We dissected preserved specimens from bath oviparous and viviparous South Australian populations of a fossorial skink Lerista bougainvillii, to identify food items and to examine possible effects of sex and reproductive mode on the composition of the diet. There were significant differences in dietary composition (i) between the sexes and (ii) within each sex, between oviparous (Eyre Peninsula, Fleurieu Peninsula) and viviparous (Kangaroo Island) conspecifics. In both populations. females tended to feed primarily on large, surface-active prey (primarily hemipterans) rather than the smaller, secretive prey (especially weevils), that dominated the diets of males. This difference may reflect females' difficulties in penetrating into narrow spaces under cover items: females are the larger sex. and are considerably distended during gestation. Diets also differed between ovlparous and viviparous populations, in bath sexes, but these differences may reflect local resource availability rather than a direct effect of reproductive mode. Our preliminary analysis suggests that a more detailed study of this question would be worthwhile.
Effects of sex and reproductive mode on dietary composition of the reproductively bimodal scincid lizard, Lerista bougainvillii
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Graeme Barden, Richard Shine; Effects of sex and reproductive mode on dietary composition of the reproductively bimodal scincid lizard, Lerista bougainvillii. Australian Zoologist 1 December 1994; 29 (3-4): 225–228. doi: https://doi.org/10.7882/AZ.1994.009
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