We investigated the importance of size, loss of tail, and running speed of banded geckos (Coleonyx variegatus) in encounters with a predatory snake (Hypsiglena chlorophaea) in experimental arenas. We discovered, contrary to previously reported results and our own hypotheses based on observations in the field, that none of these factors influenced risk of predation, and that autotomy was not used commonly as a tactic to escape predators. Based on these results and observed behavior during predation trials, we question whether tail autotomy in this species is an effective anti-predator adaptation.
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Vol. 57 • No. 1