Agonistic and mating behaviour of the endemic lizard Trachylepis

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The skink Trachylepis atlantica is endemic to the Fernando de Noronha archipelago. Although this species is abundant in the archipelago, it is increasingly threatened by invasive species, predation, and anthropic interference. However, little is known about its natural history. Here we report on territory use, male-male combat, and mating behaviour of freeranging T. atlantica. During the dry season, we observed two bouts of male combat and two copulations, which suggests some mating seasonality. In male combat, T. atlantica displays ritualised agonistic behaviour with escalated aggressiveness that include - i) visualisation, approaching or following, ii) visual display, iii) bite and body confrontation, and iv) dominance. Adult males were always alert to invaders within their territories. After combat, resident males showed scars on their heads resulting from agonistic encounters. During the two copulations, we observed courtship, immobilisation, and mating.
Gasparotto VPO, Migliore SN, Pinheiro R, Dias RA, Almeida-Santos SM. Agonistic and mating behaviour of the endemic lizard Trachylepis. Herpetol. Bull. 2021 July;158:16-23. doi:10.33256/hb158.1623.
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