Recent arguments in the literature prompted us to compare methods for assessing sexual dimorphism in body proportions of lacertid lizards, using Acanthodactylus boskianus. Although expressing body-part measurements as proportional to head length was the most effective method, we recommend using trunk length for the baseline as a general method for lizards. We also argue that, when aiming to assess sexual dimorphism in body proportions of lizards, if the context is ecological, all available adults should be included. However, for morphology and taxonomy, small sub-samples of the largest individuals that maximally express their genetic morphological potential should be used. In A. boskianus, the sexual dimorphism of mensural characters in adults was typical: males were larger, with relatively larger head and appendages. However, the ontogeny of this dimorphism was unusual in that the differences existed already in youth and thereafter persisted isometrically. The sexual dimorphism of meristic characters was male-biased in numbers of femoral pores and of caudal vertebrae, and female-biased in numbers of ventral plates along the trunk and of precaudal vertebrae. Size dimorphism may conceivably play a role in sex recognition because two potential visual cues (i.e. size dimorphism and dichromatism) appear to complement each other.
- Regeneration rate
- Sexual dichromatism
- Sexual dimorphism
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Ecology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics