Periódicos Brasileiros em Medicina Veterinária e Zootecnia

Thermal ecology and thermoregulatory behavior of Coleodactylus natalensis (Squamata: Sphaerodactylidae), in a fragment of the Atlantic forest of northeastern, Brazil

A. G. de Sousa, PabloM. X. Freire, Eliza

We studied the thermal ecology and thermoregulatory behavior of Coleodactylus natalensis Freire, 1999 in a remnant of a northern coastal patch of the Brazilian Atlantic Forest. Data were collected during four 20-day field excursions over the course of one year. We assessed the importance of substrate and air temperatures, in addition to time of exposure to sunlight, as relevant factors for the regulation of body temperature in this species. After each specimen was captured, body (Tb), substrate (Ts) and air (Ta) temperature were measured 10 cm above the ground, using a temperature sensor coupled to a fast response thermo-hygrometer. Ad libitum and focal animal methods were used to describe thermoregulatory behavior. The mean body temperature of C. natalensis was 31.3 ± 3°C (amplitude of 26.9 and 38.4°C, n = 20). A positive relationship was found between Tb and environmental temperatures; further, substrate temperature explained the additional variability of temperature variations in this species. With respect to environmental observations, individuals of C. natalensis did not expose themselves directly to the sun, moving equally between full and filtered sun. Our results indicate that C. natalensis is umbrophylic and a passive thermoregulator.

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