, Volume 42, Issue 5, pp 357-362

Home range overlap of mothers and their offspring in the sleepy lizard, Tiliqua rugosa

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This paper reports a field investigation of interactions between juveniles and their mothers in the Australian sleepy lizard, Tiliqua rugosa. In their first spring season, juvenile lizards maintain home ranges largely within the home range of their mother. Juvenile home ranges are significantly smaller than those of adult males and females, and juveniles move significantly less often and significantly shorter distances than adults. While siblings were never found together in the spring, they showed a significant tendency to be closer to each other than if they were randomly located in their home ranges. Juveniles and mothers were never found together, nor was there any evidence for any positive (or negative) spatial association. Nevertheless, the extended tolerance of home range overlap represents a greater degree of mother-offspring association than has been previously reported for other lizards. Despite this, the level of parental care can only be described as minimal.

Received: 20 June 1997 / Accepted after revision: 29 December 1997