DOI: 10.3724/SP.J.1245.2014.00263

Asian Herpetological Research 2014/5:4 PP.263-270

Body Size and Reproductive Tactics in Varanid lizards

Body size and female reproduction in the water monitor lizard(Varanus salvator) were studied. Forty-two adult females larger than 500 mm SVL and 32 adult males larger than 400 mm SVL were donated by local people in Ledong, Hainan under permit to our laboratory in Hainan in 2013 and 2014. The largest male and female measured 745 and 755 mm SVL, respectively. The mean SVL was greater in adult females than in adult males. Males had larger heads(head width) than females of the same SVL. The smallest reproductive female in our sample was 565 mm SVL. Females produced a single clutch of 17.1(10-23) pliable-shelled eggs per breeding season stretching from mid-June and mid-September. Clutch size and clutch mass were all positively related to female SVL. However, there was no significant linear relationship between egg mass and female SVL. Larger females generally produced more eggs, and thus heavier clutches than did smaller ones. There was no significant linear relationship between relative clutch mass and female SVL. Phylogenetic generalized least squares(PGLS) analysis, accounting for phylogenetic relationships, showed that clutch size was positively correlated with mean maternal SVL in varanid lizards. PGLS analysis showed that phylogenetic relationships did not affect clutch(or/and egg) mass and the SVL although there were significant linear relationship between clutch(or/and egg) mass and mean maternal SVL. Therefore, we could draw some general conclusions about the body size and reproductive tactics in varanid lizards that larger females generally produced more eggs, larger eggs and thus heavier clutches than did smaller ones.

Key words:body size,female reproduction,monitor lizard,Varanidae

ReleaseDate:2015-03-27 09:32:50

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