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Aggregation behaviour and movement patterns in the large-scaled girdled lizard, Cordylus macropholis

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Aggregation behaviour and movement patterns were studied in the large-scaled girdled lizard, Cordylus macropholis. The size of aggregations within Euphorbia caput-medusae plants ranged from one to 14 individuals. Aggregation was a year-round phenomenon and aggregations were generally larger during autumn/winter than during spring/summer. Most aggregations consisted of an adult pair together with a varying number of juveniles. Site fidelity was low, with females showing significantly higher site fidelity than males. Movement of individuals in and out of the marked population was high, with no sex differences. Females covered slightly greater distances than males outside the mating season, whereas males covered slightly greater distances than females within the mating season. The results suggest that aggregation behaviour and high degree of movement in C. macropholis are the result of competition for a limited plant resource. The results do not confirm differential movement patterns between the sexes.


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