Common Wall lizards, Podarcis muralis (lAurentI, 1768), show a polymorphic dorsal color pattern including (i) a single, more or less continuous dark vertebral stripe on a dorsal band lacking further markings, (ii) dark dorsal reticulation without any vertebral stripe, and (iii) an intermediate pattern in which the dorsal reticulation forms a more or less continuous dark vertebral stripe. These patterns correlate with different distributions of the melanin in the back, and potentially can affect thermoregulation, mimesis and sexual behavior. The authors analyzed the frequencies of these pattern types in relation to sex and size, in both a Submontane and lowland population. A vertebral stripe occurred more frequently in the submontane than the lowland population, and more frequently in females than in males. In addition, in the submontane population, the vertebral stripe pattern occurred more frequently in large lizards than in small ones, whereas the opposite was observed in the lowland population. The interpopulation differences in the color pattern morphs’ frequencies in relation to sex, size and altitude may be associated with differences in temperature and microhabitat selection.
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