Male-Male Combat in Pseudopus apodus (Reptilia: Anguidae)

Daniel Jablonski


Despite its interesting diversity, life history and evolution, the family Anguidae is one of the least-explored group of lizards in the world. The same is true for the largest member of the family, Pseudopus apodus. Life history data on this species are still very scarce. Here, I present the observation of ritualized male-male combat based on two records from Kyrgyzstan and Greece. Male-male combat is an interesting phenomenon in different aspects of P. apodus life history including mating behavior, sexual size dimorphism or intra-sexual competition. Therefore, in this article I present the first description of male-male combat for P. apodus and make comparisons with this phenomenon in the closely related genus Anguis.


intra-sexual and intraspecific interactions; competition; ethology; Anguis; Sheltopusik; European legless lizard

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