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.

The 2017/18  impact factor of the Herpetological Journal is 1.268

pdf 03. The 'survey' posture in wall lizards, Podarcis muralis


Open Access


Authors: Roger Avery

Abstract: Male, female and juvenile wall lizards (Podarcis muralis) observed living on a high, southfacing brick wall in April and August were sometimes ( 4% of total observation time in adult males) seen immobile, facing downwards in an orientation equivalent to the 'survey' posture of Anolis and other lguanidae. Some aspects of the temporal dynamics of the behaviour were investigated. It was most commonly seen in adult males during August, when there were significant trends for the frequency of the posture to increase towards the base of the wall and for the mean time spent immobile in the posture to be greater than the mean times immobile at other orientations. The 'survey' posture at the middle and higher levels of the wall appeared to be associated with topographical features such as small tufts of vegetation or bricks which stood proud from the remainder. This association could not be tested directly, but fixing a small strip of wood to the wall increased the duration of locomotor pauses and the frequency of 'survey' postures of lizards when they were immediately above it.

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