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Body temperatures and exposure to sunshine of ruin lizards Podarcis sicula in central Italy

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Body temperatures (Tbs) of adult ruin lizards, Podarcis sicula, captured near Pisa (Italy) between February and November ranged from 22.4-38.5°C. There were no significant differences between sexes. Mean body temperatures in February-April and November were significantly lower than those recorded from May-October (29.0 and 32.7°C respectively). The overall relationship between Tb and soil temperature at the point of capture (Ts) showed two components. At Ts<28°C there was a highly significant association and 98% of individuals were recorded with Tb>Ts. At Ts> 28°C the association was less clear and Tb<Ts in nearly 30% of lizards. There were diel differences in exposure to sunshine at all seasons; exposure was greatest during the morning after emergence from overnight inactivity and during the late afternoon, least during the mid-day period.

Affiliations: 1: Museo Zoologico "La Specola", Sezione del Museo di Storia Naturale, Universitá di Firenze, Via Romana 17, 50125 Firenze, Italy, Department of Zoology, The University, Bristol BS8 1UG, UK; 2: Dipartimento di Scienze del Comportamento Animale e dell'Uomo, Universitá di Pisa, Via A Volta 6, 56100 Pisa, Italy; 3: Department of Zoology, The University, Bristol BS8 1UG, UK


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