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flying lizards Related Abstracts

1 Foraging Ecology and Diet of the Philippine Spotted Flying Lizard, Draco Spilopterus (Wiegmann, 1834), in Luzon Biogeographic Region

Authors: Arvin C. Diesmos, Michael A. Tabug

Abstract:

The foraging ecology of the Philippine endemic Draco spilopterus was studied through a combination of in-situ field observations and laboratory examinations of specimens of the species. A total of four populations of the species were studied across the Luzon Biogeographic Region between June 2017 and March 2019. Of the 59 lizards captured, gut contents of 54 individuals were studied. A total of 2933 food items were sorted into seven types, such as Formicidae (ants) (96%), Araneae (spiders) (0.034%), Coleoptera (beetles) (0.579%), Hemiptera (scale insects) (0.102%), Isoptera (termites) (2.796%), Lepidoptera (larvae) (0.307%), and Diplopoda (millipede) (0.102%). Diet analysis revealed that D. spilopterus fed mainly on insect arthropods and were dominated by ants (Formicidae). Of the four populations studied, lizards consumed a relatively high proportion of ants (96%), which strongly implies that D. spilopterus is a specialist predator and a sit-and-wait active forager. The observed feeding activities of D. spilopterus also show that it is diurnal forager and actively hunts for prey from 0830 hr to 1658 hr, with decreasing activity during midday. Draco spilopterus lizards were also observed to use a wide spectrum of perch heights while foraging, regardless of the dimension of trees.

Keywords: ant specialists, diet analysis, flying lizards, foraging ecology, Luzon Biogeographic Region

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