Intraspecific predation in the Liolaemus lizard radiation: a primer

Pincheira-Donoso, Daniel (2012) Intraspecific predation in the Liolaemus lizard radiation: a primer. Animal Biology, 62 (3). pp. 277-287. ISSN 1570-7555

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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.

Keywords:Trophic ecology, Cannibalism, Ecology, Lizards, Liolaemus
Subjects:C Biological Sciences > C180 Ecology
Divisions:College of Science > School of Life Sciences
ID Code:9268
Deposited On:01 May 2013 08:47

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