Marco Antônio Ribeiro-Júnior, Toby A. Gardner, Teresa C. S. Ávila-Pires
South American Journal of Herpetology 1 (2), 131-137, (1 August 2006) https://doi.org/10.2994/1808-9798(2006)1[131:TEOGTT]2.0.CO;2
KEYWORDS: Amazonia, biodiversity surveys, Capture-success, Glue traps, Lizards
The use of glue traps as a method for sampling lizard communities is a recent technique in herpetology. However, despite potential benefits for catching elusive arboreal and semi-arboreal species, we currently have a poor understanding of the effectiveness of glue traps in studies of lizard ecology. The aim of this study is to evaluate how capture success can be influenced by trap placement in the study of a neotropical forest lizard fauna. We selected ten sites, five in primary rainforest and five in naturally regenerating secondary forest in the region of Jari, Pará, Brazil. In both forest types we set traps on tree trunks, fallen logs, and lianas. Trapping effort totaled 2096 trap nights, capturing 244 individuals comprising 12 species. Two species, Gonatodes humeralis and Anolis fuscoauratus, comprised more than 80% of the total number of captures, indicating that glue trapping is a useful technique for population studies of these species. Traps set on fallen logs recorded more species and a higher capture success than traps set on tree trunks or lianas, and success of traps placed on tree trunks did not vary with height above the ground. We found a negative correlation between trap success and the number of trap days, but animals were still being captured on the 12th day of trapping. In an additional trapping campaign in a single primary forest site, traps were placed near a creek and on a dry plateau – distributed evenly between ground, shrub and trunk placements in each location. No differences were found in trap success with respect to either site location or trap placement, although traps placed on the ground exclusively captured two species of leaf litter lizards. Despite the fact that lizards represent an important component of tropical forest ecosystems, we have a very poor understanding of their ecology. The lack of data on tropical forest lizards is partly explained by the practical difficulties in sampling many species. Our results indicate that glue trapping can provide a useful addition to other sampling methods in the study of neotropical forest lizards.