Foraging-mode plasticity in the lizard Platysaurus broadleyi

J. M. Greeff*, M. J. Whiting

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

47 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Lizards are not widely regarded as able to alter their foraging mode substantially in relation to the specific food source utilized. Rather, their foraging mode determines the food type that they utilize. We studied Platysaurus broadleyi, a lizard that utilizes food resources differing in several fundamental characteristics. We found that they maintain this broad feeding niche by altering their foraging behavior. Adult lizards ambushed mobile insects but searched actively when feeding on stationary figs beneath trees. This flexibility in foraging behavior allowed P. broadleyi to utilize figs a high energy but ephemeral resource Lizards did not vary their foraging mode in response to insect-prey density, but attack distances were further at the site with lower insect density, as predicted by optimal foraging theory. Juveniles adopted an intermediate foraging mode irrespective of the resource utilized.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)402-407
Number of pages6
JournalHerpetologica
Volume56
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 2000
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • Ambush foraging
  • Cordylidae
  • Ficus
  • Foraging mode
  • Herbivory
  • Plasticity

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