Title

The effect of reproduction on food intake of a sit-and-wait foraging lizard, Sceloporus virgatus

Document Type

Article

Publication Date

2001

Publication Title

Herpetologica

Department

Biology

Abstract

I tested the effect of reproduction on food intake of the striped plateau lizard, Sceloporus virgatus, a sit-and-wait foraging lizard with a high relative clutch mass (RCM). I maintained male-female pairs in outdoor enclosures throughout the production of females' single annual clutches, observed feeding behavior during methodical feeding trials performed thrice weekly, and related both male and female feeding behavior to the reproductive state of the female. Female food intake was significantly reduced during gravidity, relative to that during vitellogenesis and following oviposition. This reduction was due to decreases in both the frequency and the size of meals. A limitation of abdominal space due to maximization of current reproductive output (i.e., filling the abdomen with eggs) may largely regulate this relationship in species with high RCM; other mechanisms may regulate the same relationship in species with relatively low RCM. Male food intake was significantly less than that of females when females were vitellogenic and receptive to male courtship. During female gravidity, male intake was significantly greater than that of females. No sex differences in food intake were observed after females oviposited. These differences in male and female feeding behavior can be significant components of the differences in reproductive investment between the sexes.

ISSN

0018-0831