Animal communication has a key role in animals and identifying the signals’ function is crucial. Most lizards communicate with each other through visual signals with headbob displays, which are up-and-down movements of the head or the anterior part of the body. In the present work, I described and analysed the headbob displays of Liolaemus pacha lizards in their natural habitat. Specifically, the objectives were to describe the form of headbobs, to analyse their structure and to compare between sexes and social contexts. Adult lizards were video-recorded, registering the sex and the social context, classified as broadcast, same-sex and female-male interactions. The form and structure of sequences and headbobs were obtained. To evaluate the effect of sex and social context on the structure of headbob sequences and on headbob bouts, generalized linear mixed models were made. Intersexual differences were found in headbob display frequency and in the structure of headbob sequences. Lizards in same-sex context made sequences with more bouts, shorter intervals, headbob bouts of longer duration and higher amplitude than broadcast and female-male context. Presence of concurring behaviour such as lateral compression, gular expansion, and back arching occurred simultaneously with headbobs in same-sex context. Liolaemus pacha made four different headbob bout forms, and males were characterised by using bouts A and B, whereas females used bouts D more frequent. Sex and social context influenced only the structure of bouts A and B. The results showed that bouts A and B might be multi-component signals and non-redundant.
Briffa, M. (2014): Agonistic signals: integrating analysis of functions and mechanisms. In: Animal Signaling and Function: an Integrative Approach, p. 141-173. Irschick, D.J., Briffa, M., Podos, J., Eds, Wiley, Hoboken, NJ.
Carpenter, C.C. (1982): The aggressive displays of Iguaninae lizards. In: Iguanas of the World: Their Behavior, Ecology and Conservation, p. 215-231. Burghardt, G., Rand, A.S., Eds, Noyes Publ., Park Ridge, New Jersey.
Carpenter, C.C., Ferguson, G.W. (1977): Variation and evolution of stereotyped behaviour in reptiles. In: Biology of Reptilia: Ecology and Behaviour, Vol. 7, p. 335-554. Gans, C., Tinkle, D.W., Eds, Academic Press, New York.
Font, E., Carazo, P., Pérez i de Lanuza, G., Kramer, M. (2012): Predator-elicited foot shakes in wall lizards (Podarcis muralis): evidence for a pursuit-deterrent function. J. Comp. Psychol.126: 87-96.
García-Roa, R., Carreira, S., López, P., Martín, J. (2016): Genders matters: sexual differences in chemical signals of Liolaemus wiegmannii lizards (Iguania, Liolaemidae). Biochem. Syst. Ecol.69: 108-114.
García-Roa, R., Jara, M., Baeckens, S., López, P., Van Damme, R., Martín, J., Pincheira-Donoso, D. (2017): Macroevolutionary diversification of glands for chemical communication in squamate reptiles. Sci. Rep.-UK7: 9288.
Halloy, M., Robles, C. (2002): Spatial distribution in a Neotropical lizard, Liolaemus quilmes (Liolaemidae): site fidelity and overlapping among males and females. Bull. Maryland Herp. Soc.38: 118-129.
Hews, D.K., Date, P., Hara, E., Castellano, M.J. (2011): Field presentation of male secretions alters social display in Sceloporus virgatus but not in S. undulatus lizards. Behav. Ecol. Sociobiol.65: 1403-1410.
Lovern, M.B., Jenssen, T.A. (2003): Form emergence and fixation of head bobbing displays in the green anole lizard (Anolis carolinensis): a reptilian model of signal ontogeny. J. Comp. Psychol.117: 133-141.
Ossip-Klein, A.G., Fuentes, J.A., Hews, D.K., Martins, E.P. (2013): Information content is more important than sensory system or physical distance in guiding the long-term evolutionary relationships between signaling modalities in Sceloporus lizards. Behav. Ecol. Sociobiol.67: 1513-1522.
Pruett, J.A., Zúñiga-Vega, J.J., Campos, S.M., Soini, H.A., Novotny, M.V., Vital-García, C., Martins, E.P., Hews, D.K. (2016): Evolutionary interactions between visual and chemical signals: chemosignals compensate for the loss of a visual signal in male Sceloporus lizards. J. Chem. Ecol.42: 1164-1174.
Radder, R.S., Saidapur, S.K., Shine, R., Shanbhag, B.A. (2006): The language of lizards: interpreting the function of visual displays of the Indian rock lizard, Psammophilus dorsalis (Agamidae). J. Ethol.24: 275-283.
Vicente, N.S., Halloy, M. (2016b): Chemical recognition of conspecifics in a Neotropical lizard, Liolaemus pacha (Iguania: Liolaemidae): relation to visual displays, season and sex. J. Ethol.34: 329-335.