Energetic costs of tail loss in a montane scincid lizard

Paul Doughty*, Richard Shine, Michael S. Y. Lee

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

40 Citations (Scopus)


Most species of lizards will shed their tails at the point of contact when grasped by a predator. We investigated the energetic consequences of tail loss by measuring lipids in a scincid lizard that stores energy in its tail for reproduction. Most of the lipids were concentrated in the proximal portion of the tail. Thus, partial tail loss may not severely affect energy stores if the distal portion of the tail is shed in predatory encounters. We also found that the width of the tail was a reliable non-invasive index of energy reserves in this species.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)215-219
Number of pages5
JournalComparative Biochemistry and Physiology. Part A: Molecular & Integrative Physiology
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2003
Externally publishedYes


  • Anti-predator defence
  • Caudal autotomy
  • Energetic index
  • Eulamprus tympanum
  • Lipids
  • Lizards


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