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Escape strategy of Schreiber’s green lizards ( Lacerta schreiberi) is determined by environment but not season or sex

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Antipredator escape behaviour varies with several well-established sources of variation ranging from the physical environment to reproductive status. However, the relative roles of these sources are rarely assessed together. We measured (i) the distance to the nearest refuge that Schreiber’s green lizards, Lacerta schreiberi, maintained before an attack (refuge distance) and (ii) the distance lizards allowed a simulated predator to approach before fleeing (flight initiation distance, FID). Refuge distance was unaffected by studied variables. However, FID was positively related to refuge distance on grassy, but not on rocky substrates. Furthermore, refuge distance and escape angle interacted in a substrate-independent manner: lizards allowed predators close when refuges were close or when lizards had to flee towards the predator. In contrast, neither mating season nor sex affected FID. We suggest that the escape strategy of L. schreiberiis determined more by the physical environment than by sex or reproductive condition.

Affiliations: 1: aDepartamento de Ecología Evolutiva, Museo Nacional de Ciencias Naturales, Consejo Superior de Investigaciones Científicas, José Gutiérrez Abascal 2, E-28006 Madrid, Spain; 2: bBehavioural Ecology Group, Department of Systematic Zoology and Ecology, Eötvös Loránd University, Pázmány Péter sétány 1/c, H-1117, Budapest, Hungary

10.1163/1568539X-00003290
/content/journals/10.1163/1568539x-00003290
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2015-07-27
2017-04-25

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