Growth patterns and reproductive strategies in the lizard, Calotes versicolor raised in captivity

B.N. Pandav, B.A. Shanbhag, S.K. Saidapur


The paper describes the growth patterns and breeding strategies in the lizard, Calotes versicolor in captivity. The lizards were raised in laboratory from hatching. It was observed that these lizards attain sexual maturity at 7.42 ± 0.5 months of age. Growth rate in males is always higher than in females and sexual size dimorphism in C. versicolor is due to the difference in growth rate between the sexes. The study revealed that some females reproduce in the first year at smaller body size (snout-vent length-SVL ~ 8 cm) with small clutch size while some skip reproduction in the first year, grow larger (SVL ~11.5 cm) and reproduce in second year with larger clutch size, yet others reproduce in first year, skip reproduction in second year and reproduce in the third year and some skip reproduction in the first 2 years of life and reproduce in third year attaining larger body size (SVL >13.6 cm) with greater clutch size. Thus, females exhibit different strategies of trade-off between growth and reproduction. In addition, the study showed that C. versicolor may lay as many as 3 clutches of eggs in a breeding season. Thus, the study provides information on growth, age at sexual maturity, relationship between growth and reproduction and reproductive strategies exhibited by the lizard in captivity.

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