Where am I? > Home > Articles > Volume 46
Research article

https://doi.org/10.48027/hnb.46.071

Diet composition of the lizard Lacerta viridis (Laurenti, 1768) (Reptilia: Lacertidae) in Bulgaria confirm its generalistic feeding behaviour


Emiliya Vacheva https://orcid.org/0000-0002-3008-6648; Borislav Naumov https://orcid.org/0000-0003-2146-208X

1 July 2024 · volume 46 · (issue 7) · pp. 181–187 · PDF [full text]

Abstract: The eastern green lizard (Lacerta viridis) is a mostly insectivorous species, based on multiple studies from across its range. However, for Bulgaria the published data of such kind are limited to five publications. We investigated faecal samples from a total of 60 individuals of free-ranging L. viridis obtained from two localities in western Bulgaria. Our aim was to clarify the diet regarding its taxonomic composition, as well as some physical characteristics of the prey like hardness and evasiveness. For one of the study sites we compared the realised trophic niche (prey items from the faecal pellets) with the fundamental niche (invertebrates collected via pit-fall traps exposure). In our results, two invertebrate taxa had the largest share (both in frequency and abundance) in the food spectrum of L. viridis: Araneae and Coleoptera), respectively 21.2% and 17.6%. Regarding specific prey selectivity, analysis showed that Lepidoptera are most preferred (E* = 0.68), and Formicidae – most avoided prey items (E* = -0.79). We registered several cases of saurophagy (in four samples) and keratophagy (in two samples), two types of dietary items, which have not been reported for L. viridis so far.

Keywords: Balkan Peninsula, diet, keratophagy, Sauria, saurophagy

References [32]

Ananjeva N., Orlov N., Khalikov R., Darevsky I., Ryabov S., Barabanov A. 2006 The Reptiles of Northern Eurasia. Taxonomic Diversity, Distribution, Conservation Status. Pensoft, 245 pp.
Angelici F.M., Luiselli L., Rugiero L. 1997 Food habits of the green lizard, Lacerta bilineata, in central Italy and a reability test of faecal pellet analysis. Italian Journal of Zoology 64 (3): 267–272.
Angelov P., Gruev B., Tomov V. 1972 Studies on the food of the Green lizard Lacerta viridis Laur. in Bulgaria. Travaux Scientifiques des Universite d’Plovdiv, Biologie 10 (1): 155–161. (In Bulgarian)
Angelov P., Tomov V., Gruev B. 1966 A study on the diet of some lizards in Bulgaria. Scientific studies of the Superior Pedagogical Institute – Plovdiv, Biology 4 (3): 99–105. (In Bulgarian)
Arnold E.N. 1987 Resource partition among lacertid lizards in southern Europe. Journal of Zoology 1: 739–782.
Carretero M.A. 2004 From set menu to a la carte. Linking issues in trophic ecology of Mediterranean lizards. Italian Journal of Zoology 71: 121–133.
Christopoulos A., Zogaris D., Karaouzas I., Zogaris S. 2020 A predation case of Anguis graeca Bedriaga, 1881 (Squamata: Anguidae) by Lacerta trilineata Bedriaga, 1886 (Squamata: Lacertidae) from Central Greece. Herpetology Notes 13: 105–107.
Donev A. 1984 Studies on the food of the Green lizard Lacerta viridis Laur. Travaux Scientifiques des Universite d’Plovdiv, Biologie 22 (2): 121–126. (In Bulgarian)
Donev A., Mollov I., Kechev M. 2005 A contribution to knowledge of the trophic spectrum of three species of lacertid lizards from South Bulgaria. Scientific Studies of the University of Plovdiv – Biology, Animalia 41: 109–114 (In Bulgarian)
Gvozdik L. 1997 Lacerta agilis (sand lizard), Dermatophagy. Herpetological Review 28: 203–204.
Hammer Ø., Harper D.A.T., Ryan P.D. 2001 PAST: Paleontological statistics software package for education and data analysis. Palaeontologia Electronica 4 (1): 1–9.
Herczeg G., Török J., Korsós Z. 2007 Size-dependent heating rates determine the spatial and temporal distribution of small-bodied lizards. Amphibia-Reptilia 28 (3): 347–356.
Herrel A., O’Reilly J.C. 2006 Ontogenetic Scaling of Bite Force in Lizards and Turtles. Physiological and Biochemical Zoology 79 (1):31–42.
Korsós Z. 1984 Comparative niche analysis of two sympatric lizard species (Lacerta viridis) and (Lacerta agilis). Vertebrata Hungarica 22: 5–14.
Kovács D., Kiss I. 2016 Microhabitat use of different age groups of snake-eyed skink and Eastern green lizard. Amphibia-Reptilia 37 (2): 191–198.
Lechowicz M. 1982 The Sampling Characteristics of Electivity Indices. Oecologia 52: 22–30.
Maura M., Vignoli L., Bologna M.A., Rugiero L., Luiselli L. 2011 Population density of syntopic, differently sized lizards in three fragmented woodlands from Mediterranean Central Italy. Community Ecology 12 (2): 249–258.
Mitchell J.C., Groves J., Walls S. 2006 Keratophagy in reptiles: review, hypotheses, and recommendations. South American Journal of Herpetology 1 (1): 42–53.
Mollov I., Boyadzhiev P., Donev A. 2012 Trophic niche breadth and niche overlap between two lacertid lizards (Reptilia: Lacertidae) from South Bulgaria. Acta zoologica bulgarica, Suppl. 4: 129–136.
Sagonas K., Pafilis P., Lymberakis P., Valakos E.D. 2015 Trends and patterns in the feeding ecology of the widespread Balkan green lizard Lacerta trilineata (Squamata: Lacertidae) in insular and continental Greece. North-Western Journal of Zoology 11 (1): 117–126.
Sagonas K., Valakos E.D., Lymberakis P., Pafilis P. 2018 Traits of reproduction and feeding of the European Green lizard, Lacerta viridis (Laurenti, 1768), at the southern edge of its distribution (Sauria: Lacertidae). Herpetozoa 30 (3–4): 115–129.
Shcherbak N., Shcherban N. 1980 Amphibians and reptiles of the Ukrainian Carpathians. Naukova dumka, Kyiv, 222 pp. (In Russian)
Sillero N., Campos J., Bonardi A., Corti C., Creemers R., Crochet P.-A., Crnobrnja-Isailović J., Denoël M., Ficetola G.F., Gonçalves J., Kuzmin S., Lymberakis P., de Pous P., Rodríguez A., Sindaco R., Speybroeck J., Toxopeus B., Vieites D., Vences M. 2014 Updated distribution and biogeography of amphibians and reptiles of Europe. Amphibia-Reptilia 35: 1–31.
Stojanov A., Tzankov N., Naumov B. 2011 Die Amphibien und Reptilien Bulgariens. Chimaira, Frankfurt am Main, 588 pp.
Tzankov N. 2007 Study on the external morphology, intraspecific differentiation sexual dimorphism and taxonomy of the lizards from Lacertidae family in Bulgaria. PhD thesis, Faculty of Biology, Sofia University “St. Kliment Ohridski”, 477 pp. (In Bulgarian)
Urošević A., Ljubisavljević K., Ivanović A. 2013 Patterns of cranial ontogeny in lacertid lizards: morphological and allometric disparity. Journal of Evolutionary Biology 26: 399–415.
Vacheva E., Naumov B., Tzankov N. 2020 Diversity and Habitat Preferences in Lizard Assemblages (Reptilia: Sauria) from Model Territories in Western Bulgaria. Acta Zoologica Bulgarica 72 (3): 385–396.
Vacheva E., Sedefchev H., Stanchev N., Tsevtkov M., Lazarkevich I. 2022 On the maximum size of the European green lizard Lacerta viridis (Laurenti, 1768) from Bulgaria. Herpetology Notes 15 (2022): 453–456.
Van Damme R. 1999 Evolution in Herbivory in Lacertid Lizards: Effects of Insularity and Body Size. Journal of Herpetology 33 (4): 663–674.
Vanderploeg H., Scavia D. 1979 Two Electivity Indices for Feeding with Special Reference to Zooplankton Grazing. Journal of the Fisheries Research Board of Canada 36 (4): 362–365.
Vanhooydonck B., Herrel A., Van Damme R. 2007 Interactions between habitat use, behaviour and the trophic niche of lacertid lizards. In: Reilly S.M., McBrayer L.D., Miles D.B. (eds) Lizadrs Ecology: The Evolutionary Consequences of Foraging Mode. Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, 427–449.
Verwaijen D., Van Damme R., Herrel A. 2002 Relationships between head size, bite force, prey handling efficiency and diet in two sympatric lacertid lizards. Functional Ecology 16: 842–850.

Supplementary materials [1]

01
Document title: Appendices 1--3
Kind of document: Microsoft Word (OpenXML)
MIME type: application/vnd.openxmlformats-officedocument.wordprocessingml.document
Document name: 000554000462024-01.docx
https://doi.org/10.48027/hnb.46.071/01

— views: 93 (updated daily)

Cite as

Vacheva E., Naumov B. 2024 Diet composition of the lizard Lacerta viridis (Laurenti, 1768) (Reptilia: Lacertidae) in Bulgaria confirm its generalistic feeding behaviour. Historia naturalis bulgarica 46: 181–187.

Export: BibTeX EndNote RefMan · JATS metadata

Open access
All journal content is available for free under the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License (CC BY 4.0).