Thermal regimes during incubation do not affect mean selected temperatures of hatchling lizards (Bassiana duperreyi, Scincidae)

Wei Guo Du*, Melanie Elphick, Richard Shine

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

10 Citations (Scopus)


Incubation temperatures profoundly affect many phenotypic traits of squamate reptiles, and mean selected body temperatures of such animals also are plastic in response to environmental factors. Plausibly, then, incubation temperatures might affect hatchling thermoregulation, either via adaptation (i.e., populations that historically experience different nest conditions, also will diverge in hatchling thermoregulatory behaviour) or phenotypic plasticity (incubation temperatures directly modify hatchling behaviours). We tested this hypothesis with a montane scincid lizard (Bassiana duperreyi), using thermal-imaging methods to quantify temperatures (of both head and body) selected by hatchling lizards. The young lizards kept their heads cooler than their bodies, but mean selected temperatures did not differ among hatchlings from three populations with differing thermal regimes in natural nests, nor were they affected by thermal conditions during incubation. The conservatism of mean selected temperatures stands in strong contrast to the lability of many other phenotypic traits in response to incubation temperatures in this species. Crown

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)47-51
Number of pages5
JournalJournal of Thermal Biology
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Jan 2010
Externally publishedYes


  • inter-population variation
  • phenotypic plasticity
  • preferred body temperature
  • reptile
  • thermal acclimation

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