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On the longevity, growth and reproductive characteristics of Lichtenstein’s Toadhead Agama, Phrynocephalus interscapularis Lichtenstein, 1856 (Agamidae, Sauria)

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We aimed to analyze growth and longevity in relation to reproductive characteristics in a population of smallest species of agamid lizard, Phrynocephalus interscapularis using skeletochronology. Growth layers in the humerus were examined to estimate lizard age and growth, and to check the hypothesis of an annual turnover of short-term life of arid small lizards. Individual age of lizards in a sample of 50 individuals was determined. Ageing by skeletochronology showed the maximum age of lizards in the population as about three years and determined the following age structure of the sample: 18 one-year-old individuals (after the first hibernation), 19 two-year old individuals and 11 three-year old ones. It was shown that in studied population the largest specimen (a male of 37 mm) is not the oldest. The problem of ephemeral annual lizards is discussed.

Affiliations: 1: 1N.K. Koltsov Institute for Developmental Biology, Russian Academy of Sciences, ul. Vavilova 26, 117334 Moscow, Russia ; 2: 2Zoological Institute, Russian Academy of Sciences, Universitetskaya nab.1, 199034, St. Petersburg, Russia

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