated that authors submitting a manuscript to VERTEBRATE ZOOLOGY accept these rules.

First submissions

Authors should provide a PDF and a Word version of their manuscript with double-spaced lines with line numbers. Figures, tables, and any supporting information should be included in the same document to facilitate peer review. If a manuscript will pass peer review, authors will receive detailed instructions for submission of final files.

Manuscripts and all related correspondence should be sent by email to

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