Foraging Mode of the Sand Lizard, Lacerta agilis, at the Beginning of Its Yearly Activity Period

Szilárd Nemes


At the beginning of its yearly activity period Lacerta agilis behaves as an ambush foraging lizard. Proportion of attacks on prey discovered while lizards are moving (PAM), movement per minute (MPM) and percent of time spent moving (PTM) are low. A correlation was found between MPM and PTM. There are no significant differences between PTM and MPM among sexes or age categories. Prey search locomotion is rarely used and is discontinuous when it occurs. Pause duration has a positive correlation with movement length. Lizards counterbalance long movements with longer pauses in order to increase the probability of prey detection and capture. Contrary to other ambush foraging lizards, Lacerta agilis frequently tongue flicks, probably in order to detect and identify prey animals.


Lacerta agilis; Lacertidae; foraging mode; ambush foraging; tongue flicks; Romania

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