Territorial patterns of Dickerson’s collared lizard, Crotaphytus dickersonae

Lieke Faber, Melissa Plasman, Marie José H. M. Duchateau


High quality males generally obtain better territories, resulting in enhanced survival rates and reproduction. In our study we examined which phenotypic traits play a role in obtaining the best territories in males of the highly territorial and sexually dimorphic lizard species Crotaphytus dickersonae. For each lizard, we measured snout-vent length, body mass, head width, hind limb length, and tail length as phenotypic traits that might promote success in competition over territories. In addition, we examined whether the bright blue coloration of the males is related to territory quality. We assessed territory quality by determining the size, the number of overlapping female home ranges, the exclusivity of each territory, and the number of refuges and basking sites. Males with longer tails and wider heads had the best territories with more females and less overlapping male territories. Bluer males tended to have less overlapping male territories and more overlapping female home ranges, suggesting that the blue coloration is related to male quality. Since tail length and head width influence fighting ability in lizards, males with longer tails and wider heads probably obtain the best territories through male-male competition.

Palabras clave

Territory quality; Color signal; Spatial behavior; Female home range; Exclusivity; Morphology; Resourceholding potential

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DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.22201/ib.20078706e.2018.4.2625

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Revista Mexicana de Biodiversidad, Año 3, No. 12, enero-marzo 2014, es una publicación trimestral editada por la Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México, Ciudad Universitaria, Delegación Coyoacán, C.P. 04510, Ciudad de México, a través del Instituto de Biología, Tercer Circuito Universitario s/n, Ciudad Universitaria, Col. Copilco, Del. Coyoacán, C.P. 04510, Ciudad de México, Tel. (55)56229164, http://www.revista.ib.unam.mx/index.php/bio/, falvarez@ib.unam.mx.Editor responsable: Dr. Fernando Álvarez Noguera. Reserva de Derechos al uso Exclusivo No. 04-2013-092709142100-203, ISSN: 2007-8706, ambos otorgados por el Instituto Nacional del Derecho de Autor, Responsable de la última actualización de este número, Instituto de Biología, UNAM, Dr. Fernando Álvarez Noguera, Tercer Circuito Universitario s/n, Ciudad Universitaria, Col. Copilco, Del. Coyoacán, C.P. 04510, Ciudad de México, fecha de la última modificación: 25 de agosto de 2016.

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