Diet of the Indochinese Water Dragon Physignathus cocincinus Cuvier, 1829 (Squamata: Sauria: Agamidae) from Thua Thien Hue Province, Vietnam

Van Hoang Nguyen, Binh Van Ngo, Dac Chung Ngo, Quang Truong Nguyen


25.08.2017 The Indochinese Water Dragon, Physignathus cocincinus Cuvier, 1829, was listed in the Vietnam Red Data Book (2007) as Vulnerable. However, the knowledge about feeding ecology of this lizard species is still lacking. We herein provide data about the diet of P. cocincinus based on results of our field work in A Luoi District, Thua Thien Hue Province, Vietnam. We used the stomach-flushing method to obtain the stomach contents of 187 individuals at three survey sites. A total of 20 prey categories with 3066 items, comprising 3052 items of invertebrates and 14 items of plants, was found in the stomachs of P. cocincinus. The most common prey items of P. cocincinus were spiders, ants, insect larvae, termites, crickets, grasshoppers, and earthworms with the importance indices ranged from 5.36% to 35.57%. The total volume of food items consumed by adult and subadult individuals was greater than that consumed by juveniles (P = 0.005). The rarefaction curves for prey category richness were higher in subadults and in juveniles than that in adult individuals for both occurrence frequency and counted items.


Physignathus cocincinus; food composition; prey items

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