IISc: How seasons force a lizard’s existence


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

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

Scientists on 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) at Rishi Valley. 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 3 years, the team also took physical measurements through recapturing some of these individuals and 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. lizard

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

“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 simply disappeared. This annual pattern becomes sudden due to the fact you’ll expect these massive lizards to live longer than a year.”


Though the group sampled all males of the populace they studied, best very few were re-sighted and re-captured 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.