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Actualidades Biológicas

Print version ISSN 0304-3584

Abstract

BARRAGAN-CONTRERAS, Leidy A.  and  CALDERON-ESPINOSA, Martha L.. WHAT DO ANOLIS EAT?: EVALUATION OF SEXUAL DIMORPHISM AND GEOGRAPHIC VARIATION IN THE DIET OF ANOLIS VENTRIMACULATUS (SQUAMATA: DACTYLOIDAE) IN COLOMBIA. Actu Biol [online]. 2013, vol.35, n.99, pp.199-208. ISSN 0304-3584.

Anolis lizards exhibit high morphological diversity, partially related to variation in structural resource use, that probably influences foraging behavior and prey selection of individuals and species. Anoles are largely insectivorous: most species are generalists/opportunists and few are specialists. Dietary differences between sexes and among individuals from different populations have been observed in several species. Sexual size dimorphism, spatial niche divergence between sexes and species, competition and food availability are some of the factors responsible for these differences. We characterized the diet of Anolis ventrimaculatus (Squamata: Dactyloidae), a species with sexual size and shape dimorphism, widely distributed in highland Colombian environments. Stomach and proximal intestinal content of preserved adults were analyzed. Prey items were classified to order and, when possible, to family. A. ventrimaculatus eats variable preys (mostly Hymenoptera, Coleoptera, and insect larvae) and is classified as a generalist/opportunist. Vegetal debris, shed skin, and stones presumably were ingested incidentally. Diets of males and females are similar. Sexual dimorphism and geographic variation in the diet were minimal. Males and females exhibited differences in total number and percentage of use of frequently consumed prey (Orthoptera and Hymenoptera), and these differences varied among localities. Total prey numbers consumed by females also varied among localities, whereas consumption of Coleoptera and Orthoptera varied in both sexes. Differences in prey size could explain the variation in prey number between sexes, with males probably ingesting larger items. Variation in prey availability (most likely attributable to differences in structural microhabitat use), sample sizes and dates of collecting events could explain minor geographic variation in some aspects of the foraging ecology in this species.

Keywords : Anolis ventrimaculatus; Colombia; diet; geographic variation; sexual dimorphism; Anolis ventrimaculatus; Colombia; dieta; dimorfismo sexual; variación geográfica.

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