Mainland versus island differences in behaviour of Podarcis lizards confronted with dangerous prey: The scorpion Buthus occitanus

A. M. Castilla, A. Herrel, A. Gosa

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

7 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Rapid divergence in behaviour of populations invading novel habitats is often considered adaptive as it may allow a species to exploit novel resources. Here we explore the behavioural response of two closely related species of Podarcis lizards living in different habitats, the Spanish mainland and a dry volcanic island, towards a potentially dangerous prey. Our results show that whereas insular lizards attacked scorpions and consequently considered them to be potential prey, mainland lizards tended to flee or ignored them. Sexual differences in the response to scorpions were pronounced in the insular habitat. Males tended to attack scorpions while females tended to ignore them. Inter-specific and inter-sexual differences in the responses of lizards may be mediated by body size differences between populations and sexes. The rapid changes in behaviour allowing insular lizards to recognize scorpions as potential prey may have allowed these animals to capitalize on an abundant food resource in a depauperate environment.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2331-2342
Number of pages12
JournalJournal of Natural History
Volume42
Issue number35-36
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2008
Externally publishedYes

Fingerprint

Buthus occitanus
Scorpions
Lizards
Scorpiones
Islands
lizard
lizards
Ecosystem
habitat
habitats
volcanic island
Body Size
behavior change
resource
behavioral response
Population
body size
divergence
Podarcis
Food

Keywords

  • Columbretes
  • Evolution
  • Feeding
  • Mediterranean
  • Poison
  • Sexual differences

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Agricultural and Biological Sciences(all)
  • Ecology

Cite this

Mainland versus island differences in behaviour of Podarcis lizards confronted with dangerous prey : The scorpion Buthus occitanus. / Castilla, A. M.; Herrel, A.; Gosa, A.

In: Journal of Natural History, Vol. 42, No. 35-36, 2008, p. 2331-2342.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

@article{f8d60d32940942c9bc3095981b2fa2e4,
title = "Mainland versus island differences in behaviour of Podarcis lizards confronted with dangerous prey: The scorpion Buthus occitanus",
abstract = "Rapid divergence in behaviour of populations invading novel habitats is often considered adaptive as it may allow a species to exploit novel resources. Here we explore the behavioural response of two closely related species of Podarcis lizards living in different habitats, the Spanish mainland and a dry volcanic island, towards a potentially dangerous prey. Our results show that whereas insular lizards attacked scorpions and consequently considered them to be potential prey, mainland lizards tended to flee or ignored them. Sexual differences in the response to scorpions were pronounced in the insular habitat. Males tended to attack scorpions while females tended to ignore them. Inter-specific and inter-sexual differences in the responses of lizards may be mediated by body size differences between populations and sexes. The rapid changes in behaviour allowing insular lizards to recognize scorpions as potential prey may have allowed these animals to capitalize on an abundant food resource in a depauperate environment.",
keywords = "Columbretes, Evolution, Feeding, Mediterranean, Poison, Sexual differences",
author = "Castilla, {A. M.} and A. Herrel and A. Gosa",
year = "2008",
doi = "10.1080/00222930802254763",
language = "English",
volume = "42",
pages = "2331--2342",
journal = "Journal of Natural History",
issn = "0022-2933",
publisher = "Taylor and Francis Ltd.",
number = "35-36",

}

TY - JOUR

T1 - Mainland versus island differences in behaviour of Podarcis lizards confronted with dangerous prey

T2 - The scorpion Buthus occitanus

AU - Castilla, A. M.

AU - Herrel, A.

AU - Gosa, A.

PY - 2008

Y1 - 2008

N2 - Rapid divergence in behaviour of populations invading novel habitats is often considered adaptive as it may allow a species to exploit novel resources. Here we explore the behavioural response of two closely related species of Podarcis lizards living in different habitats, the Spanish mainland and a dry volcanic island, towards a potentially dangerous prey. Our results show that whereas insular lizards attacked scorpions and consequently considered them to be potential prey, mainland lizards tended to flee or ignored them. Sexual differences in the response to scorpions were pronounced in the insular habitat. Males tended to attack scorpions while females tended to ignore them. Inter-specific and inter-sexual differences in the responses of lizards may be mediated by body size differences between populations and sexes. The rapid changes in behaviour allowing insular lizards to recognize scorpions as potential prey may have allowed these animals to capitalize on an abundant food resource in a depauperate environment.

AB - Rapid divergence in behaviour of populations invading novel habitats is often considered adaptive as it may allow a species to exploit novel resources. Here we explore the behavioural response of two closely related species of Podarcis lizards living in different habitats, the Spanish mainland and a dry volcanic island, towards a potentially dangerous prey. Our results show that whereas insular lizards attacked scorpions and consequently considered them to be potential prey, mainland lizards tended to flee or ignored them. Sexual differences in the response to scorpions were pronounced in the insular habitat. Males tended to attack scorpions while females tended to ignore them. Inter-specific and inter-sexual differences in the responses of lizards may be mediated by body size differences between populations and sexes. The rapid changes in behaviour allowing insular lizards to recognize scorpions as potential prey may have allowed these animals to capitalize on an abundant food resource in a depauperate environment.

KW - Columbretes

KW - Evolution

KW - Feeding

KW - Mediterranean

KW - Poison

KW - Sexual differences

UR - http://www.scopus.com/inward/record.url?scp=51649107575&partnerID=8YFLogxK

UR - http://www.scopus.com/inward/citedby.url?scp=51649107575&partnerID=8YFLogxK

U2 - 10.1080/00222930802254763

DO - 10.1080/00222930802254763

M3 - Article

AN - SCOPUS:51649107575

VL - 42

SP - 2331

EP - 2342

JO - Journal of Natural History

JF - Journal of Natural History

SN - 0022-2933

IS - 35-36

ER -