Forestry and Environment Sympoisum 2002, Sri Lanka

Thursday, September 14, 2006

BEHAVIOR OF Ceratophora tennentii GUNTHER,1834 IN RELATION TO AMBIENT TEMPERATURE IN A SELECTED HABITAT !N KNUCKLES FOREST RANGE OF SRI LANKA

P.R.K. Rodrigo1, U.K.G.K. Padmalal 1, LU.P. Samaraweera 1 & J. U. L.D. ayantha 2
1 Faculty of Natural Science, The Open University of Sri Lanka
2 Faculty of Veterinary Medicine and Animal Science,
University of Peradeniya

A research was conducted in the eastern slope of the northern flank of the Knuckles forest range for a period of 3 months from March - June 2002 with the objective of studying the general behavior of C. tennentii related to the ambient temperature. Data was collected for a period of 10 days between 0800 to 1800 hrs using focal sampling method. Juvenile (J), male (M) and female (F) lizards were observed and the ambient temperature of the substrate used in the habitat was recorded. An average temperature in the study site fluctuated from 16.80°C in the morning, 24.25°C at noon and 16.25°C in the evening. Activity of all lizards was high around noon (1100-1300 hrs) and it was observed that they are relatively inactive in the morning and evening when the ambient temperatures were minimum. All the groups spent more time on resting (J = 50.83%, M = 42% and F = 55.83%). The most preferred substrates were tree trunks and cardamom plants (J = 34.3%, 33.5%; M = 37.3%, 28.2%; F = 13.5%, 32.2% respectively). It can be concluded that the general behavior of C. tennentii correlates with the ambient temperature where a high degree of activity was observed during the daytime. The optimum range could be 20°C­- 24°C for captive management of these lizards. They preferred substrates exposed to sunlight such as tree trunks and cardamom plants where there were numerous insects during the flowering season.

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