Lizards are ideal for studying colour polymorphism, because some species are polymorphic and the morphs often have different ecological or reproductive strategies. We studied the feeding habits of six polymorphic populations of Podarcis muralis to test whether morphs differed in their diet. Some taxa were selected in a similar way by all morphs, but selection on other taxa varied and was characteristic of each morph. Diet was most different for the red and yellow morphs. Two hypotheses could explain these differences: active segregation in the trophic niche or active segregation in space dependent on spatial heterogeneity in prey availability. The former is improbable because P. muralis is considered an opportunistic feeder, whereas the latter could occur if the morphs adopted alternative territorial strategies with consequent spatial segregation.

Does a polymorphic species have a ‘polymorphic’ diet? A case study from a lacertid lizard

SACCHI, ROBERTO;MANGIACOTTI, MARCO;
2015-01-01

Abstract

Lizards are ideal for studying colour polymorphism, because some species are polymorphic and the morphs often have different ecological or reproductive strategies. We studied the feeding habits of six polymorphic populations of Podarcis muralis to test whether morphs differed in their diet. Some taxa were selected in a similar way by all morphs, but selection on other taxa varied and was characteristic of each morph. Diet was most different for the red and yellow morphs. Two hypotheses could explain these differences: active segregation in the trophic niche or active segregation in space dependent on spatial heterogeneity in prey availability. The former is improbable because P. muralis is considered an opportunistic feeder, whereas the latter could occur if the morphs adopted alternative territorial strategies with consequent spatial segregation.
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/11571/1101437
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