Food habits, habitat preference, reproduction, and diurnal activity in four sympatric species of whiptail lizards (<i>Cnemidophorus</i>)

TitleFood habits, habitat preference, reproduction, and diurnal activity in four sympatric species of whiptail lizards (Cnemidophorus)
Publication TypeThesis
Year of Publication1966
AuthorsMedica PAnthony
Date Published1966
UniversityNew Mexico State University
CityLas Cruces, New Mexico
Thesis TypeM.S. Thesis
Call Number00214
KeywordsCnemidophorus, diurnal activity, Cnemidophorus, food habits, Cnemidophorus, habitat preference, Cnemidophorus, reproduction, dissertation, dissertations, lizard, whiptail lizards, lizard,diurnal activity, lizard,food habits, lizard,habitat preference, lizard,reproduction, lizard,sympatric species, reptile, also SEE <LIZARD>, theses, thesis
AbstractNiche relationships of four sympatric species of whiptail lizards, Cnemidophorus, were studied during 1964 and 1965, along the Rio Grande near Mesilla, Dona Ana County, New Mexico. Comparisons among Cnemidophorus tigris, C. perplexus, C. exsanguis and C. inornatus were based on size, habitat distribution, food habitats, reproduction, and temperature relationships. Significant size differences exist among the species as well as sexual dimorphism in C. tigris, with males the larger. The distribution of C. tigris and C. perplexus in 1964 remained separate from those of C. exsanguis and C. inornatus, but in 1965 all ranges overlapped. All expanded their ranges, except C. exsanguis, which remained the same. Increased in 1965 with more food probably permitted the increased of usable habitat. Competition for food was not evident between C. exsanguis and C. inornatus. There was a strong possibility of competition, however, between C. tigris and C. perplexus since they occupied the same habitat and had similar food preferences. All species favored Lepidoptera and Coleoptera, but in a dry year Hymenoptera were also ready eaten.Cnemidophorus exsanguis had shorter breeding season, from late June to the end of July, but the other three species are reproductively active from late May to the end of July. Preferred body temperatures of all Cnemidophorus studied were between 39.0 and 40.0 C. These temperatures were attained at different times during the early morning. There are a few differences between the species in seasonal and daily activity, but these differences do not seem to be great enough to allow habitat overlap without competition.