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Ecological observations on the gecko

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image of Amphibia-Reptilia

Hemidactylus brookii was the most common gecko in the Terai of central Nepal, occurring both in the forest and on buildings. In the Royal Chitwan National Park, samples of adult males (46.4 ± 0.04 mm SVL) were not significantly different from adult females (45.3 + 0.04 mm SVL) in body size and head measurements, except head width (males 9.1 ± 0.2 mm, females 8.7 ± 0.1 mm). All measures of head size were significantly different between sexes when the effect of body size was removed. Males were sexually mature at 42 mm SVL and females at 43 mm SVL. The reproductive pattern of both species is vernal; activities are concentrated in spring (premonsoon). Growth averaged 0.8 mm/month between premonsoon and postmonsoon sampling periods. Adult survivorship was estimated at 14.3% for this six month period. Population size was estimated at 105 lizards on six small buildings in a < 1 ha area. Peak activity period was 1900-2300 h. Hemidactylus brookii in Nepal appears to possess life history characteristics associated with annual population turnover.

Affiliations: 1: Department of Biology, University of Richmond, Richmond, VA 23172, U.S.A.; 2: Department of Vertebrate Zoology, National Museum of Natural History, Washington, DC 20560, U.S.A.


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