Predation on Common Wall Lizards: Survival Probabilities of Melanic Individuals

Jenő J. Purger, Renáta Bocz


For estimation of predation plasticine models of prey animals are often used, because the soft material preserves imprints left by predators. We assumed that melanic common wall lizards (Podarcis muralis) disappear by selective predation faster than cryptic individuals and habitat features have important role in this process. We studied the survival probabilities of cryptic and melanic colored plasticine common wall lizard models in habitats with different background coloration on selected places near the city of Pécs (south Hungary), where melanic common wall lizards had been observed earlier. Contrary to our expectations the daily survival rates of melanic plasticine common wall lizards were somewhat higher in all three locations (sandstone quarry, stone wall, coal pit) than those of the cryptic ones, but these differences were not significant. Predators were mostly mammals, which left more marks on plasticine models than birds, but we could not show a preference of the body parts of prey. We concluded that rare occurrence of melanic common wall lizards in habitats near the city of Pécs is not due to predation pressure.


Hungary; plasticine; Podarcis muralis; survival rate

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