Aggregations are a common feature of many species although for most taxa, the mechanisms underlying these aggregations are poorly understood. The Augrabies Flat Lizard (Platysaurus broadleyi) is a sexually dimorphic lizard that experiences intense conflict as a result of sexual selection. In the wild, P. broadleyi share communal crevices and aggregate in the presence of large insect plumes. We experimentally tested whether lizards aggregate as a result of social factors. We also tested whether aggregative behavior differed between the sexes and depends on density. We found no evidence that Augrabies Flat Lizards preferentially group for social reasons in the absence of resources or thermoregulatory benefits. This was true for both sexes and at both densities (two-lizard and four-lizard trials). Although social factors did not promote grouping, males sheltered alone significantly more often than expected by chance, suggesting that males actively avoid one another. Therefore, social factors may work to promote social isolation rather than aggregation, under certain circumstances.
|Number of pages||6|
|Journal||Journal of Herpetology|
|Publication status||Published - Sep 2007|