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Revista chilena de historia natural

Print version ISSN 0716-078X

Abstract

LARA-RESENDIZ, RAFAEL A; ARENAS-MORENO, DIEGO M  and  MENDEZ-DE LA CRUZ, FAUSTO R. Diurnal and nocturnal thermoregulation in the lizard Phyllodactylus bordai (Gekkota: Phyllodactylidae) in a semiarid region of central Mexico. Rev. chil. hist. nat. [online]. 2013, vol.86, n.2, pp.127-135. ISSN 0716-078X.  http://dx.doi.org/10.4067/S0716-078X2013000200002.

Nocturnal reptiles depend on habitat thermal quality to efficiently regulate their body temperature and to perform diurnal and nocturnal biological activities. It has previously been suggested that nocturnal ectotherms maintain different strategies to thermoregulate between day and night. Therefore, the objectives of the present study were: (1) to examine the field and preferred body temperature of the nocturnal lizard Phyllodactylus bordai throughout the photophase and scotophase and to quantify available operative temperature; and (2) to evaluate the accuracy and effectiveness of thermoregulation and the thermal quality of habitat in both phases. Our study area focuses within a semiarid region of central Mexico. Results show that P. bordai presents a bimodal thermoregulatory pattern with high body temperatures during photophase and low body temperatures during scotophase. This species exhibits a eurythermic strategy characterized by a wide range of body temperatures and was highly accurate and efficient in regulating its body temperature in both phases. The semiarid region of central Mexico provides P. bordai with a thermally optimal and stable microclimate during each phase to achieve and maintain its optimal body temperature with relatively low thermoregulatory effort. Our results are in general agreement with previous studies and predictions and expand prior work regarding the thermal ecology of nocturnal reptiles.

Keywords : photophase; scotophase; thermoregulation; thermal efficiency; thermal quality.

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