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Ecology of the Elusive Tropical Lizard tropidurus [=Uracentron] flaviceps (Tropiduridae) in Lowland Rain Forest of Ecuador

Laurie J. Vitt and Peter A. Zani
Herpetologica
Vol. 52, No. 1 (Mar., 1996), pp. 121-132
Published by: Allen Press on behalf of the Herpetologists' League
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/3892964
Page Count: 12
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Ecology of the Elusive Tropical Lizard tropidurus [=Uracentron] flaviceps (Tropiduridae) in Lowland Rain Forest of Ecuador
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Abstract

We studied a population of Tropidurus flaviceps during the wet season in Amazonian lowland rain forest of eastern Ecuador. The lizards were strictly arboreal with activity occurring throughout much of the day on surfaces of trunks and limbs of the tree Macrolobium acaciaefolium within a large lagoon. Lizards retreated into cavities within the limbs and trunks, and the presence of cavities appeared to be a requirement for the presence of more than one lizard on a tree. Mean body temperature of active individuals was 31.2 ± 0.6 C, and lizards in the shade had lower body temperatures than lizards in the sun. The diet consisted primarily of ants. There was a correlation between prey size and lizard size, but there was no difference in either prey size or the number of prey eaten between the sexes. Clutch size is two eggs, the reproductive season is extended, and there is evidence that females produce more than one clutch per season. Sexual dimorphism exists in morphological characteristics, and observations on the composition of social groups within single trees suggests that the breeding system is a resource-based polygyny. Sexual dimorphism in limb length does not translate into differences in performance.

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