, Volume 172, Issue 3, pp 645–652 | Cite as

Different mechanisms lead to convergence of reproductive strategies in two lacertid lizards (Takydromus wolteri and Eremias argus)

  • Bao-Jun Sun
  • Shu-Ran Li
  • Xue-Feng Xu
  • Wen-Ge Zhao
  • Lai-Gao Luo
  • Xiang Ji
  • Wei-Guo DuEmail author
Physiological ecology - Original research


Life history traits may vary within and among species. Rarely, however, are both variations examined concurrently to identify the life history adaptation. We found that female body size, offspring number and size, and incubation period showed convergent evolution in two lacertid lizards (Takydromus wolteri and Eremias argus) that occur sympatrically in high-latitude and low-latitude localities. Females from the high-latitude population were larger and produced larger clutches than those from the low-latitude population. In both species, the incubation period was shorter for the high-latitude population than for the low-latitude population. However, the physiological mechanism underlying the shorter incubation period differed between the species. These results suggest that: (1) sympatric lizards may adopt similar reproductive strategies in response to their common environments, and (2) embryonic development of the two species follows different pathways for adaptation to low temperatures. This study highlights the importance of understanding the adaptive evolution of life history in response to environmental changes at the embryonic life stages.


Embryonic development Geographic variation Incubation period Life history 



We thank P. Liu, Y. Wang, Z. Y. Zhang and W. B. Yan for their assistance in the field or laboratory. We are grateful to T. R. Robinns, J.-F. Le Galliard and one anonymous reviewer for their comments on the manuscript. This work was supported by grants from the Natural Science Foundation of China (project no. 30770274), the One Hundred Talents Program of the Chinese Academy of Sciences to W.-G. Du and the local government of Anhui Province to X.-F. Xu (KJ2010A249).


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  • Bao-Jun Sun
    • 1
  • Shu-Ran Li
    • 1
  • Xue-Feng Xu
    • 2
  • Wen-Ge Zhao
    • 3
  • Lai-Gao Luo
    • 2
  • Xiang Ji
    • 4
  • Wei-Guo Du
    • 1
    Email author
  1. 1.Key Laboratory of Animal Ecology and Conservation Biology, Institute of ZoologyChinese Academy of SciencesBeijingPeople’s Republic of China
  2. 2.Department of BiologyChuzhou UniversityChuzhouPeople’s Republic of China
  3. 3.College of Biological SciencesHarbin Normal UniversityHarbinPeople’s Republic of China
  4. 4.College of Life SciencesNanjing Normal UniversityNanjingPeople’s Republic of China

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