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Patterns of daily behaviour in two lizard species Lacerta agilis L. and Lacerta vivipara Jacquin


During the period May to August 1978, individuals of both Lacerta agilis and Lacerta vivipara were observed in a specially constructed out-door vivarium. The daily patterns of behaviour of the two species were recorded along with surface and air temperatures. Daily activity of both species followed a similar basic pattern but was modified by variations in the local weather. Adults of L. vivipara reached a thermal preferendum more quickly and had a longer daily activity period than adults of L. agilis. The larger L. agilis can increase its period of activity by making use of different thermal conditions in a diverse habitat with varied vegetation structure under conditions of high solar radiation. The status of viable populations of L. agilis could be maintained or enhanced by management aimed at modifying the microenvironment of the lizard's habitat.

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House, S.M., Taylor, P.J. & Spellerberg, I.F. Patterns of daily behaviour in two lizard species Lacerta agilis L. and Lacerta vivipara Jacquin. Oecologia 44, 396–402 (1979).

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  • Solar Radiation
  • Daily Activity
  • Thermal Condition
  • Activity Period
  • Vegetation Structure