Life in the Thornscrub: Movement, Home Range, and Territoriality of the Reticulate Collared Lizard (Crotaphytus reticulatus)

Author(s): Wade A. Ryberg, Timothy B. Garrett, Connor S. Adams, Tyler A. Campbell, Danielle K. Walkup, Timothy E. Johnson, and Toby J. Hibbitts
Published: September 2019

View Full Text

Several habitats may be required for an animal’s persistence, and movements within and among these habitats characterise an animal’s home range. For species of lizards, variation in home range size is typically best explained by either sit-and-wait or active foraging styles. In this study, we explore movements, home range size, and territoriality of Reticulate Collared Lizards (Crotaphytus reticulatus) from the typically sit-and-wait foraging subfamily Crotaphytinae. Over three years, we tracked 10 adult males and four adult females using GPS telemetry and found male C. reticulatus moved significantly longer distances and maintained significantly larger home ranges and core areas than females. We observed no home range overlap in females and one case of overlap in males, although all females maintained home ranges overlapped by a single male home range. The one-to-one pattern of a male home range overlapping just a single female home range is consistent with male mate guarding observed in active foragers. Moreover, compared to classic sit and-wait foraging Common Collared Lizards (C. collaris), C. reticulatus moves more frequently, maintains a larger home range, is less territorial, and exhibits less sexual dimorphism; all traits of active foraging lizards. Indeed, C. reticulatus was observed actively stalking prey throughout its larger home range similar to G. wislizenii, which supports previous predictions regarding convergence in active foraging predatory behaviours between the species.

Suggested Citation

Ryberg, W.A., T.B. Garrett, C.S. Adams, T.A. Campbell, D.K. Walkup, T.E. Johnson, and T.J. Hibbitts. 2019. Life in the thornscrub: movement, home range, and territoriality of the reticulate collared lizard (Crotaphytus reticulatus). Journal of Natural History 53(27-28): 1707-1719.

Wildlife Monitoring