We report on growth and demography of Sceloporus mucronatus mucronatus, a lizard subspecies endemic to central Mexico. We characterize the life history of this subspecies, provide quantitative information relevant to conservation, and add to the growing literature on the diversity of life histories in the genus Sceloporus. We calculated body growth rates and fitted them to the Von Bertalanffy, the logistic-by-length, and the logistic-by-weight growth models. The Von Bertalanffy model provided the best fit, and we used it to analyze the growth pattern. Growth rates were similar during the 1st year of life in both sexes, but after that point males grew faster and reached maturity earlier (20 months) than females (31 months). We used a population projection matrix to model population dynamics during 2003–2004 and found a positive population growth rate (λ= 1.769). However, based on the projected stable size-class vector (w), this population does not appear to have reached stability, and it might be currently experiencing considerable interannual fluctuations. Elasticity values showed that the transition from the juvenile stage to the 1st adult stage was the vital rate that contributes the most to population growth rate, followed by fecundity and stasis of the 1st reproductive category. While total elasticities for demographic processes were similar, elasticities per size class showed the relatively high importance of small adults in comparison to juveniles and large adults. The restriction of this endemic subspecies to central Mexico, where human activities and consequent habitat destruction are increasing, demands further quantitative evaluation and monitoring of populations, even though our results indicate a potential for population growth.
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Vol. 67 • No. 4