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An ethogram for the small scincid lizard Lampropholis guichenoti

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image of Amphibia-Reptilia

This paper describes and interprets the behaviours exhibited by captive specimens of Lampropholis guichenoti. An ethogram containing 45 behavioural acts was compiled. Complex communication displays were lacking in L. guichenoti, although many behaviours exhibited by this species were similar (and perhaps, evolutionarily homologous) to more complex displays in other types of lizards. Head-bobbing occurred but (judging from its context, and the lack of response of other lizards) functioned to enhance visual acuity rather than to serve as a social signal. Similarly, tail-twitching and tail-lashing occurred in both aggressive and submissive contexts, and seemed to express high levels of arousal rather than to act as ritualised social signals. Female L. guichenoti used a hitherto-unreported behaviour pattern (leg-twitching) to express submission.

Affiliations: 1: Department of Zoology, James Cook University, Townsville 4811, Australia; 2: Zoology A08, The University of Sydney, New South Wales 2006, Australia


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