We compared reproduction, diet, and body size of Polychrus acutirostris (Squamata: Polychrotidae) from the Cerrado and Caatinga biomes in Brazil. Because these two biomes have widely different climates, we predicted that lizards in Caatinga would produce smaller clutches in response to rainfall unpredictability. We also expected reproductive timing to differ between biomes, with lizards occurring in the Cerrado producing a single clutch in association with the predictable rains of October–November. Contrary to expectations, clutches had fewer (although larger) eggs in Cerrado. Reproductive period was remarkably similar (peak of female reproductive activity in November), but female reproduction started 1 month earlier in Cerrado. Diet composition was also similar, with the exception of spiders, that exhibited a high index of relative importance in Cerrado but were nearly absent in Caatinga lizard diets. Lizards from both biomes ingested a large proportion of plant material, as well as soft-bodied arboreal arthropods, such as orthopterans, and mostly slow-moving, large arboreal insects. Rainfall predictability in the Cerrado therefore did not influence Polychrus reproduction or diet in the same manner as in other lizard species. The large number of small eggs in the Caatinga suggests that the competitive environment for offspring is either unpredictable or that mortality is high but random. Rain forest Polychrus lizards produce few large eggs, suggesting that the competitive environment for offspring is predictably intense and mortality is non-random. Cerrado Polychrus lizards seem intermediate between Caatinga and rain forest Polychrus lizards, producing fewer and larger eggs than their conspecifics in the Caatinga but relatively more and smaller eggs than rain forest Polychrus species.
You have requested a machine translation of selected content from our databases. This functionality is provided solely for your convenience and is in no way intended to replace human translation. Neither BioOne nor the owners and publishers of the content make, and they explicitly disclaim, any express or implied representations or warranties of any kind, including, without limitation, representations and warranties as to the functionality of the translation feature or the accuracy or completeness of the translations.
Translations are not retained in our system. Your use of this feature and the translations is subject to all use restrictions contained in the Terms and Conditions of Use of the BioOne website.
Vol. 46 • No. 1