Are female tree agamas (Acanthocercus atricollis atricollis) turned on by males or resources?

L. T. Reaney, M. J. Whiting*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

6 Citations (Scopus)


We examined the relative importance of male and home range quality on female-male spatial overlap in the tree agama, Acanthocercus atricollis atricollis. Specifically, we asked whether males in good condition had the greatest spatial overlap with females, whether these same males have the best home ranges, or whether females are simply occupying areas with the best habitat and highest food abundance. Tree structure and prey abundance were used as measures of male home range quality, and male snout-vent length and male body condition were used as indices of male quality. Males had significantly larger home ranges compared to females and female-male overlap was common, while male-male overlap was marginal in a few cases (n = 3). Contrary to prediction, larger males did not occupy larger areas and home range size was not influenced by prey abundance. However, there was significant variation in prey availability between male areas. Female-male overlap was linked to prey abundance in male home ranges, possibly because of the direct influence it has on female fitness. However, several high quality males with high spatial overlap with females also had relatively high prey abundance. Male quality may well be linked to resource availability, but small sample size requires a cautionary interpretation.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)19-30
Number of pages12
JournalEthology Ecology and Evolution
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Apr 2003

Bibliographical note

Erratum can be found in Ethology Ecology & Evolution 15(2), p. 205, 2003.


  • Female-male spatial overlap
  • Home range quality
  • Male quality
  • Prey abundance
  • Resources


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