Comparative thermal ecology of the sympatric lizards Podarcis tiliguerta and Podarcis sicula

R Van Damme, Dirk Bauwens, A. M Castilla, R. F Verheyen

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    Abstract

    We studied field body temperatures (T sub(b)) in sympatric populations of the Mediterranean lizard species Podarcis tiliguerta) and P. sicula . Both species have identical activity rhythms, experience highly similar ambient conditions and maintain body temperatures around identical mean values. However, P. sicula regulates its T sub(b) more precisely than P. tiliguerta), as indicated by the lower value of the regression slope of T sub(b) on air and substrate temperatures, the lower variance in T sub(b)s, and the absence of diurnal variation in T sub(b)s in the former species. Available data of selected T sub(b)s suggest that both species have highly similar thermal preferences. Both species differ in microhabitat use: P. tiliguerta) was almost exclusively seen on rocks and stone-walls, often at perch heights >50 cm and at short distances to patches of shade; P. sicula basked on rocky surfaces but foraged on ground in open meadows, often at distances of >5 m to deep shade.
    Original languageEnglish
    JournalActa Oecologica (Montrouge)
    Volume11
    Pages (from-to)503-512
    Number of pages10
    Publication statusPublished - 1990

    Thematic list

    • Species and biotopes

    EWI Biomedical sciences

    • B005-zoology

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