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Conspecifics as Cues: A Mechanism for Habitat Selection in the Panamanian Grass Anole (Anolis auratus)

A. Ross Kiester
Behavioral Ecology and Sociobiology
Vol. 5, No. 4 (1979), pp. 323-330
Published by: Springer
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/4599242
Page Count: 8
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Abstract

In an experimental choice situation, individuals of both sexes of the lizard Anolis auratus choose to associate with a conspecific individual regardless of its sex. Further, individuals of both sexes associate with an individual of A. tropidogaster, a related species. Given the choice between the two species, they choose their own. Given the choice between a conspecific and a small patch of natural habitat, they do not choose one or the other consistently. These experiments indicate that conspecific association does not function just as a mate selection mechanism as has been previously proposed. The initial association may, in addition, serve a habitat selection function. Conspecifics can thus be seen as cues indicating the presence of suitable habitat as well as being important biological factors in themselves.

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