IISc: How seasons force a lizard’s existence


The contemporary year’s juveniles have been the breeding males in the subsequent year.
Winter blues and summer lows may be the simplest approaches to the climate that affects human behavior. The breeding of the rock agama indicates a wonderful annual cycle, tracking durations of hot weather and rain in its habitat. Still, scientists have observed that seasonal climatic changes govern the life cycle of a tropical lizard species. According to scientists, changes in global weather, which could affect local temperature and rainfall, may affect the biology of such bloodless-blooded reptiles.


While temperate structures show distinct seasons with varying climatic situations, the tropics are typically much less variable. However, some components of the tropics consist of the Rishi Valley in southern Andhra Pradesh. Here, summer temperatures top between March and May, ranging from 8-41 diploma C, and rainfall is fairly seasonal.

Rishi Valley. Scientists at the Indian Institute of Science (IISc), Bengaluru, studied how this seasonality impacts the breeding of Peninsular rock agama (a tropical lizard discovered across rocky habitats in peninsular India). The backs of male agamas flip a vibrant yellow-orange during the breeding season, at the same time as the bulging bellies of females is a signal that they’re wearing eggs. Identifying these breeding traits of 205 tagged lizards across three years, the team also took physical measurements byby recapturing some individuals. It collated day-by-day temperature and rainfall information from a neighborhood weather station.

Most adult males started displaying breeding coloration in May, while temperatures peaked and lasted till September. The breeding season ended around September.


Meanwhile, the females started laying the first eggs in June–July, best after the first rains. This will probably be because the rains loosen the soil, helping them dig holes to lay their eggs. Juvenile lizards emerged from September to December, mid-manner into the monsoon when meal assets are considerable. Censuses conducted via the group to arrive at lizard numbers inside the location show November’s best variety of juveniles.

“The contemporary year’s juveniles were the breeding adult males the next year, hinting at a rapid increase to attain reproductive adulthood,” says Shreekant Deodhar, the lead author of the Have a Look at published in Current Science. “But after that, they disappeared. This annual pattern becomes sudden because you’ll expect these massive lizards to live longer than a year.”


Though the group sampled all males of the populace they studied, very few were re-sighted and recaptured across breeding seasons; the species do not hibernate or migrate to different sites.

lizard's existence

“Climatic changes should affect those bloodless-blooded reptiles faster, giving us an inkling of what may be taking place with modifications in global weather patterns,” he adds.