Growth ecology of the tree lizard Urosaurus bicarinatus (Squamata: Phrynosomatidae), in a tropical dry forest of the Chamela Region, Mexico

in Animal Biology
Restricted Access
Get Access to Full Text
Rent on DeepDyve

Have an Access Token?

Enter your access token to activate and access content online.

Please login and go to your personal user account to enter your access token.


Have Institutional Access?

Access content through your institution. Any other coaching guidance?


Determination of growth rate provides an important component of an organism’s life history, making estimations of size at maturity, survival rate, and longevity possible. Here, we report on growth rate of males and females of the tropical tree lizard Urosaurus bicarinatus, in a seasonal environment in the state of Jalisco on the Mexican Pacific Coast. We calculated body growth rates and fitted these to the Von Bertalanffy, the logistic-by-length, and the logistic-by-weight growth models. The Von Bertalanffy model provided the best fit, and we used it to analyze the growth pattern. Males and females did not differ in estimated asymptotic size and other characteristic growth parameters. Estimated growth curve predicted an age at maturity of 38 mm SVL on 120 days for males, and 40 mm SVL on 170 days for females. On the basis of the similarities in the growth rates between the sexes, comparisons were made between seasons, and we found that the average rate of growth was slightly, albeit insignificantly, higher in the rainy season than in the dry season. The similarities in the growth patterns for the sexes of this species might be indicative of variance in its life history traits (e.g., fecundity, egg size) compared to those of other populations of this species and other species of this genus; therefore, it is important to document interpopulation differences to understand the evolutionary changes that have led to optimal adaptation in a particular environment more accurately.



AdolphS.C.PorterW.P. (1996) Growth, seasonality and lizard life histories: age and size at maturity. Oikos, 77, 267-278.

AndrewsR.M. (1976) Growth rates in island and mainland anoline lizards. Copeia, 1976, 477-482.

AndrewsR.M. (1979) Evolution of life histories: a comparison of Anolis lizards from matched island and mainland habitats. Breviora, 454, 1-51.

AndrewsR.M. (1982) Patterns of growth in reptiles. In: GansC.PoughF.H. (Eds) Biology of the Reptilia, pp.  273-320. Academic Press, NY.

BallingerR.E. (1973) Comparative demography of two viviparous iguanid lizards (Sceloporus jarrovi and Sceloporus poinsetti). Ecology, 54, 269-283.

BallingerR.E. (1977) Reproductive strategies: food availability as a resource of proximal variation in lizard. Ecology, 59, 628-635.

BellG. (1980) The costs of reproduction and their consequences. Am. Nat., 116, 45-76.

BernsC.M. (2013) The evolution of sexual dimorphism: understanding mechanisms of sexual shape differences. In: MoriyamaH. (Ed.) Sexual Dimorphism. 1st Edition, pp.  1-16. InTech, Croatia.

Castañeda-GaytánG.GadsdenH.Lopéz-CorrujedoH.Estrada-RodríguezJ.L. (2003) Historia de vida de Uma paraphygas (Sauria: Phrynosomatidae) en dunas de la Reserva de la Biosfera de Mapimí, Durango. Acta Zool. Mex. (ns), 89, 169-184.

DunhamA.E. (1978) Food availability as aproximate factor in influencing individual growth rates in the iguanid lizard Sceloporus merriami. Ecology, 59, 770-778.

DunhamA.E. (1982) Demographic and life history variation among populations of the iguanid lizard Urosaurus ornatus, implications for the study of life history phenomena in lizards. Herpetologica, 38, 208-221.

DunhamA.E.MilesD.B. (1985) Patterns of covariation in life history traits of squamate reptiles: the effects of size and phylogeny reconsidered. Am. Nat., 126, 231-257.

DunhamA.E.MilesD.B.ReznickD.N. (1988) Life history patterns in squamate reptiles. In: GansC.HueyR.B. (Eds) Biology of the Reptilia, pp.  441-552. Academic Press, NY.

Hernández-SalinasU.Ramírez-BautistaA.Berriozabal-IslasC.Juárez-EscamillaD. (2013) First records of Urosaurus bicarinatus (Duméril, 1856) (Squamata:Phrynosomatidae) from Cocinas Island, Chamela Bay, Jalisco, Mexico. Check List, 3, 649-650.

KratochvílováM.HyankovaL.KnizetovaH.FiedlerF.UrbanF. (2002) Growth curve analysis in cattle from early maturity and mature body size viewpoints. Czech J. Anim. Sci., 47, 125-132.

KritzerJ.P. (2002) Stock structure, mortality and growth of the decorated goby, Istigobius decoratus (Gobiidae), at Lizard Island, Great Barrier Reef. Environ. Biol. Fishes, 63, 211-216.

Lemos-EspinalJ.A.BallingerR.E. (1995) Ecology of growth of the high altitude lizard Sceloporus grammicus on the eastern slope of Iztaccihuatl volcano, Puebla, México. Trans. Nebraska Acad. Sci., 22, 77-85.

Ortega-LeónA.M.SmithE.R.Zúñiga-VegaJ.J.Méndez-De la CruzF.R. (2007) Growth and demography of one population of the lizard Sceloporus mucronatus mucronatus. West. North Am. Naturalist., 67, 492-502.

ParkerW.S.PiankaE.R. (1973) Notes on the ecology of the iguanid lizard, Sceloporus magister. Herpetologica, 29, 143-152.

Ramírez-BautistaA. (1994) Manual y claves ilustradas de los anfibios y reptiles de la región de Chamela, Jalisco, México. Cuadernos del Instituto de Biología 23, Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México, México, D.F.

Ramírez-BautistaA. (1995) Demografía y reproducción de la lagartija arborícola Anolis nebulosus de la región de Chamela, Jalisco. Ph.D. Thesis. Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México, México, D.F.

Ramírez-BautistaA. (2004) Diversidad de estrategias reproductivas en un ensamble de lagartijas de una región tropical de la estacional de las costas del pacifico mexicano. Bol. Soc. Herpetológica Mex., 2, 7-16.

Ramírez-BautistaA.VittL.J. (1998) Reproductive biology of Urosaurus bicarinatus (Sauria: Phrynosomatidae) from a tropical dry forest of México. Southw. Natural., 43, 381-390.

SchoenerT.W.SchoenerA. (1978) Estimating and interpreting body-size growth in some Anolis lizards. Copeia, 1978, 390-405.

ShineR.CharnovE. (1992) Patterns of survival, growth, and maturation in snakes and lizards. Am. Nat., 139, 1257-1269.

SinervoB. (1990) Evolution of thermal physiology and growth rate between populations of the western fence lizard (Sceloporus occidentalis). Oecologia, 83, 228-237.

SinervoB.AdolphS.C. (1989) Thermal sensitivity of growth rate in hatchling Sceloporus lizards: environmental, behavioral and genetic aspects. Oecologia, 78, 411-419.

SmithD.C. (1981) Competitive interactions of the striped plateau lizard (Sceloporus virgatus) and the tree lizard (Urosaurus ornatus). Ecology, 63, 679-687.

SmithH.M.TaylorE.H. (1966) Herpetology of México. Annotated Checklist and Keys to Amphibians and Reptiles. A Reprint of Bulletins 187, 194 and 199 of the United States National Museum With a List of Subsequent Taxonomic Innovation. Eric Lundberg, Asthon Maryland, USA.

StearnsS.C. (1992) The Evolution of Live Histories. Oxford University Press, Oxford, USA.

TinkleD.W. (1967) The life and demography of the side-blotched lizard. Miscellaneous Publication No. 132. Museum of Zoology, University of Michigan. 182 pp.

TinkleD.W.BallingerR.E. (1972) Sceloporus undulatus: a study of the intraspecific comparative demography of a lizard. Ecology, 53, 570-584.

Trejo-VázquezI. (1988) Distribución y diversidad de selvas bajas de México: relaciones con el clima y suelo. Ph.D. Thesis. Facultad de Ciencias, Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México, México, D.F.

VittL.J.CongdonJ.D. (1978) Body shape, reproductive effort and relative clutch mass in lizards: resolution of a paradox. Am. Nat., 112, 595-608.

Von BertalanffyL. (1951) Metabolic types and growth types. Am. Nat., 85, 111-117.

Zamora-AbregoJ.G.Zúñiga-VegaJ.J.Ortega-LeónA.M. (2012) Ecología del crecimiento de una lagartija del género Xenosaurus Peters 1861 (Squamata: Xenosauridae) en la Reserva de la Biósfera, Sierra Gorda, Querétaro, México. Rev. Chil. Hist. Nat., 85, 32-333.

Zúñiga-VegaJ.J.Rojas-GonzálezR.I.Lemos-EspinalJ.A.Pérez-TrejoM.E. (2005) Growth ecology of the lizard Xenosaurus grandis in Veracruz, México. J. Herpetol., 39, 433-443.


  • Observed and predicted growth rates as a function of body length for Urosaurus bicarinatus. Closed circles represent observed growth rates of females. Closed squares represent observed growth rates of males. Black lines represent the expected relationship between body growth rates and the size of males and females according to the Von Bertalanffy model (solid line), the logistic-by-length model (discontinuous line), and the logistic-by-weight model (dotted line).

    View in gallery
  • Comparisons between sexes of the characteristic growth parameter (r) and asymptotic length (A1), both estimated by the Von Bertalanffy growth model. Ninety-five percent support plane confidence intervals are shown.

    View in gallery
  • Growth curve for both sexes of Urosaurus bicarinatus estimated through the Von Bertalanffy growth model. Age at maturity estimated for males and females are shown.

    View in gallery


Content Metrics

Content Metrics

All Time Past Year Past 30 Days
Abstract Views 15 15 2
Full Text Views 8 8 8
PDF Downloads 0 0 0
EPUB Downloads 0 0 0