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Revista mexicana de biodiversidad

On-line version ISSN 2007-8706Print version ISSN 1870-3453


FABER, Lieke; PLASMAN, Melissa  and  DUCHATEAU, Marie José H. M.. Territorial patterns of Dickerson’s collared lizard, Crotaphytus dickersonae. Rev. Mex. Biodiv. [online]. 2018, vol.89, n.4, pp.1127-1137. ISSN 2007-8706.

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.

Keywords : Territory quality; Color signal; Spatial behavior; Female home range; Exclusivity; Morphology; Resource-holding potential.

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