Tail autotomy is a common phenomenon in lizards that increases the chances of immediate survival during a predation event or agonistic encounter. However, despite short-term benefits, tail regeneration may also impose costs. Several studies have demonstrated that tail loss compromises other vital functions such as lipid storage, reproduction, and the immune system. Several lizard species are hosts of mites and ticks. Here we evaluated in three lizard species from the genus Sceloporus, whether individuals that have lost their tails and invested energy in tail regeneration are more susceptible to ectoparasites. Using a multimodel inference framework, we examined if tail loss and regeneration, as well as sex, body condition, and season (dry or rainy) predict ectoparasite load. Our results indicate that investing energy and resources in tail regeneration compromises defence against ectoparasites. These costs differed between sexes and among species. Overall, ectoparasite load increases during the rainy season and is on average higher in males. In S. grammicus, during the rainy season, males with regenerated tails and in poor body condition had more ectoparasites than males with intact tails in good body condition. In S. megalepidurus, we observed the same effect during the rainy season but in females rather than males. In S. torquatus, we found no effect of tail loss on ectoparasite load. We discuss the possibility that differences observed among species reflect differences in both species-specific physiological trade-offs and local environmental conditions.
Research team membership should be understood as a prospective dimension of research design. When the phenomenon to be examined is pluri-national – i.e., involving more than one country – as has been our case for more than two-decades of consideration of the educations of transnationally mobile children and youth, it follows that much can be gained by organizing a research team that is also pluri-national. Here, we suggest ways that our team’s border spanning composition has supported our efforts to pursue empirical questions, like who, where, and how many. It has also allowed us to consider perception questions regarding how transnational students made sense of their various schools and how they were viewed by others in them. Finally, it has allowed us to consider what the school systems that transnational students negotiate want them to know/learn versus what knowledge, orientations, and skills might be most circumstantially advantageous.