Tropical Ecology and Conservation [Monteverde Institute]

Alternative Title

Discriminación de la presa nueva y aposemática por Sceloporus malachiticus


Jeff Masterson



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Publication Date

December 2006


Prey use a variety of defenses against predators in order to avoid predation and often use warning coloration known as aposematism to advertise unpalatability to predators. Predators have accordingly evolved defenses against possibly unpalatable prey by being selective, and avoiding aposematically colored prey items. Some predators are more selective, avoiding anything appearing novel (neophobia), thus lowering the risk of unprofitable foraging by restricting their diet to familiar items. Previous studies have shown that neonatal Sceloporus malachiticus will innately avoid aposematic prey. In this experiment I examined any potential changes in prey selection concerning aposematic or novel prey items in S. malachiticus in Monteverde, Costa Rica. I used paint pens to create three different color patterns on crickets; drab, aposematic, and novel. I fed nine S. malachiticus these different treatments in random order over the course of six trials. I found that the lizards showed no apparent preference for any color type (Friedman test, p = 0.0970, n = 9), indicating a loss of dietary conservatism as mature adults.


Las presas utilizan una variedad de defensas contra los depredadores con el fin de evitar la depredación y a menudo el uso de coloración de advertencia conocido como aposematism para advertir inapetencia a los depredadores. Los depredadores por consiguiente han desarrollado posibles defensas contra las presas desagradables siendo selectivos, y evitando el color aposematic de las presas. Algunos depredadores son más selectivos, evitando todo lo que parece nuevo (neofobia), reduciendo así el riesgo del forrajeo no rentable restringiendo su dieta a solo las cosas conocidas. Estudios previos han demostrado que neonatal Sceloporus malachiticus evitará innatamente a la presa aposematic. En este experimento, examiné cualquier cambio potencial en la selección de presas referente a las presas aposematic o nuevas presas en S. malachiticus en Monteverde, Costa Rica.


Predator & prey, Canyon lizard, Warning coloration (Biology), CIEE Fall 2006

Palabras claves

Depredador y presa, Lagartija de cañón, Coloración de advertencia (Biología), CIEE Otoño 2006


8 pages

Geographic Location

Monteverde (Puntarenas, Costa Rica)

Holding Location

Monteverde Institute


English; Spanish

Media Type



Digital Only





Discrimination of aposematic and novel prey by mature Sceloporus malachiticus, December 2006



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