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A case of cannibalism in the common wall lizard, Podarcis muralis, in Serbia

Croatian Herpetological Society Hyla; [email protected]
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  • Biology


Hyla VOL. 2013., No. 1, 40– 41 ISSN: 1848-2007 Photo note Simović & Marković 2013 A case of cannibalism in the common wall lizard, Podarcis muralis, in Serbia Slučaj kanibalizma kod zidnog guštera, Podarcis muralis, u Srbiji ALEKSANDAR SIMOVIĆ1,2,*, ALEKSANDAR MARKOVIĆ1,2 1 University of Belgrade, Faculty of Biology, Institute of Zoology, Belgrade, Serbia. 2Society for biological research “Sergej D. Matvejev”, Belgrade, Serbia *Corresponding author: Aleksandar Simović, e-mail: [email protected] Small European lacertids, including Podarcis sp., feed mostly on arthropods (ARNOLD & OVENDEN, 2002), but can consume gastropods, small vertebrates and plants (ARNOLD, 1987; VAN DAMME, 1999). Therefore, they can be considered opportunistic predators; cases of predation among the conspecifics are also not unknown (CASTILLA & VAN DAMME, 1996; GRANO ET AL., 2011). Cannibalism and oophagy were reported for approximately 1,300 reptilian species (POLIS, 1981). Feeding on conspecific individuals is also known in Podarcis muralis (KABISCHKI ENGELMANN, 1964 – in Polis and Myers, 1985; ASSMAN, 1997 and SCHMIDT-LOSKE, 1994 – in SCHULTE, 2008; ŽAGAR & CARRETERO, 2012). Here we report on the case of cannibalism in Podarcis muralis, recorded on the Avala mountain (44°41' N, 20°30' E), near Belgrade, Serbia. During the field work on April 1st 2011, beneath a stony wall overgrown with ivy (Hedera helix), we observed an adult male killing and devouring a conspecific sub-adult. The observation was made at 2:30 PM, in sunny weather (app. 21°C) with no wind. REFERENCES: ARNOLD, E.N. (1987): Resource partition among lacertid lizards in southern Europe. Journal of Zoology 1: 739-782. ARNOLD, E.N., OVENDEN, D.W. (2002): A field guide to the reptiles and amphibians of Britain and Europe. London, Harper-Collins. CASTILLA, A.M., VAN DAMME, R. (1996): Cannibalistic Propensities in the Lizard Pod

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