Periódicos Brasileiros em Medicina Veterinária e Zootecnia

p. 418-425

Autoecology of Dryadosaura nordestina (Squamata: Gymnophthalmidae) from Atlantic forest fragments in northeastern Brazil

Garda, Adrian AMedeiros, Pedro H. S. deLion, Marília BBrito, Marcos R. M. deVieira, Gustavo H. CMesquita, Daniel O

Life history parameters such as diet, reproduction, and sexual dimorphism are crucial to understand ecological and evolutionary forces shaping species traits. Nevertheless, such information is scant in the literature for most Neotropical squamates. Gymnophthalmidae contains over 242 species in 46 genera and includes small-size, mostly terrestrial species, although psamophilic, semi-aquatic, and low vegetation dwellers also occur. Dryadosaura is a monospecific genus - Dryadosaura nordestina Rodrigues et al., 2005 - , occurring in Atlantic Forest areas from Rio Grande do Norte to Northern Bahia, and little is known about its ecology and natural history. We analyzed the species' diet, reproduction, and sexual dimorphism based on 170 specimens deposited in museum collections. Dryadosaura nordestina is considered generalist and active forager, based on dietary items. Arthropods, especially ants and insect larvae, dominate the diet. The reproductive period shows a peak during the rainy season (May through June), while recruitment occurs from July through November. Males are significantly larger than females, and sexes can also be distinguished based on shape variables: males have higher heads and longer bodies, while body height and width are larger in females.(AU)

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