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.

 ISSN 0268-0130

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pdf 04. Does tail regeneration following autotomy restore lizard sprint speed? Evidence from the lacertid Psammodromus algirus


Open Access

pp. 213-218

Authors: Francisco Javier Zamora-Camacho, María Virtudes Rubiño-Hispán, Senda Reguera & Gregorio Moreno-Rueda

Abstract: Tail autotomy is a widespread antipredator strategy among lizards, which consists of the capability of willingly detaching a portion of the tail in order to escape predator attacks. Nonetheless, tail autotomy has a number of costs, including reduced sprint speed which increases predation risk. However, lizards regenerate the tail following autotomy, although a regenerated tail is usually shorter and histologically different from the original tail. In the present work, we assess the effect of tail regeneration on sprint speed by comparing Psammodromus algirus lizards with intact and regenerated tails under controlled laboratory conditions. We found that sprint speed was similar in lizards with intact and regenerated tails. Therefore, tail regeneration following autotomy effectively restored sprint speed, although regenerated tails were shorter than intact ones. Thus, regenerating shorter tails could diminish anabolic costs with no negative consequences on flight ability.

 Key words: intact tail, lizard, regenerated tail, sprint speed, tail autotomy

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Please note that as from Volume 31 Number 1 (January 2021) on, the Herpetological Journal will be available as an online publication only - the last print edition will be Volume 30 Number 4.   

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