Cookies Policy

This site uses cookies. By continuing to browse the site you are agreeing to our use of cookies.

I accept this policy

Find out more here

Intraspecific predation in the Liolaemus lizard radiation: a primer

No metrics data to plot.
The attempt to load metrics for this article has failed.
The attempt to plot a graph for these metrics has failed.
The full text of this article is not currently available.

Brill’s MyBook program is exclusively available on BrillOnline Books and Journals. Students and scholars affiliated with an institution that has purchased a Brill E-Book on the BrillOnline platform automatically have access to the MyBook option for the title(s) acquired by the Library. Brill MyBook is a print-on-demand paperback copy which is sold at a favorably uniform low price.

Access this article

+ Tax (if applicable)
Add to Favorites
You must be logged in to use this functionality

image of Animal Biology
For more content, see Archives Néerlandaises de Zoologie (Vol 1-17) and Netherlands Journal of Zoology (Vol 18-52).

Intraspecific predation (cannibalism) occurs in a number of lizard species, although the incidence of this trophic behaviour appears to be infrequent. Within the South American Liolaemus lizard evolutionary radiation, the primary component of the carnivorous diet (herbivory has also evolved in several species) includes a diversity of arthropods and other invertebrates. However, a number of cases of saurophagy, mostly cannibalism, have also been reported in different species. Here, I review for the first time the occurrence of cannibalism in this prominent group of lizards, one of the largest and more ecologically diverse living adaptive radiations. Adults of five Liolaemus species have previously been reported to feed on conspecific hatchlings, and one additional case (L. zapallarensis) is reported in this paper. In general, cannibalism is found in species located at the right side of the body size frequency distribution, while no cases have been reported on the far left range of body sizes, suggesting that cannibalism is more common in large species. Only one species of medium size (L. darwinii) is known to feed on conspecifics. In addition, males are responsible for 83% of the cases of cannibalism, while only one case of female cannibalism is known (L. chiliensis). Finally, no clear phylogenetic signal can be inferred from these observations, as the six reported cannibal species belong to four of the five main Liolaemus clades.

Affiliations: 1: Centre for Ecology and Conservation, College of Life & Environmental Sciences, University of Exeter, Streatham Campus, Exeter, EX4 4PS, Devon, United Kingdom


Full text loading...


Data & Media loading...

1. Avila L.J. , Belver L. ( 2000) " Liolaemus koslowsky: saurophagy". Herpetol. Rev., Vol 31, 174.
2. Avila L.J. , Morando M. ( 2002) " Liolaemus petrophilus: saurophagy". Herpetol. Rev., Vol 33, 52.
3. Castilla A.M. , Van Damme R. ( 1996) "Cannibalistic propensities in the lizard Podarcis hispanica atrata ". Copeia, Vol 1996, 991- 994.
4. Cei J.M. ( 1986) Reptiles del Centro, Centro-Oeste y Sur de la Argentina. Herpetofauna de las Zonas Áridas y Semiáridas. Museo Regionale di Scienze Naturali di Torino, Torino.
5. Cei J.M. ( 1993) Reptiles del Noroeste, Nordeste y Este de la Argentina. Herpetofauna de las Selvas Subtropicales, Puna y Pampas. Museo Regionale di Scienze Naturali di Torino, Torino.
6. Crump M.L. ( 1992) "Cannibalism in amphibians". In: Elgar M.A. , Crespi B.J. (Eds.) Cannibalism. Ecology and Evolution among Diverse Taxa, pp. 256- 276. Oxford University Press, Oxford.
7. Donoso-Barros R. ( 1966) Reptiles de Chile. Ediciones Universidad de Chile, Santiago.
8. Duellman W.E. , Trueb L. ( 1994) Biology of Amphibians. Johns Hopkins University Press, Maryland.
9. Elgar M.A. , Crespi B.J. ( 1992) Cannibalism. Ecology and Evolution among Diverse Taxa. Oxford University Press, Oxford.
10. Espinoza R.E. , Wiens J.J. , Tracy C.R. ( 2004) "Recurrent evolution of herbivory in small, cold-climate lizards: breaking the ecophysiological rules of reptilian herbivory". Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. USA, Vol 101, 16819- 16824.
11. Fox L.R. ( 1975) "Cannibalism in natural populations". Ann. Rev. Ecol. Syst., Vol 6, 87- 106.
12. Gray S.M. , Dill L.M. , McKinnon J.S. ( 2007) "Cuckoldry incites cannibalism: male fish turn to cannibalism when perceived certainty of paternity decreases". Am. Nat., Vol 169, 258- 263.
13. Halloy M. , Halloy S. ( 1997) "An indirect form of parental care in a high altitude viviparous lizard, Liolaemus huacahuasicus(Tropiduridae)". Bull. Maryl. Herpetol. Soc., Vol 33, 139- 155.
14. Harmon L.J. , Schulte J.A. , Larson A. , Losos J.B. ( 2003) "Tempo and mode of evolutionary radiation in iguanian lizards". Science, Vol 301, 961- 964.
15. Hrdy S. ( 1979) "Infanticide among animals: a review, classification, and examination of the implications for reproductive strategies of females". Ethol. Sociobiol., Vol 1, 13- 40.
16. Jaksic F.M. ( 1998) Ecología de los Vertebrados de Chile. Ediciones Universidad Católica de Chile, Santiago.
17. Jenssen T.A. , Marcellini D.L. , Buhlmann K.A. , Goforth P.H. ( 1989) "Differential infanticide by adult curly-tailed lizards, Leiocephalus schreibersi ". Anim. Behav., Vol 38, 1054- 1061.
18. Kozykariski M. , Goldman J. , Olave M. , Avila L.J. ( 2009) " Liolaemus rothi: cannibalism". Herpetol. Rev., Vol 40, 89.
19. Labra A. , Pienaar J. , Hansen T.F. ( 2009) "Evolution of thermal physiology in Liolaemuslizards: adaptation, phylogenetic inertia, and niche tracking". Am. Nat., Vol 174, 204- 220.
20. Lourdais O. , Brischoux F. , Shine R. , Bonnet X. ( 2005) "Adaptive maternal cannibalism in snakes ( Epicrates cenchria maurus, Boidae)". Biol. J. Linn. Soc., Vol 84, 767- 774.
21. Mitchell J.C. ( 1986). "Cannibalism in reptiles: a worldwide review". Soc. Stud. Amphib. Rept. Herpetol. Circular, Vol 15, 1- 37.
22. Morando M. , Avila L.J. , Baker J. , Sites J.W. ( 2004) "Phylogeny and phylogeography of the Liolaemus darwiniicomplex (Squamata: Liolaemidae): evidence for introgression and incomplete lineage sorting". Evolution, Vol 58, 842- 861.
23. O’Grady S.P. , Morando M. , Avila L.J. , Dearing M.D. ( 2005) "Correlating diet and digestive tract specialization: examples from the lizard family Liolaemidae". Zoology, Vol 108, 201- 210.
24. Perez C.H.F. , Perez D.R. , Avila L.J. ( 2009) "Liolaemus austromendocinus: saurophagy". Herpetol. Rev., Vol 40, 222- 223.
25. Pfennig D.W. ( 1997) "Kinship and cannibalism". BioScience, Vol 47, 667- 675.
26. Pincheira-Donoso D. ( 2000) "Hallazgo de predación intraespecífica en Liolaemus chilensis(Lesson, 1831) (Sauria-Tropiduridae)". Rev. Integr. Biol. Concepción, Vol 1, 33- 35.
27. Pincheira-Donoso D. ( 2008) "Testing the accuracy of fecal-based analyses in studies of trophic ecology in lizards". Copeia, Vol 2008, 322- 325.
28. Pincheira-Donoso D. , Hodgson D.J. , Tregenza T. ( 2008a) "The evolution of body size under environmental gradients in ectotherms: why should Bergmann’s rule apply to lizards?" BMC Evol. Biol., Vol 8, 68.
29. Pincheira-Donoso D. , Scolaro J.A. , Sura P. ( 2008b) "A monographic catalogue on the systematics and phylogeny of the South American iguanian lizard family Liolaemidae (Squamata, Iguania)". Zootaxa, Vol 1800, 1- 85.
30. Pincheira-Donoso D. , Hodgson D.J. , Stipala J. , Tregenza T. ( 2009) "A phylogenetic analysis of sex-specific evolution of ecological morphology in Liolaemuslizards". Ecol. Res., Vol 24, 1223- 1231.
31. Pincheira-Donoso D. , Tregenza T. ( 2011) "Fecundity selection and the evolution of reproductive output and sex-specific body size in the Liolaemuslizard adaptive radiation". Evol. Biol., Vol 38, 197- 207.
32. Pizzatto L. , Shine R. ( 2008) "The behavioral ecology of cannibalism in cane toads ( Bufo marinus)". Behav. Ecol. Sociobiol., Vol 63, 123- 133.
33. Polis G. , Myers C.A. ( 1985) "A survey of intraspecific predation among reptiles and amphibians". J. Herpetol., Vol 19, 99- 107.
34. Polis G.A. ( 1981) "The evolution and dynamics of intraspecific predation". Ann. Rev. Ecol. Syst., Vol 12, 225- 251.
35. Pough F.H. , Andrews R.M. , Cadle J.E. , Crump M.L. , Savitzky A.H. , Wells K.D. ( 2004) Herpetology. Pearson, Prentice Hall, New Jersey.
36. Rand A.S. , Andrews R.M. ( 1975) "Adult color dimorphism and juvenile pattern in Anolis cuvieri ". J. Herpetol., Vol 9, 257- 260.
37. Ripoll Y. , Acosta J.C. ( 2007) " Liolaemus darwinii: cannibalism". Herpetol. Rev., Vol 38, 459.
38. Rocha C.F.D. ( 1992a) " Liolaemus lutzae(sand lizard): cannibalism". Herpetol. Rev., Vol 23, 60.
39. Rocha C.F.D. ( 1992b) "Reproductive and fat body cycles of the tropical sand lizard ( Liolaemus lutzae) of southeastern Brazil". J. Herpetol., Vol 26, 17- 23.
40. Rocha C.F.D. ( 1996) "Seasonal shift in lizard diet: the seasonality in food resources affecting the diet of Liolaemus lutzae(Tropiduridae)". Cien. Cult. Sao Paulo, Vol 48, 264- 269.
41. Rocha C.F.D. ( 2000) "Selectivity in plant food consumption in the lizard Liolaemus lutzaefrom southeasten Brazil". Stud. Neotrop. Fauna Environ., Vol 35, 14- 18.;1-M;FT014
42. Rotary N. , Gerling D. ( 1973) "The influence of some external factors upon the sex ratio of Bracon hebetorSay (Hymenoptera: Braconidae)". Environ. Entomol., Vol 2, 132- 138.
43. Schulte J.A. , Macey J.R. , Espinoza R.E. , Larson A. ( 2000) "Phylogenetic relationships in the iguanid lizard genus Liolaemus: multiple origins of viviparous reproduction and evidence for recurring Andean vicariance and dispersal". Biol. J. Linn. Soc., Vol 69, 75- 102.
44. Schulte J.A. , Losos J.B. , Cruz F.B. , Núñez H. ( 2004) "The relationship between morphology, escape behaviour and microhabitat occupation in the lizard clade Liolaemus(Iguanidae: Tropidurinae: Liolaemini)". J. Evol. Biol., Vol 17, 408- 420.
45. Scolaro J.A. ( 2005) Reptiles Patagónicos Sur. Una Guía de Campo. Editorial Universidad Nacional de la Patagonia, Trelew.
46. Shankman P. ( 1969) "Le Rôti et le Bouilli: Lévi-Strauss’ theory of cannibalism". Am. Anthropol., Vol 71, 54- 69.
47. Siqueira C.C. , Rocha C.F.D. ( 2008) "Predation by lizards as a mortality source for juvenile lizards in Brazil". S. Am. J. Herpetol., Vol 3, 82- 87.[82:PBLAAM]2.0.CO;2
48. Vitt L.J. , Pianka E.R. ( 2005) "Deep history impacts present day ecology and biodiversity". Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. USA, Vol 102, 7877- 7881.
49. Vitt L.J. , Pianka E.R. ( 2007) "Feeding ecology in the natural world". In: Reilly S.M. , McBrayer L.D. , Miles D.B. (Eds.) Lizard Ecology: The Evolutionary Consequences of Foraging Mode, pp. 141- 172. Cambridge University Press, Cambridge.

Article metrics loading...



Can't access your account?
  • Tools

  • Add to Favorites
  • Printable version
  • Email this page
  • Subscribe to ToC alert
  • Get permissions
  • Recommend to your library

    You must fill out fields marked with: *

    Librarian details
    Your details
    Why are you recommending this title?
    Select reason:
    Animal Biology — Recommend this title to your library
  • Export citations
  • Key

  • Full access
  • Open Access
  • Partial/No accessInformation