In the area studied, the rural populations have extensive knowledge about species of the local herpetofauna. Possibly, the use of land for planting allows contact with biodiversity, including several animals of the local herpetofauna, allowing the development of traditional practices with species of amphibians and reptiles [4, 32]. The analysis of the data showed that the informants have agriculture as their main work activity. The rural area of Alagoinhas has a small-scale agricultural plantation, which is used for families’ subsistence, as well as contributing to the local supply (Personal observation).
The number of amphibian species cited in the present study was lower than other studies [33– 35]. For reptiles, the number of species found was higher than other studies conducted, i.e. Mendonça et al. , Rojas et al.  and Leyte-Manrique et al. . The variation in the richness of fauna species used in different communities is an expected result, as this knowledge can vary depending on local environmental factors (greater or lesser availability, habitat reduction) and local cultural factors (specific knowledge of a specific human group).
Analyzing the categories of use and interaction cited by the informants, amphibians and reptiles fit into biophilic and biophobic relationships. Thus, corroborate the theory of biophilia and biophobia proposed by Wilson . In this proposal, biophilia is related to the affinity that human beings have with biodiversity, while biophobia proposes the existence of fear and aversion.
According to the results, the IFC values of the categories cited show that the informants knowledge is well disseminated within communities. Thus, it is likely that the species selection criteria for these purposes is highly widespread and specific within the cultural context of the sampled communities. The category magical-religious purposes obtained the least number of citations (27). Several studies show that species of herpetofauna are used for magical-religious purposes [37– 39].
Regarding the pets category, a total of 43 citations and only one specie (Chelonoidis carbonaria) were observed. The habit of keeping reptiles as a pet is widely disseminated throughout the world . Alves et al.  reviewed human habits in Brazil concerning reptiles and highlighted that chelonians of the genus Chelonoidis are the most sold and kept as pets by the population. Apparently, the fact that they are docile and easy to capture, in addition to not requiring much care, favors the demand for these animals for breeding for pet purposes.
The category of use as medicine presented a total of 125 citations. The knowledge about the use of animals in medicinal practices cited by the rural population of Alagoinhas, corroborates with the findings of numerous researches in Brazil and around the world [33, 40– 44], reaffirming the medicinal importance of herpetofauna for human communities. Apparently, according to the informants, the communities have a vast medicinal knowledge about reptiles and amphibians, but the use is not frequent. This can probably be attributed to the improvement in public health services. However, considering the number of species and uses cited for the medicinal category (, it is evident that zootherapics have not lost the cultural and symbolic value of practices for these human cultures.
For the present study, the category of food use was the second most cited by the informants (393 citations). The high number of citations reflects the importance of the fauna for nutritional purposes, showing that the interaction of man with wild animals for food purposes is common in rural and urban areas . Among the species of greatest cultural importance, according to the salience index, Salvator merianae was the animal with the highest number of indications for food use. The meat of this specie is very much appreciated because, according to the informants, it is tastes like chicken. This has also been recorded by other studies [46-48].
Among the five categories of use and interaction, the category of conflicting relationships is the one with the highest number of species cited by the informants (n = 32) and the highest number of citations (755). The informants demonstrated to have beliefs and definitions that enhance negative perceptions about species of amphibians and reptiles (especially with snakes), favoring conflicting relationships. In this way, human judgments regarding animals can go to extremes, ranging from love to hate and, eventually, varying due to the local culture and the connection of each individual with the animal throughout life [20, 49]. In view of the above, the conflicting relationships may have favored the construction of an extensive knowledge about reptiles and amphibians throughout the evolutionary history of humans [15, 16, 21, 50- 52].
Analyzing the salience results for the categories of food, medicine and conflicting relationships, we observed that S. merianae has high cultural importance for the informants who use it for nutritional and medical purposes and low importance for conflicting relationships. Probably, the high utilitarian aspect of this species influences low conflicting relationships for the sampled human communities. This finding reinforces the theory of biophilia and biophobia, showing how local contexts can lead to the development of positive and negative perceptions of the same species [53, 54].
Considering the importance of fauna to human societies, understanding how socioeconomic factors (gender, income, age, education, religion) influence the construction of knowledge associated with animals can support research that favors the maintenance of these socio-ecological systems . Thus, the present study brings elements to a discussion about how socioeconomic variables can influence the knowledge about herpetofauna.
In the analysis of the relationship of socioeconomic variables with the total knowledge of reptiles, residence time and gender significantly influenced the number of known reptile species. The variable time of residence can be explained as follows: the longer the time of interaction, the longer the time to build knowledge about a given resource and this knowledge is transmitted between local generations . Thus, the longer residence time directly influences the amount of experience with reptile species, enabling the construction and sedimentation of knowledge about more animals.
Regarding to the role of gender in explaining the knowledge of reptiles, Alambert  points out that, throughout the evolution of humans, the male gender was responsible for hunting, favoring a closer relationship between men and fauna. Another point is related to the division of labor, in which most societies were built on hierarchical models centered on the role of men, with a clear division of labor, in which men were responsible for hunting and women for domestic activities; thus, this function attributed to man, enabled a greater contact with animals .
Regarding food use, the positioning of the community in relation to the urban center of Alagoinhas influenced the knowledge about reptiles used for this purpose. Communities located in parcel 2 know more species (12 species, 90 indications), while communities located in parcel 3 know fewer species (6 species, 130 indications) used for food purposes. It is possible that communities located in parcel 3 have socioenvironmental conditions that favor a greater dissemination of knowledge about the use of reptile species as food. Within this parcel, the communities are located on the edge of a river and maintain a riparian forest in regeneration (Personal observation). Thus, it is likely that these ecological characteristics have favored the knowledge and use of animal species within this parcel .
The conflicting relationships with reptiles were explained by time of residence (the longer the time the greater number of species known), gender (men know less species) and education level (illiterate people know more species). The time of residence can explain the knowledge of species with conflicting relationships as follows: the longer the contact time with the environment, the greater the experiences that can be generated with the reptiles, resulting in the knowledge of more species. Thus, it is possible that the longer the residence time in the locality, the greater the possibility of conflicting experiences with the herpetofauna (possible attacks by these animals). Consequently, residence time favors the construction of associated knowledge about reptiles that could potentially cause some risk to human populations.
Regarding the role of gender in conflicting relationships, the division of labor cited by Alambert  may have contributed to the number of species with conflicting relationships. As noted in the present study, men know more species of reptiles. Kellert et al.  claim that human beings who hunt are more knowledgeable about wild animals and tend to have more favorable attitudes towards certain groups of animals. In this sense, women are in contact with fewer species of reptiles, consequently, they tend to know less and develop more conflicting relationships with this group.
The effect of schooling on the number of species with conflicting relationships can be explained as follows: it is likely that the lack of school education amplifies the construction of cognitive aspects related to the fear of reptiles. People with less education may have more negative relationships with the herpetofauna, as was verified in our study and by other authors [1, 57, 58]. However, Liordos et al.  studying the conservation of snakes found that the educational level was not correlated to the perception of snakes, even though people with higher education were more oriented to conservation compared to people with lower school levels. Thus, more studies are needed to understand schooling as a modulator of conflict relations.
The analysis with amphibians showed that only conflicting relationships are influenced by socioeconomic variables. time of residence and gender. The knowledge about amphibian species with conflicting relationships was negatively influenced by the time of residence, in which, the shorter the time of residence in the community, the greater the knowledge of species. In this case, it is expected that the relationship would be positive, so that the longer residence time would influence a greater number of species with conflicting relationships. It is possible that the low citation of amphibian species (three) has influenced the results of this analysis, considering that the species mentioned here have many conflicting relationships presented in other studies [21, 59, 60].
Another point to be addressed is that it is possible that informants with shorter residence times in the community have little contact with amphibian species, as they would be exercising other professions and, consequently, would have less general knowledge about these animals. This favors the development of more conflicting relationships as well as different perceptions , contrasting with residents who have lived in the community for longer.
Regarding the gender, it was observed that men know less species with conflict relations. Roskaft et al.  found that when compared to males, females express more negative attitudes towards animals, which according to the authors is not only due to their own safety, but also for the well-being of their children. Another point may be related to the division of labor, pointed out by Alambert , in which the greater male contact with nature can favor a greater knowledge about amphibian species, consequently reducing the number of species that have conflicts. The aesthetics of animals is also pointed out as a factor influencing the preference that men and women have for certain animals, in which an animal group can be favored for females and disadvantaged for males, and vice versa . Thus, in the present study, it is possible that amphibian aesthetics are a determinant for men to have conflicting relationships with fewer amphibian species than women.
The rural communities in the municipality of Alagoinhas know an expressive number of species of amphibians and reptiles that play positive (from a utilitarian perspective) and negative (conflicting relationships) roles within the sampled socio-ecological system. The knowledge recorded here is well disseminated within the sampled communities. Thus, our data show that even in rural environments altered by agriculture, and close to urban centers, traditional knowledge about wild fauna remains and recording it through scientific studies is extremely important.
Aspects related to the evolutionary history of humans, such as biophilia and biophobia relationships, and socioeconomic aspects, as observed in the present study, can influence knowledge and perception of herpetofauna. The understanding of the aspects related to the construction of this knowledge contributes to the understanding between the evolution of the relationship between humans and herpetofauna, to favor the direction of conservation practices of the fauna involved and the maintenance of the traditional knowledge produced.
In short, this study paves the way for further research to discuss the effect of conflicting relationships as modulators of knowledge (considering the number of species cited for these purposes in this study). Thus, it makes it possible to understand how humans “choose” certain animals to love or hate and what are the consequences of this intriguing emotional relationship for the evolution of socio-ecological systems.