Dawson M. Brown and Matthew S. Lattanzio

Abstract

Intraspecific social dominance hierarchies should be influenced by environmental variation; however, in colour polymorphic species, dominance hierarchies are often assumed fixed, and thus insensitive to environmental variability. We ran a series of experiments using the colour polymorphic long-tailed brush lizard (Urosaurus graciosus) to challenge this assumption. We staged contests between orange and yellow morph males over a single heated perch, two perches at the same temperature, or two perches differing in temperature. Our first experiment revealed that orange-throated males are socially dominant. However, this hierarchy collapsed in our other experiments as yellow males became more aggressive. Interestingly, both males only ever secured their own perch where the perches differed in temperature. These findings mirror observations of morph behavioural flexibility in nature and studies of behaviour–environment interactions in non-polymorphic taxa. We conclude that colour morphs may have an underappreciated ability to assess resource-level changes and respond with concomitant flexibility in behaviour.

Brown, Keven, Heravi, Najib Mayel, Khodaverdian, Shahram, Melvin-Koushki, Matthew and Pakatchi, Ahmad

James W. Pellegrino, Susan R. Goldman, Matthew Brown, Banu Oney, Denise Conanan Nacu and Robert Plants

Alizadeh, Mahbanoo, Bahramian, Ali, Brown, Keven, Bulookbashi, Ali A., Gholami, Rahim, Gholami, Yadollah, Jozi, Mohammad Reza, Manouchehri, Faramarz Haj, Melvin-Koushki, Matthew, Negahban, Farzin, Pakatchi, Ahmad, Poor, Daryoush Mohammad, Sajjadi, Sadeq, Shah-Kazemi, Reza, Tareh, Masoud and Waley, Muhammad Isa

Indro Nugroho-Heins, Clara Brakel-Papenhuyzen, László Sluimers, Shigeru Sato, Karel Steenbrink, P.N. Holtrop, Jaap Timmer, Aletta Biersack, Peter Boomgaard, Christine Dobbin, Ian Brown, George Hicks, Ian Brown, Fukuda Shozo, Matthew I. Cohen, Laurie J. Sears, J. Goor, Anthony Reid, J. Goor, Anthony Reid, David Henley, Saya S. Shiraishi, Gerrit Knaap and P. Jobse

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