Autecology of the lizard Colobosauroides cearensis (Squamata: Gymnophthalmidae) from Brazilian semiarid Caatinga
Keywords:diet, habitat, reproduction, sexual dimorphism, thermoregulation
Autecology of the lizard Colobosauroides cearensis (Squamata: Gymnophthalmidae) from Brazilian semiarid Caatinga. Colobosauroides cearensis is a diurnal lizard with a relictual distribution associated with forested habitats in the Brazilian Caatinga Domain. Knowledge of the natural history of this secretive lizard is scarce. Herein, the diet, reproduction, sexual dimorphism, microhabitat use, and thermal ecology of C. cearensis are described based on feldwork in 2015–2017 in the state of Ceará, Brazil. The diet of the lizards is composed exclusively of arthropods, with Formicidae being the most important prey category. Numerical and volumetric niche breadths are 5.52 and 9.2 respectively, and trophic niche overlap between females and males is 0.3. Males are distinguished from females by the larger size of the males and the presence of femoral pores. Colobosauroides cearensis is cryptozoic, inhabiting the leaf litter and having no direct contact with the soil or solar radiation. The average body temperature of the lizards is 30.4 ± 3.3°C, which is positively correlated with the air temperature. Gravid females with fxed clutch size of two eggs are found in early rainy season. Oviposition occurs between April and May (when the highest number of juveniles are observed). Sexual maturity occurs early in males and testicular volume is signifcantly correlated with body size.