Effects of rainfall and geography on the comparative diets of eight rainbow lizard populations across Togo, Benin and Nigeria (West Africa)

In: Amphibia-Reptilia
View More View Less
  • 1 Department of Applied and Environmental Biology, Rivers State University of Science and Technology, P.M.B. 5080, Port Harcourt, Rivers State, Nigeria
  • | 2 Centre of Environmental Studies Demetra, Rome, Italy
  • | 3 Département de Zoologie et Biologie Animale, Faculté des Sciences, Université de Lomé, BP. 1515, Lomé, Togo
  • | 4 Agbo-Zegue ONG (Togolese Society for Nature Conservation), BP. 6057 Lomé, Togo

Purchase instant access (PDF download and unlimited online access):

€29.95$34.95

The diet composition of rainbow lizards (Agama agama complex) populations was studied by feces analysis at eight distant places across a mega-transect in the Gulf of Guinea (West Africa), covering three countries: Togo, Benin and Nigeria. The effects of geography (= linear distance between study sites) and local conditions (using the mean annual rainfall as a proxy of the site-specific conditions) on dietary similarity of rainbow lizards were tested. Rainbow lizards were mainly insectivorous at all sites. Multivariate analyses identified four main groups of localities in terms of diet diversity indexes, with populations inhabiting forest towns tending to have less prey taxa richness than conspecifics from more arid areas, which instead had higher dietary evenness. Food niche overlap between populations was high among populations (range 0.631-0.940, x=0.839), and decreased with increases in the difference of mean annual rainfall between sites. There was no effect of the geographic distance on the similarity in diet composition between populations. A UPGMA dendrogram revealed a geographic trend in terms of presence/absence of the various prey types in the diets, with all the Nigerian study sites forming one cluster, whereas Lomé and Cotonou, two cities situated within the Dahomey Gap, being grouped apart. Overall, rainfall of the various sites seems to be more important than geographic distance for determining the taxonomic diet composition similarity of these lizards.

  • Anibaldi C., Luiselli L., Angelici F.M. (1998): Notes on the ecology of a suburban population of rainbow lizards in coastal Kenya. Afr. J. Ecol. 36: 199-206.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Chapman B.M., Chapman R.F. (1964): Observations on the biology of the lizard Agama agama in Ghana. Proc. Zool. Soc. London 143: 121-132.

  • Chirio L., LeBreton M. (2007): Atlas des Reptiles du Cameroun. IRD Editions, Paris.

  • Clarke K.R. (1993): Non-parametric multivariate analysis of changes in community structure. Austral. J. Ecol. 18: 117-143.

  • Hardy L.M., Crnkovic A.C. (2006): Diet of amphibians and reptiles from the Engare Ondare River region of Central Kenya, during the dry season. Afr. J. Herpetol. 55: 143-159.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Harper D.A.T. (Ed.) (1999): Numerical Palaeobiology. John Wiley & Sons.

  • Harris V.A. (1964): The Life of the Rainbow Lizard. Hutchison, London.

  • Hawlena D., Pérez-Mellado V. (2009): Change your diet or die: predator-induced shifts in insectivorous lizard feeding ecology. Oecologia 161: 411-419.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Istituto Geografico de Agostini (2008): Atlante geografico metodico. Istituto Geografico De Agostini, Novara.

  • Luiselli L. (2006): Broad geographic, taxonomic and ecological patterns of interpopulation variation in the dietary habits of snakes. Web Ecol. 6: 2-16.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Luiselli L. (2007): Community ecology of African reptiles: Historical perspective and a meta-analysis using null models. Afr. J. Ecol. 46: 384-394.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Luiselli L. (2008): Do lizards communities partition the trophic niche? A worldwide meta-analysis using null models. Oikos 117: 321-330.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Luiselli L., Akani G.C., Ebere N., Pérez-Mellado V. (2011): Stomach flushing affects survival/emigration in wild lizards: a study case with rainbow lizards (Agama agama) in Nigeria. Amphibia-Reptilia 32: 253-260.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Magurran A.E. (1988): Ecological Diversity and Its Measurement. Princeton University Press, Princeton, New Jersey.

  • Mediannikov O., Trape S., Trape J.-F. (2012): A molecular study of the genus Agama (Squamata, Agamidae) in West Africa, with description of two new species and a review of the taxonomy, geography distribution, and ecology of current recognized species. Russ. J. Herp. 19: 115-142.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Oksanen J., Guillaume Blanchet F., Kindt R., Legendre P., Minchin P.R., O’Hara R.B., Simpson G.L., Solymos P., Stevens M.H.H., Wagner H. (2010): Vegan: community ecology package. Available at http://vegan.r-forge.r-project.org/.

  • Pérez-Mellado V., Pérez-Cembranos A., Garrido M., Luiselli L., Corti C. (2011): Using faecal samples in lizard dietary studies. Amphibia-Reptilia 32: 1-7.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Pianka E.R. (1973): The structure of lizard communities. Annu. Rev. Ecol. Syst. 4: 53-74.

  • Pianka E.R. (1986): Ecology and Natural History of Desert Lizards. Princeton University Press, Princeton, New Jersey, USA.

  • Ricklefs R.S. (1973): Ecology. Chiron Press, New York.

  • Rulison E.L., Luiselli L., Burke R.L. (2012): Relative impacts of habitat and geography on Raccoon diets. Am. Midl. Nat. 168: 231-246.

  • Yeboah S. (1982): Observations on the territory of the rainbow lizard, Agama agama. Afr. J. Ecol. 20: 187-192.

Content Metrics

All Time Past Year Past 30 Days
Abstract Views 126 42 2
Full Text Views 122 3 0
PDF Views & Downloads 10 2 0