Activity patterns and habitat selection in a population of the African fire skink (Lygosoma fernandi) from the Niger Delta, Nigeria
The African fire skink, Lygosoma fernandi, is a poorly known, large scincid species inhabiting the rainforests of central and western Africa. Aspects of its field ecology (daily and seasonal activity patterns and habitat selection) were studied at a coastal site in southeastern Nigeria. Skinks were studied by both pitfall traps and visual encounter survey techniques for a total of 40 field days (20 in the dry and 20 in the wet season) by nine researchers. Over 98% of skinks (n=106) were active between 1715 and 1830, while only 2% were found out of their burrow earlier in the day. Above-ground activity was significantly more intense during the wet season. Lygosoma fernandi selected habitat types regardless of their relative availability in the field, and showed a clear preference for swamp forest and lowland forest patches. Mangrove swamps were, on the other hand, actively avoided.
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Document Type: Research Article
Publication date: October 1, 2009
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- The Herpetological Journal is an international scientific journal that publishes papers on the natural history of amphibians and reptiles. Experimental, observational and theoretical studies are published along with reviews and book reviews. Faunistic lists, letters and results of general surveys are not published unless they shed light on herpetological problems of wider significance.
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