Abstract

Both phylogenetic and environmental forces can drive ecological variation across the geographic distribution of squamates. We compared microhabitat use, temperature, diet, and reproductive data among three Tropidurus hispidus and Cnemidophorus ocellifer populations (Caatinga; Atlantic Forest; and Restinga coastal environments) and tested whether these characteristics varied along that distribution. Tropidurus hispidus was found primarily on human-made structures or tree trunks, and C. ocellifer was more often found on open ground or associated with vegetation. Substrate temperature was the most influential factor on body temperature, and no difference in body temperatures was observed among populations. Overall, diet composition was similar among populations; however, some differences were observed for main prey categories for C. ocellifer. Mean clutch size (T. hispidus = 6 eggs; C. ocellifer = 2 eggs) did not significantly differ among populations. Tropidurus hispidus seems to avoid reproducing during the dry season, exhibiting seasonal reproduction in the Caatinga and continuous reproduction in the Restinga and Atlantic Forest. Cnemidophorus ocellifer exhibited seasonal reproduction in the Tabuleiro region of the Atlantic Forest and continuous reproduction in the other two environments. Microhabitat use, diet, and reproductive cycle varied among populations of each species, whereas body temperature and clutch size remained unaltered, showing the importance of both ecological and historical factors along their geographic range.

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