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Male-female spacing patterns in the lizard, Sceloporus virgatus

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The spatial distribution of Sceloporus virgatus in the Chiricahua Mountains of Arizona was studied during the breeding season. Male home ranges were, on average, more than four times larger than those of females. Home range overlap of both sexes was extensive, with most individuals overlapping multiple males and multiple females. Home range overlap of males with females was significantly correlated with an independently calculated estimate of male mating success. For most females (71%), one of the males overlapped a substantially larger portion of her home range than any other male. Similarly, for most females (76%) a single one of the overlapping males courted the female more often or was sighted at closer distances to the female. The remaining females did not associate primarily with a single male.

Affiliations: 1: Department of Biology, University of Houston, Houston, TX 77204-5513, USA


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