The local spatial distribution of individual animals is often described in terms of home range (HR), whereas territory traditionally refers to an area defended for exclusive use. The size of the HR is considered an important indicator of the behavioral characteristics of an animal, and it can be influenced by factors such as sex, body size, population density, and social behavior. In polymorphic species, morphs may differ in space use, and they may be characterized by different reproductive strategies. The aim of this study is to quantify space use in a population of the lizard Liolaemus xanthoviridis (Iguania: Liolaemini) and its relationship with body size, sex, and color polymorphism. At a single locality in Argentina (Bahía Isla Escondida, Chubut), over four summer seasons (2012–2015) we marked 156 lizards and recorded body measurements, sex, dorsal and ventral color patterns, and the spatial location of each individual. Our results showed that HR size differed significantly between sexes and was significantly associated with body sizes in males, but not with dorsal coloration and ventral melanism. Moreover, males of L. xanthoviridis have a high percentage of overlap in their HRs. The absence of a relationship between HR size and dorsal coloration or ventral melanism suggests the absence of multiple reproductive strategies within each sex. Because females of L. xanthoviridis seem to be territorial, but not males, we propose that they may be interacting in a system of dominance hierarchies, a hypothesis that needs behavioral testing.
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Vol. 54 • No. 1