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Observations on the natural history of Lacerta lepida in Cádiz Province, Spain

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Cádiz Province, Spain, is the southernmost extent of the range of L. lepida. Within this area, L. lepida demonstrates no distinct preference for any habitat and inhabits man-made and natural shelters with equal frequency. L. lepida is diurnal and active at the surface at ambient temperatures between 15.6°C and 42°C from February through November. Males are 4% to 8% heavier than females of equivalent body length. The rate of parasitism from nematodes is low (6%). The Cádiz Province population has the most diverse diet of any population studied to date. The taxonomic composition of the diet of males and females is identical, and consists mostly of invertebrate prey. Mean prey size and prey diversity are not correlated with lizard body size. Lacerta lepida is cannibalistic. Spermatogenesis and follicular development occur from April through July, egg laying occurs between early June and early July, and clutch size may vary from 4 to 18. Lacerta lepida reproduces only once annually.

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