Tropidurus hispidus


Tropidurus hispidus
Herpetology Notes, volume 6: 51-53 (2013) (published online on 17 March 2013)
Tropidurus hispidus (Squamata: Tropiduridae) and
Leptodactylus cf. fuscus (Anura: Leptodactylidae) as prey
of the teiid lizards Salvator merianae and Ameiva ameiva
Eric Aian Pereira da Silva1, Tarcísio Dourado Santos1, Graziela Nunes Leite1 and Leonardo Barros Ribeiro1,2,*
The teiid lizard Ameiva ameiva (Linnaeus, 1758) (Fig.
1A) is one of the most widely distributed New World
lizards, occurring from Southern Mexico, Central
America and a large part of South America (Vanzolini,
1972). In Brazil, it inhabits several different ecosystems,
is one of the most conspicuous members of lizard
assemblages (Vitt and Colli, 1994; Silva et al., 2003;
Sales et al., 2011), and is primarily terrestrial and diurnal
(Vitt, 1995). Salvator merianae Duméril & Bibron,
1839 (Fig. 2) is distributed in countries such as Brazil,
Argentina and Uruguay, inhabiting both forests and
open areas (Kiefer and Sazima, 2002; Vanzolini et al.,
1980), and in Brazil was introduced to the Fernando de
Noronha Archipelago, in Pernambuco state. These two
lizards are generally the two largest species (excluding
Iguana iguana, a herbivore) of the lizard community in
a number of Brazilian localities (Vitt, 1991; Avila-Pires,
1995; Vitt, 1995). Ameiva ameiva is medium sized
(maximum SVL of 183.0 mm), while S. merianae is
large (maximum SVL of 406.0) (Vitt, 1995).
The diet of A. ameiva is composed mainly of arthropods
(Vitt and Colli, 1994; Sales et al., 2010), in addition to
mollusks and plant matter (leaves and fruits) (Sales,
Ribeiro and Freire, 2011; Silva et al., 2003). The diet of
S. merianae is omnivorous, composed of invertebrates,
eggs, carcasses, plants and fruits (Kiefer and Sazima,
2002; Péres Júnior, 2003; Castro and Galetti, 2004).
Vertebrates have also been reported as food items for
both A. ameiva (Vitt, 1995; Zaluar and Rocha, 2000;
Pinho et al., 2010; Sales et al., 2010; Sales, Ribeiro and
1 Universidade Federal do Vale do São Francisco - UNIVASF,
Campus Ciências Agrárias, CEP 56300-990, Petrolina, PE,
2 Centro de Conservação e Manejo de Fauna da Caatinga (CEMAFAUNA-CAATINGA), Universidade Federal do Vale do
São Francisco - UNIVASF, Rodovia BR 407, km 12, Lote
543, s/nº - C1, CEP 56300-990, Petrolina, PE, Brasil.
*Corresponding author;
e-mail: [email protected]
Freire, 2011) and S. merianae (Vitt, 1995; Kiefer and
Sazima, 2002; Péres Júnior, 2003; Castro and Galetti,
Here we present the first occurrence of the frog
Leptodactylus cf. fuscus as prey of A. ameiva, as well
as the lizard Tropidurus hispidus (Spix, 1825) in the diet
of S. merianae.
One adult female A. ameiva (162.0 mm SVL) was
collected on 8 August, 2009, in the municipality of
Mauriti (7,495ºS; 38,750ºW; altitude: 374 m), Ceará
state, by a team of biologists from the Center for
Conservation and Management of Caatinga Fauna
(CEMAFAUNA-CAATINGA). One subadult male
S. merianae (250.0 mm SVL), a road-kill victim, was
collected on 22 November, 2011, by one of us (LBR)
on highway BR 407, Petrolina township (9,343ºS;
40,557ºW; altitude: 390 m), in Pernambuco state. Both
lizards were deposited in the Herpetological Collection
of the Caatinga Fauna Museum of CEMAFAUNACAATINGA (MFCH 061, 730), on the Agrarian
Sciences Campus of Universidade Federal do Vale do
São Francisco, Petrolina, Brazil.
During inspection of the stomach of A. ameiva a
Leptodactylus cf. fuscus (35.0 mm in length [SVL],
10.0 mm in width and 1,833 mm3 in volume) was found
(Fig. 1B), in addition to other items such as Araneae,
Coleoptera and Hemiptera. In the stomach contents of
S. merianae four separate digits, a partial hind leg and a
tail from T. hispidus were found.
Based on literature records, vertebrates such as fish,
amphibians, lizards, birds and small mammals are
important food items in the diets of A. ameiva and S.
merianae (Vitt, 1995; Conners, 2010; Sales, Ribeiro
and Freire, 2011). For A. ameiva, a case of anurophagy
involving Scinax x-signatus (Hylidae) was described in
an area of Caatinga (Sales, Ribeiro and Freire, 2011).
The hylid Scinax cuspidata has also been reported as
prey of A. ameiva (Rocha and Vrcibradic, 1998). Other
studies have reported lizards as prey items of this
species, as follows: Kentropyx calcarata and K. striata
Eric Aian Pereira da Silva et al.
of the lizard Basiliscus basiliscus (Lieberman, 1980)
as well as an attempted predation on the amphisbaenid
Leposternon microcephalum (Ubaid, Nascimento and
Maffei, 2009).
Among vertebrates reported as prey of S. merianae,
there are records of Oryzomys sp. (Rodentia: Cricetidae),
carcass of Dasypus novemcinctus (Cingulata:
Dasypodidae) and a litter of Passer domesticus
(Passeriformes: Passeridae) (Kiefer and Sazima, 2002).
There are also reports of opportunistic predation on
marine birds and nests of the marine turtle Chelonia
mydas in the Fernando de Noronha Archipelago (Péres
Júnior, 2003). Records of saurophagy involve the
mabuyid lizard, endemic to the Fernando de Noronha
Archipelago, Trachylepis atlantica (Péres Júnior, 2003),
and evidence of T. torquatus predation reported by
Arruda et al. (2007) in a study in Rio Grande do Sul
state, Brazil.
Figure 1. Above: Adult female Ameiva ameiva. Photo: R.F.D.
Sales. Below: Leptodactylus cf. fuscus as prey of Ameiva
ameiva from Mauriti, Ceará state, Brazil. Photo: M. Gogliath.
(Teiidae) (Magnusson and Lima, 1984; Vitt, 2000),
Tropidurus torquatus (Tropiduridae) and Brasiliscincus
agilis (Mabuyidae) (Zaluar and Rocha, 2000), Dactyloa
aeneus and D. richardii (Polychrotidae) (Simmons et
al., 2005), Ameivula ocellifera (Teiidae) (Gogliath,
Ribeiro and Freire, 2010) and Vanzosaura rubricauda
(Gymnophthalmidae) (Sales et al., 2010). There are also
reports of opportunistic predation on nests of the turtle
Trachemys scripta (Moll and Legler, 1971) and eggs
Figure 2. Specimen of Salvator
Acknowledgements.We thank the Brazilian Institute of
Environment and Renewable Natural Resources (IBAMA) and the
Chico Mendes Institute for Biodiversity Conservation (ICMBio)
for issuing the collection licenses (nº 042/2007 - CGFAP; 295581). Raul F.D. Sales provided useful comments on earlier versions
of this manuscript.
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Accepted by Philip de Pous

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