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 02. Thermoregulation comparisons between a threatened native and an invasive lizard species


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pp. 70-76

Authors: Yole Caruso, Daniele Macale, Luca Luiselli & Leonardo Vignoli

Abstract: Lizard thermoregulation is costly and is largely behavioural. Podarcis raffonei, endemic of few islets of the Aeolian archipelago (southern Italy), is one of the most threatened lizards in Europe, its survival being under threat also due to the presence of the congeneric P. siculus, a successful invader characterised by behavioural plasticity and effectiveness and precision at regulating body temperature (Tb). We tested whether thermoregulation behaviour diverges between the two species by analysing (i) the heating rates under a standard thermal condition, and (ii) the temperature at which lizards ended basking (Tfinal) along a thermal gradient. Overall, we found behavioural differences between the two lizards (i.e. P. siculus exhibited lower Tfinal), although both species had comparable heating rates and thermoregulated in the same thermal conditions. The invasive P. siculus had lower Tfinal and, since heating rates were similar between species, it expended less time basking than native P.
raffonei. We speculate that the observed thermal ecology differences could provide a selective advantage to P. siculus in the harsh island environment.

Keywords: Podarcis raffonei, Podarcis siculus, lizard, biological invasion, competition

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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.   

Aligning with this change, it is now no longer possible to purchase a subscription that includes a print copy of the HJ.  All members who have existing HJ print subscriptions that remain active as at end June 2020 will receive the full four 2020 print editions.  New subscribers or renewals after this time will only have option to subscribe to the online only subscription package.  Subscription pricing has been amended to reflect the content changes.