Deterring predators, daunting opponents or drawing partners? Signaling rates across diverse contexts in the lizard **Anolis sagrei**
Faculty of Sciences. Biology
Behavioral ecology and sociobiology. - Berlin
, p. 173-184
University of Antwerp
Although the visual display behavior in Anolis lizards has received ample attention, the function of dewlap extensions (DE), push-ups (PU), and head-nods (HN) in general, and in Anolis sagrei in particular, remains highly equivocal. Therefore, our primary goal was to quantify the display rates of these visual signal types (DE, PU, and HN) in a variety of contexts, using A. sagrei as study species. To our knowledge, this is the first study to test individuals of both sexes in a repeated-measures design across multiple contexts, including predator, non-predator and social interactions (mirror, malemale, malefemale, femalemale). We found that males have an overall higher signaling rate than females across all contexts. In addition, we found that lizards of both sexes exhibited higher display rates in the presence of conspecifics than when confronted with a predator or non-predator, suggesting that DE, PU, and HN function in intraspecific communication, not in predator deterrence. Whereas females did not significantly raise display rates in a consexual and heterosexual context with respect to subject-alone context, males did. The PU signal type only appears to play a major role for A. sagrei males during aggressive encounters. During heterosexual interactions, increased frequencies of all signal types suggest that DE, PU, and HN are essential for male courtship. Finally, we suggest that intersexual selection is probably a driving force for frequency-related dewlap use in both sexes. In contrast, pronounced intersexual differences were detected for PU and HN rates within a social context.