Interspecific Variation in the Movement Patterns and Foraging Behavior of the Lizards Sceloporus undulatus and Sceloporus woodi

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Over the past forty years studies of variation in foraging behavior have provided valuable insights into the ecology and evolution of lizards. This body of work has revealed that larger clades (families) remain fixed towards the ends of a theoretical continuum of ambush to more active, wide foragers. However, few studies have quantified intraspecific variation in movement patterns and foraging behavior. If lizard foraging behavior exists as a continuum as current data suggests, then variation in the amount of movement and foraging activity should also exist at finer taxonomic scales (e.g. within a genus). Intraspecifically, territoriality necessitates frequent movement for maintenance and defense of the territory, which in turn, could cause males to exhibit a more active style of foraging than females. This study quantifies movement patterns in two closely related species Sceloporus undulatus and Sceloporus woodi. Sexual dimorphism(s) in foraging behavior will also be quantified. Each species was observed similar habitats in the Ocala National Forest, Florida. All behaviors of 20 individuals of each species (10 male, 10 female) were continuously videotaped for a minimum of 10 minutes. Differences in percent time moving, moves per minute, number of attacks while stationary, and duration of movements were quantified. To determine if differences in specific behaviors (locomotion or stillness) preceded foraging attempts, lag sequential analysis was conducted. Preliminary observations suggest that S. woodi exhibits a more active foraging style than S. undulatus and that males are more active foragers than females.


Society for Integrative and Comparative Biology Annual Meeting (SICB)


San Antonio, TX