The British Herpetological Society

The Herpetological Journal is the Society's prestigious quarterly scientific journal. Articles are listed in Biological Abstracts, Current Awareness in Biological Sciences,Current Contents, Science Citation Index, and Zoological Record.

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pdf 06. Activity patterns and habitat selection in a population of the African fire skink (Lygosoma fernandi) from the Niger Delta, Nigeria


Open Access

pp. 207-211
Authors: Akani, Godfrey C.; Luiselli, Luca; Ogbeibu, Anthony E.; Uwaegbu, Mike & Ebere, Nwabueze

Abstract: 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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