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      Body orientation for thermoregulation and daily activity cycle of Mabuya macrorhyncha (Squamata: Scincidae)

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          ABSTRACT We investigated the daily activity and thermoregulatory body orientation of Mabuya macrorhyncha (Hoge, 1947), a lizard species that occurs in the Brazilian Atlantic Forest. We conducted this investigation in a sandy coastal dune remnant (“restinga” ecosystem) in Grussaí, state of Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, during the summer. The daily activity cycle of the lizards started around 6:00 am and ended before 7:00 pm. This is longer than observed in other populations of M. macrorhyncha (approximately 7:00 am to 5:00 pm). The activity cycle of the lizards was bimodal, with the first peak between 6:00 and 11:00 am and the second from 2:00 to 7:00 pm. This contrasts with observations on other populations of this species, which revealed an unimodal pattern. The mean body temperature of M. macrorhyncha in Grussaí was 34.2 ± 1.5 °C, which was comparatively higher than observed in other populations of the species. The differences in the daily activity and of body temperature of these lizards between our study and previous studies on this species may reflect environmental thermal conditions. The mean air and mean substrate temperatures when individuals were active were 27.8 and 30.5 °C respectively. Lizard orientation was significantly correlated with the direction of the solar incidence, suggesting that solar radiation, and particularly behavioral adjustments that maximize exposure to the sun, are important for the thermoregulation of M. macrorhyncha. Circular structures at the site, such as bromeliads, offer microhabitats with different orientations to the sunlight, favoring lizard thermoregulatory behaviors.

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          Most cited references 29

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          Köppen's climate classification map for Brazil

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            Thermoregulation in reptiles; a factor in evolution.

             C Bogert (1949)
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              Temperature Regulation in Puerto Rican Anolis Lizards: A Field Test Using Null Hypotheses

               Paul E. Hertz (1992)

                Author and article information

                Zoologia (Curitiba)
                Zoologia (Curitiba)
                Sociedade Brasileira de Zoologia (Curitiba, PR, Brazil )
                : 35
                Rio de Janeiro Rio de Janeiro orgnameUniversidade do Estado do Rio de Janeiro orgdiv1Departamento de Ecologia Brazil
                Rio de Janeiro Rio de Janeiro orgnameUniversidade Federal do Rio de Janeiro orgdiv1Instituto de Biologia orgdiv2Departamento de Ecologia Brazil
                S1984-46702018000100502 S1984-4670(18)03500000502

                This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.

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