Aegean Wall Lizards

Lizards on walls change their behavior with cascading ecological consequences.

Podarcis erhardii, the Aegean Wall Lizard, is common in human-dominated landscapes throughout the Greek Archipelago. I found that lizards on walls spend a much longer proportion of their time stationary, basking and waiting for prey. Lizards in areas without walls however spend more of their time in motion, actively foraging. This behavioral difference corresponds to differences in morphology, performance, and diet. This research shows that human land use, specifically changing habitat structure by building rock walls, significantly changes the lifestyle of these common lizards.

Lizards on small islands bite harder than lizards on large islands.

How hard a lizard can bite determines what it can eat and how well it can compete with other lizards. We measured lizards on islands ranging over five orders of magnitude size  We found that lizards on small islands had proportionally harder bites than lizards on large islands.

Donihue, C.M., K.M. Brock, J. Foufopoulos, and A. Herrel. 2015. Feed or fight: Testing the impact of food availability and infraspecific aggression on the functional ecology of an island lizard. Functional Ecology.