Many ecological attributes of organisms vary spatially. This strict dependency upon space generally arises by individuals occupying places with the necessary resources and conditions for survival. For lizards, losing the tail is an evolved mechanism that allows them to escape predators or to avoid aggressive intraspecific agonistic interactions. We evaluated the spatial relation of tail loss in a population of the lizard Tropidurus montanus. Our results support the occurrence of a spatial cluster of autotomized lizards. However, we cannot relate the cluster formation to the crowding of neighbouring lizards nor to individuals’ body size. Tail loss in lizards is known to be related to predatory attacks or intraspecific aggression, and we now show that tail autotomy occurs in a non-random way regarding space, and thus is also related to the space occupied by individuals in populations.
Frequency of tail loss reflects variation in predation levels, predator efficiency, and the behaviour of three populations of brown anoles.
Biol. J. Linn. Soc.103:
Voronoi distance based prospective space-time scans for point data sets: a dengue fever cluster analysis in a southeast Brazilian town.
Int. J. Health Geogr.2011:
FilogonioR.Del LamaF.S.MachadoL.L.DrumondM.ZanonI.MezzettiN.A.GaldinoC.A.B. (2010):
Daily activity and microhabitat use of sympatric lizards from Serra do Cipó, southeastern Brazil.
Ihering. Ser. Zool.100:
Indirect evidences of predation and intraspecific aggression in three sympatric lizard species from a semi-arid area in northeastern Brazil.
Range structure, microhabitat use, and activity patterns of the saxicolous lizard Tropidurus torquatus (Tropiduridae) on a rock outcrop in Minas Gerais, Brazil.
Revista Chilena de Historia Natural82:
Minimizing predation risk in a landscape of multiple predators: effect on the spatial distribution of African ungulates.
Van SluysM.VrcibradicD.RochaC.F.D. (2002):
Tail loss in the syntopic lizards Tropidurus itambere (Tropiduridae) and Mabuya frenata (Scincidae) in southeastern Brazil.
Stud. Neotrop. Fauna Environ.37: