Antipredatory behaviour in lizards: interactions between group size and predation risk

Date

2004

Authors

Downes, Sharon
Hoefer, Anke-Maria

Journal Title

Journal ISSN

Volume Title

Publisher

Academic Press

Abstract

Group size effects on antipredatory behaviour are well documented in numerous animals, but little is known about how the level of predation risk influences this process. We tested the hypothesis that group size and level of risk interact to affect the levels of antipredatory behaviour in the group-living sun skink, Lampropholis delicata. We controlled the size of lizard groups (N = 1, 2, 4, 8 or 12 females) and altered predation risk by providing either a basking tile covered with chemical cues from a predator (high risk) or one without scent (low risk). The time allocated to individual antipredatory behaviour decreased significantly with increasing group size. The relation between group size and time allocated to individual antipredatory behaviour was nonlinear and asymptotic, and did not change under low and high risks of predation. However, group size and predation risk interacted to affect significantly the time that lizards allocated to antipredatory behaviour. When the overall risk from predators was high, individual responsiveness decreased strongly as group size became larger. In contrast, when the overall risk from predators was low, individual responsiveness decreased weakly as group size became larger. Consequently, the time that lizards allocated to antipredatory behaviour under different risks of predation converged as group size increased.

Description

Keywords

Keywords: group size; lizard; predation; risk factor; time allocation; Animalia; Lampropholis; Lampropholis delicata; Squamata

Citation

Source

Animal Behaviour

Type

Journal article

Book Title

Entity type

Access Statement

License Rights

DOI

10.1016/j.anbehav.2003.05.010

Restricted until

2037-12-31