Sex-specific predation on two lizard species by kestrels
Faculty of Sciences. Biology
The Russian journal of ecology
, p. 99-101
Sex-biased predation is thought to have important implications for sexual selection, sex allocation, and population dynamics (Magnhagen, 1991; Le-Galliard et al., 2005 for an example in lizards). Most studies found that males are subjected to higher predation pressure than females during the reproductive season (Korpimäki, 1985; Lodé et al., 2004; Christe et al., 2006; Costantini et al., 2007). In that period, males are very mobile, emit acoustic signals and exhibit brilliant colourations, which are needed to attract females but may make them more visible to predators. With regard to lizards, a recent study provided the first evidence that males of a lizard species may be preyed on more than females (Costantini et al., 2007). In the present study, we investigated whether there is sex-biased predation on two small lacertid species, the common wall lizard Podarcis muralis (Laurenti, 1768) and the Italian wall lizard Podarcis sicula (Rafinesque-Schmaltz, 1810), by Eurasian kestrels (Falco tinnunculus) during the reproductive season. We also examined whether (1) the rate of predation differed between species and (2) the rate of predation differed across years or among hunting habitats for each species.