Sources and Consequences of Intraspecific Variation in the Movement Patterns of the Ambush Foraging Lizard Sceloporus woodi

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Movement patterns as they relate to foraging behavior have played an important role in the understanding of lizard ecology and their evolutionary history. Surprisingly little attention has been given to the proximate factors that influence movement patterns and foraging behavior within a species. While movement patterns are often related to foraging, individuals also move for other reasons. If females remain stationary and are patchily distributed (as is the case in ambush foragers), breeding males may move more to acquire mates than they would to forage. Such an increase in movement by males could alter their growth, foraging patterns, diets, or at the very least, skew estimates of their true foraging effort. In 2007, preliminary data suggested that the ambush foraging lizard Sceloporus woodi showed a trend towards sexual dimorphism in movement patterns during the late breeding season and early post breeding seasons. The current study hypothesizes that male and female S. woodi differ in both movement and foraging patterns within the breeding season and between the breeding and post-breeding seasons. This study summarizes a full year of focal observations on male and female lizards from early breeding season to late post breeding season. Standard movement variables (percent time moving and moves per minute) will be presented and compared with additional metrics of foraging behavior (e.g. rate of foraging attempts, attacks while stationary). Lag sequential analysis will also be used to determine whether differences in movement patterns correspond to differences in the manner in which prey is acquired.


Society for Integrative and Comparative Biology Annual Meeting (SICB)


Boston, MA