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Revista Brasileira de Zoologia

Print version ISSN 0101-8175

Rev. Bras. Zool. vol.19 no.1 Curitiba Mar. 2002

https://doi.org/10.1590/S0101-81752002000100005 

Use of cacti as heat sources by thermoregulating Mabuya agilis (Raddi) and Mabuya macrorhyncha Hoge (Lacertflia, Scincidae) in two restinga habitats in southeastern Brazil

 

 

Davor VrcibradicI,II; Carlos Frederico Duarte RochaI,III

ISetor de ecologia, IBRAG, Universidade do Estado do Rio de Janeiro. Rua São Francisco Xavier 524, Maracanã, 20550-015 Rio de Janeiro, Rio de Janeiro, Brasil
IIPós-Graduação em Ecologia, Departamento de Zoologia, Universidade Estadual de Campinas. Caixa Postal 6106, 13081-970 Campinas, São Paulo, Brasil
IIICorresponding author. E-mail: cfdrocha@uerj.br

 

 


ABSTRACT

Lizards may benefit from gain of heat from contact with the substrate via conduction. In this study, evidence that the lizards Mabuya agilis (Raddi, 1823) and Mabuya macrorhynclui Hoge, 1946 (Scincidae) inhabiting two restinga habitats in southeastern Brazil (Grussaf, Rio de Janeiro and Praia das Neves, Espfrito Santo), may shift microhabitat preferences along the day, and that such shifts may be related to the use of cacti surfaces as direct sources of heat is presented. For both species, body temperature (Tb) was always significantly correlated (p < 0,05) with air temperature (Ta). Tb was significantly correlated (p < 0,0.5) with substrate temperature (Ts) for M. agilis collected on cacti, but not for specimens collected on the ground. For M. macrorhyncha collected on cacti, both Ta and Ts were more important in conjunction than separately, in explaining lizard Tb. Use of cacti as perches by M. agilis was more frequent during late afternoon when environmental temperatures are declining, but such a trend was not evident for M. macrorhynclui. We suggest that the use of cacti as direct heat sources may be more evident in the ground-dwelling M. agilis than in the scansorial M. macrorhynclui.

Key words: Mabuya, lizard, thermoregulation, cacti, heat gain by conduction, restinga habitat, Southeast Brazil


 

 

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ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS. This study is a portion ofthe results of the "Programa de Ecologia, Conservação e Manejo de Ecossistemas do Sudeste Brasileiro" and of the Southeastern Brazilian Vertebrate Ecology Project (Laboratory ofVertebrate Ecology), both of the Setor de Ecologia, Instituto de Biologia, Universidade do Estado do Rio de Janeiro. The study was partially supported by research grants from the Conselho Nacional de Desenvolvimento Científico e Tecnológico - CNPq to C.F.D.R. (processes # 300819/94-3 and # 461970/00-7) and to D.V. (process # 143607/98-7) and from the Fundação de Amparo à Pesquisa do Estado do Rio de Janeiro - FAPERJ (process E-26/170.385/97 - APQI) to the second author.

 

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Recebido em 19.X.2000: aceito em 29.I.2002.

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