Diet and habitat use of frillneck lizards in a seasonal tropical environment

A.D. Griffiths, K.A. Christian

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

    Abstract

    A population of frillneck lizards, Chlamydosaurus kingii, was monitored by mark-recapture and telemetry over a 2 year period in Kakadu National Park. The aims of the study were to document changes in diet, growth, condition and habitat use between the wet and dry seasons of northern Australia, in light of recent research examining seasonal variation in the physiology of this species. Frillneck lizards feed on a diverse range of invertebrates in both seasons, even though there is a substantial reduction in food availability in the dry season. Harvester termites from the genus Drepanotermes constitute a major component of the diet, and the prevalence of termites in the diet of sedentary foragers in a tropical environment is unusual. Adult male body condition remained relatively stable throughout the year, but females experienced considerable variation. These differences are attributed to different reproductive roles of the sexes. Growth in C. kingii was restricted to the wet season, when food availability was high, and growth was minimal in the dry season when food availability was low. The method used in catching lizards was an important factor in determining seasonal habitat use. Telemetered lizards selected a significantly different distribution of tree species than was randomly available, and they selected significantly larger tree species during the dry season. Lizards spotted along roadsides showed little seasonal variation in the selection of tree species or tree sizes. The results suggest a comprehensive change in the ecology of this species, in response to an annual cycle of low food and moisture availability, followed by a period with few resource restrictions.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)39-48
    Number of pages10
    JournalOecologia
    Volume106
    Issue number1
    DOIs
    Publication statusPublished - Apr 1996

    Fingerprint

    tropical environment
    habitat use
    lizard
    lizards
    dry season
    diet
    food availability
    habitats
    termite
    Isoptera
    wet season
    Drepanotermes
    seasonal variation
    capture of animals
    body condition
    harvesters
    telemetry
    annual cycle
    physiology
    national parks

    Cite this

    @article{6269877976944148b5466a98f5b62e65,
    title = "Diet and habitat use of frillneck lizards in a seasonal tropical environment",
    abstract = "A population of frillneck lizards, Chlamydosaurus kingii, was monitored by mark-recapture and telemetry over a 2 year period in Kakadu National Park. The aims of the study were to document changes in diet, growth, condition and habitat use between the wet and dry seasons of northern Australia, in light of recent research examining seasonal variation in the physiology of this species. Frillneck lizards feed on a diverse range of invertebrates in both seasons, even though there is a substantial reduction in food availability in the dry season. Harvester termites from the genus Drepanotermes constitute a major component of the diet, and the prevalence of termites in the diet of sedentary foragers in a tropical environment is unusual. Adult male body condition remained relatively stable throughout the year, but females experienced considerable variation. These differences are attributed to different reproductive roles of the sexes. Growth in C. kingii was restricted to the wet season, when food availability was high, and growth was minimal in the dry season when food availability was low. The method used in catching lizards was an important factor in determining seasonal habitat use. Telemetered lizards selected a significantly different distribution of tree species than was randomly available, and they selected significantly larger tree species during the dry season. Lizards spotted along roadsides showed little seasonal variation in the selection of tree species or tree sizes. The results suggest a comprehensive change in the ecology of this species, in response to an annual cycle of low food and moisture availability, followed by a period with few resource restrictions.",
    keywords = "diet, frillneck lizard, habitat use, harvester termite, termite, Australia, Norden Territory, Kakadu National Park, Chlamydosaurus kingii, Drepanotermes, Isoptera, Chlamydosaurus tzingii",
    author = "A.D. Griffiths and K.A. Christian",
    year = "1996",
    month = "4",
    doi = "10.1007/BF00334405",
    language = "English",
    volume = "106",
    pages = "39--48",
    journal = "Oecologia",
    issn = "0029-8549",
    publisher = "Springer-Verlag London Ltd.",
    number = "1",

    }

    Diet and habitat use of frillneck lizards in a seasonal tropical environment. / Griffiths, A.D.; Christian, K.A.

    In: Oecologia, Vol. 106, No. 1, 04.1996, p. 39-48.

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

    TY - JOUR

    T1 - Diet and habitat use of frillneck lizards in a seasonal tropical environment

    AU - Griffiths, A.D.

    AU - Christian, K.A.

    PY - 1996/4

    Y1 - 1996/4

    N2 - A population of frillneck lizards, Chlamydosaurus kingii, was monitored by mark-recapture and telemetry over a 2 year period in Kakadu National Park. The aims of the study were to document changes in diet, growth, condition and habitat use between the wet and dry seasons of northern Australia, in light of recent research examining seasonal variation in the physiology of this species. Frillneck lizards feed on a diverse range of invertebrates in both seasons, even though there is a substantial reduction in food availability in the dry season. Harvester termites from the genus Drepanotermes constitute a major component of the diet, and the prevalence of termites in the diet of sedentary foragers in a tropical environment is unusual. Adult male body condition remained relatively stable throughout the year, but females experienced considerable variation. These differences are attributed to different reproductive roles of the sexes. Growth in C. kingii was restricted to the wet season, when food availability was high, and growth was minimal in the dry season when food availability was low. The method used in catching lizards was an important factor in determining seasonal habitat use. Telemetered lizards selected a significantly different distribution of tree species than was randomly available, and they selected significantly larger tree species during the dry season. Lizards spotted along roadsides showed little seasonal variation in the selection of tree species or tree sizes. The results suggest a comprehensive change in the ecology of this species, in response to an annual cycle of low food and moisture availability, followed by a period with few resource restrictions.

    AB - A population of frillneck lizards, Chlamydosaurus kingii, was monitored by mark-recapture and telemetry over a 2 year period in Kakadu National Park. The aims of the study were to document changes in diet, growth, condition and habitat use between the wet and dry seasons of northern Australia, in light of recent research examining seasonal variation in the physiology of this species. Frillneck lizards feed on a diverse range of invertebrates in both seasons, even though there is a substantial reduction in food availability in the dry season. Harvester termites from the genus Drepanotermes constitute a major component of the diet, and the prevalence of termites in the diet of sedentary foragers in a tropical environment is unusual. Adult male body condition remained relatively stable throughout the year, but females experienced considerable variation. These differences are attributed to different reproductive roles of the sexes. Growth in C. kingii was restricted to the wet season, when food availability was high, and growth was minimal in the dry season when food availability was low. The method used in catching lizards was an important factor in determining seasonal habitat use. Telemetered lizards selected a significantly different distribution of tree species than was randomly available, and they selected significantly larger tree species during the dry season. Lizards spotted along roadsides showed little seasonal variation in the selection of tree species or tree sizes. The results suggest a comprehensive change in the ecology of this species, in response to an annual cycle of low food and moisture availability, followed by a period with few resource restrictions.

    KW - diet

    KW - frillneck lizard

    KW - habitat use

    KW - harvester termite

    KW - termite, Australia, Norden Territory, Kakadu National Park, Chlamydosaurus kingii

    KW - Drepanotermes

    KW - Isoptera

    KW - Chlamydosaurus tzingii

    UR - https://www.scopus.com/inward/record.uri?eid=2-s2.0-0029668496&partnerID=40&md5=d3c7dca4b2b925b03c2d7a312e015bff

    U2 - 10.1007/BF00334405

    DO - 10.1007/BF00334405

    M3 - Article

    VL - 106

    SP - 39

    EP - 48

    JO - Oecologia

    JF - Oecologia

    SN - 0029-8549

    IS - 1

    ER -