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Israel Journal of Zoology
  Issue:  Volume 51, Number 1 / 2005
  Pages:  39 - 52
  URL:  Linking Options

THERMAL ECOLOGY AND ACTIVITY CYCLE OF PODARCIS MILENSIS IN A SANDY COASTAL AREA

CHLOE ADAMOPOULOU A1 and EFSTRATIOS D. VALAKOS A2

A1 Zoological Museum, Department of Biology, University of Athens, Panepistimioupolis, GR-157 84 Athens, Greece
A2 Section of Animal and Human Physiology, Department of Biology, University of, Athens, Panepistimioupolis, GR-157 84 Athens, Greece

Abstract:

Field body temperatures (Tbs), activity cycles, and preferred body temperatures maintained in a laboratory thermogradient (Tsel) were studied for Podarcis milensis, a small, endemic, lacertid lizard occurring in Milos Archipelago, Greece. P. milensis is active all year round; overall maximum activity level is recorded in spring, and minimum activity in winter. Daily activity patterns range from unimodal (winter) to strongly bimodal (summer). Body temperature of adults of the examined population (n = 188) averages 31.3 °C (range 21.5-38.4 °C, SD 3.27 °C); mean monthly Tbs are grouped together into "seasons". The species actively thermoregulates, and effectiveness of thermoregulation for the month of August is high, 0.95. The thermoregulatory behavior, microhabitat utilization, and activity cycle of this population are all discussed in the specific context of our study system: the harsh thermal environment of an insular sand dune.


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