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The ecology of the island-lizard Podarcis sicula salfii

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image of Amphibia-Reptilia

In the summers of 1974 till 1979 microdistribution of Podarcis sicula saffti was examined. Areas without much vegetation and areas with dense vegetation have low densities. Horizontal space, predators, parasites, interspecific competition, shelter and dew appear to be non important factors in the microdistribution of P. s. safii. From 9 a. m. until 6 p. m. temperature in the sun is above PBT (preferred-body-temperature) in all zones. Shade temperature is different from one zone to another. In the most rocky zone without much vegetation, shade is provided by crevices. Shade temperature is under PBT. Food is mainly available outside crevices, in vegetation of Statice sinuatum. Food-size is small, so excursion-time will be long. Lizards are able to collect sufficient food if Statice-plants are close to crevices. The zone with vegetation of Erica arborea, on top of the island, is shaded all day. Shade temperature is under PBT. Only clearings are inhabited by lizards. All other zones have bushes and open areas. During the hot hours bushes provide shade, with shade temperature close to PBT. Food is mainly available in these bushes.

Affiliations: 1: Zonneveldstraat 3A, NL-2311 RV Leiden, The Netherlands


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