Record Details

Smits, Allan W
Behavioral and dietary responses to aridity in the chuckwalla, Sauromalus hispidus
Journal of Herpetology
Journal Article
Sauromalus hispidus;Sauromalus obesus
Behavioral and dietary responses to the situation of herbivory in an extremely arid environment were observed in the insular chuckwalla, Sauromalus hispidus. Behavioral adjustments by lizards in their daily activity and their reliance on fruits produced by perennial species of cacti enabled lizards to maintain intake of energy and water throughout the summer. Lizards invested relatively little effort in intraspecific social behaviors (aggression, reproduction, territoriality); home ranges of males were comparatively small, and overlapped significantly with each other and with areas where vegetation (i.e., food) was most abundant. These adjustments in behavior and diet observed in S. hispidus are discussed in terms of their similarities and differences to those of the well-studied, Mohave chuckwalla, S. obesus.