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Life at the interface: ecology of Prionodactylus oshaughnessyi in the western Amazon and comparisons with P. argulus and P. eigenmanni

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Abstract:

The gymnophthalmid lizard Prionodactylus oshaughnessyi was studied at two Amazonian rain-forest sites. These lizards live at the interface of the terrestrial habitat and arboreal habitat, are active throughout the day at relatively low body temperatures, and maintain body temperatures (29.0 ± 0.34°C) slightly higher than ambient temperatures. Grasshoppers and crickets, roaches, insect larvae, and spiders dominate their carnivorous diet. Sexual size dimorphism is not apparent but differences in coloration and relative head size exist, with males having brighter and more vivid coloration and a relatively larger head. Differences in activity time, prey type, prey size, and microhabitat use exist between populations. A comparison of three species of Prionodactylus from Amazonian rain forest revealed some ecological similarity. However, differences in microhabitat use and diet exist. Differences in Baupläne were consistent with differences in microhabitat use. Dietary overlaps were relatively low; nevertheless, diets of the Prionodactylus species were more similar to each other than expected, based on a null model analysis in which a sampling of all diets was used for comparison.

Nous avons fait l'étude du lézard gymnophthalmidé Prionodactylus oshaughnessyi à deux sites de la forêt pluvieuse d'Amazonie. Ces lézards vivent à l'interface des habitats au sol et des arbres, ils sont actifs toute la journée à des températures corporelles relativement basses (29,0 ± 0,34 °C) qu'ils maintiennent juste au-dessus de la température ambiante. Leur régime alimentaire carnivore est composé surtout de criquets, de grillons, de blattes, de larves d'insectes et d'araignées. La taille des lézards n'accuse aucun dimorphisme sexuel, mais les mâles ont une coloration plus brillante et plus prononcée et une tête plus grande. Il y a des différences entre les populations en ce qui a trait aux périodes d'activité, aux types de proies, à la taille des proies et à l'utilisation des microhabitats. Une comparaison des trois espèces de Prionodactylus de la forêt amazonienne révèle des ressemblances écologiques, bien qu'il y ait des différences dans l'utilisation des microhabitats et le régime alimentaire. Les différences de Bauplan chez ces espèces correspondent aux différences dans l'utilisation des microhabitats. Le chevauchement des régimes alimentaires est relativement faible; néanmoins, les régimes de Prionodactylus se ressemblent plus que ne le prévoit une analyse basée sur un modèle nul, qui utilise pour fins de comparaison un échantillonnage de tous les régimes alimentaires.[Traduit par la Rédaction]

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: February 1, 2003

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  • Published since 1929, this monthly journal reports on primary research contributed by respected international scientists in the broad field of zoology, including behaviour, biochemistry and physiology, developmental biology, ecology, genetics, morphology and ultrastructure, parasitology and pathology, and systematics and evolution. It also invites experts to submit review articles on topics of current interest.
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