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Summer Activity Patterns of Testudo hermanni GMELIN in Greece and France

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Daily activity patterns of Testudo hermanni in summer are described for two sites, Alyki, a coastal heathland in Greece, and the Massif des Maures, a woodland in France. Activity was bimodal in the former and unimodal in the latter. Habitat type was thought to be more important than latitude and climate in accounting for this pattern. AtAlyki there was a sex ratio of encounters of2. 7 ♂: 1 ♀ in summer, but no differences between the sexes in daily activity pattern. In the Massif des Maures, the ratio varied through the season, from 0.5 ♂: 1 9 in June, to 2.6 ♂: 1 9 in September, suggesting seasonal differences in activity of the sexes. Population density at Alyki was 5 times greater than in the Massif des Maures, yet sighting frequency was similar. This was accounted for by the increased ease offinding active animals in the woodland from the noise they made in the leaf litter.

Affiliations: 1: Department of Zoology, University of Nottingham, NG7 2RD, U.K.; 2: Department of Zoology, University College of North Wales, Bangor, Gwynedd LL57 2UW, U.K.; 3: School of Continuing Education, Rutherford College, University of Kent, Canterbury CT2 7NX, U.K.


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