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Zoological Research
Kunming Institute of Zoology, Chinese Academy of Sciences
ISSN: 2095-8137
Vol. 40, No. 4, 2019, pp. 277-292
Bioline Code: zr19029
Full paper language: English
Document type: Research Article
Document available free of charge

Zoological Research, Vol. 40, No. 4, 2019, pp. 277-292

 en Natural history of Valentin’s rock lizard ( Darevskia valentini check for this species in other resources ) in Armenia
Galoyan, Eduard; Bolshakova, Alisa; Abrahamyan, Manush; Petrosyan, Ruzanna; Komarova, Valeria; Spangenberg, Viсtor & Arakelyan, Marine

Abstract

Valentin’s rock lizard (Darevskia valentini) is suggested to be the parent for several parthenogenetic species (e.g., D. armeniaca check for this species in other resources , D. bendimahiensis check for this species in other resources , D. sapphirina check for this species in other resources , and D. unisexualis check for this species in other resources ) that evolved through hybridization. Complex evolutionary processes (including reticulate evolution) are occurring within the areas where Valentin’s rock lizard coexists with these and other rock lizards. Hence, a detailed biological specification of this species is important for understanding how vertebrates evolve. Valentin’s rock lizard is a long-lived (up to 9 years), small diurnal lizard with larger females than males, which is unlike other species of the genus. Their relatively large eggs and early reproduction period, which occurs just after emergence from winter shelters, are adaptations for living in a high elevation climate (higher than 2 000 m a.s.l.). Their body temperatures (31–32 °С) are comparable to body temperatures of rock lizards living in milder climates, though female body temperature is more dependent on substrate temperature and basking due to their lower activity than that found in males. Population density fluctuates from several individuals to several hundred per hectare and is not affected by parthenogen coexistence, although hybrids do occur in sexually biased populations where males are more common than females. The male home range is larger than that of females, though these home ranges broadly overlap. Prey is not limited in the mountain meadows and Valentin’s rock lizards feed on a great variety of arthropods. Infanticide occurs in high-density populations

Keywords
Darevskia valentini; Reproduction; Population density; Skeletochronology; Home range; Seasonal activity

 
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