I conducted experiments using naturally established neighborhoods of Anolis sagrei to examine interactions between neighboring territorial males. I observed the behavior of groups of lizards before and after the removal of one lizard from the group. I measured space use using x and y coordinates of a 20 × 20 m grid. Focal lizards moved farther from the former resident's activity area center following his removal from the territory. Both neighbors and non-neighbors took over the newly vacated territories, suggesting that some neighbors were able to gain space. The behavioral display patterns of focal lizards did not change following the removal. These data indicate that neighboring males may pose a significant threat to territorial residents by taking space and resources. Additionally, these data provide no evidence that removal of one resident causes general social instability that harms neighbors. These findings have theoretical implications for studies of the “dear enemy” phenomenon and other relationships that are based on social contexts found in territorial neighborhoods.
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Vol. 58 • No. 3