Herpetological Review 51(2), 2020
334 NATURAL HISTORY NOTES
formatics and Cartography, Institute of Geography and Regional Develop-
ment, University of Wrocław, pl. Uniwersytecki 1, 50-137 Wrocław, Poland
LYGOSOMA ALBOPUNCTATA (White-spotted Supple Skink).
PREDATION. Lygosoma albopunctata has a wide distribution
from peninsular India to Indochina into southeast Asia and
is abundant in the northeastern part of India compared to
the southwest (Ganesh 2017. J. Threat. Taxa 9:10662–10668).
The Oriental Magpie Robin (Copsychus saularis) is one of the
most common birds in tropical southern Asia (Bonnell 1934.
J. Bombay Nat. Hist. Soc. 37:729–730), and mainly feeds on
invertebrates (Sreekar 2010. Indian Birds 5:152–153). However,
C. saularis is known to take geckos such as Hemidactylus brookii
and H. leschenaultii occasionally (Sreekar 2010, op. cit.).
At 1248 h on 18 June 2019 in Charchalki Village (23.05664°N,
88.79147°E; WGS 84; 11 m elev.), Bongaon, North 24 Paraganas,
West Bengal, India, we observed an adult male L. albopunctata
(ca. 5 cm SVL) on the leaf litter that was attacked and picked
up by the abdomen by an adult female C. saularis (Fig. 1). The
skink was then broken into two parts with the tail removed. The
body was consumed first and then the tail. The whole event took
ca. 1.5 min. Other known predators of L. albopunctata includes
the Twin Spotted Wolf Snake (Lycodon jara; Dutta et al. 2018.
Herpetol. Rev. 49:490–491). To our best knowledge, this is the first
published report of avian predation on L. albopunctata.
ARDHENDU DAS MAHAPATRA, Coastal Ecology Research Labora-
tory, Department of Zoology, Egra S.S.B. College, Egra, Purba Medinipur,
West Bengal, 721429, India (e-mail: email@example.com); GOU-
TAM PAL, Debichack primary school, Debichack, Manglamaro, Patashpur,
Purba Medinipur, West Bengal, 721434, India (e-mail: goutampalgomo@
gmail.com); SANTOSH KUMAR BERA (e-mail: santoshkumarbera666@
gmail.com) and SUDIPTA KR. GHORAI, Coastal Ecology Research Labora-
tory, Department of Zoology, Egra S.S.B. College, Egra, Purba Medinipur,
West Bengal, 721429, India (e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org).
PHYLLOPEZUS POLLICARIS (Rock Gecko). PREDATION. Phyl-
lopezus pollicaris is a small lizard distributed predominantly in
seasonally dry tropical forests of South America (Caatinga, Cer-
rado, and Chaco; Werneck et al. 2012. Evolution 66:3014–3034).
The species has crepuscular and nocturnal habits and is strongly
associated with rocky environments, but also occasionally is
associated with vegetation (Recoder et al. 2012. Herpet. Notes
5:49–58). Tropidurus hispidus is a medium-sized lizard distribut-
ed in several South American countries (www.reptile-database.
org; 16 Dec 2019). This species occurs on the edge of forests and
open environments, but not in dense forests (Rodrigues 1987.
Arq. Zool. 31:205–230). Its diet predominantly consists arthro-
pods (Ribeiro and Freire 2011. Iheringia, Sér. Zool. 101:225–232),
but cases of predation of other vertebrates are recorded (Pergen-
tino et al. 2017. Herpetol. Notes 10:225–228). Here, we describe
the first record of P. pollicaris being preyed by T. hispidus. The
record was on 12 September 2019, around 1100 h at an area of
Caatinga shrub in the Municipality of Terra Nova, Pernambuco,
Brazil (8.09729°S, 39.35666°W; WGS 84; 429 m elev.). The T. hispi-
dus individual (adult male, ca. 15 cm SVL) was spotted in a dry
bush trunk ca. 50 cm from the ground with a juvenile P. pollicaris
individual in its mouth. The ingestion of the prey started from
the head and the whole process lasted a few seconds. Although P.
pollicaris is abundant and widely distributed, previous reports of
predation are limited to an incident by a species of monkey (Cal-
lithrix jacchus: Amora et al. 2014. Herpetol. Notes 7:547–549).
Numerous cases of saurophagy have been reported for Tropi-
durus including lizards of the families Dactyloidae, Gymnoph-
thalmidae, Phyllodactylidae, Teiidae, and Tropiduridae (Pergen-
tino et al. 2017, op. cit.).
MARCOS JORGE MATIAS DUBEUX (e-mail: marcosdubeux.bio@
gmail.com), PATRICIA MARQUES DO AMARAL OLIVEIRA (e-mail: pati.
email@example.com), and ANNA VIRGINIA ALBANO MELLO, Labo-
ratório de Herpetologia, Universidade Federal de Pernambuco, 57072-970,
Maceió, Alagoas, Brazil (e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org); IGOR TADZIO
AZEVEDO MATIAS (e-mail: email@example.com) and WENDY NAR-
JARA SILVA SANTOS, Taxon Estudos Ambientais LTDA., 58077-010, João
Pessoa, Paraíba, Brazil (e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org).
PLACOSOMA GLABELLUM. REPRODUCTION. Placosoma gla-
bellum is a small gymnophthalmid lizard (up to 59 mm SVL)
widely distributed in Atlantic Forest areas in southeastern and
southern Brazil (Uzzell 1962. Copeia 1962:833–835). Repro-
ductive information on this species is largely unknown. Uzzell
(1959. Occ. Pap. Mus. Zool. Univ. Michigan 606:1–16) reports on
two gravid females containing two eggs each, and Sawaya et al.
Fig. 1. Copsychus saularis holding a male Lygosoma albopunctatum
in West Bengal, India.
PHOTO BY GOUTAM PAL
Fig. 1. Phyllopezus pollicaris being preyed upon Tropidurus hispidus
in a dry bush trunk ca. 50 cm from the ground, in the Municipally of
Terra Nova, Pernambuco, Brazil.
Herpetological Review 51(2), 2020
NATURAL HISTORY NOTES 335
(1999. Herpetol. Rev. 30:167) report the finding of two clutches (1
and 2 eggs) deposited in solitary nests in the leaf litter. Here, we
report on another instance of nest-site that suggests that female
P. glabellum also lay eggs in communal nests.
On 27 December 2011, one of us (AM) found a clutch of
five eggs in the leaf litter (Fig. 1) while conducting fieldwork
at the Parque Estadual da Serra do Mar (Núcleo Picinguaba;
23.9678°S, 46.6499°W; WGS 84; 70 m elev.), in the Municipality
of Ubatuba, São Paulo, Brazil. Egg length averaged 10.53 ± 0.22
mm, egg width averaged 6.85 ± 0.49 mm, and egg mass averaged
0.28 ± 0.03 g. Eggs were brought to our laboratory, placed in
a plastic container with moistened vermiculite, and kept at
room temperature (22–26°C). Shortly after, one egg spoiled
due to fungal contamination. Two eggs hatched between 22–24
February 2012. The hatchlings were identified as P. glabellum
and deposited in the herpetological collection of the Instituto
Butantan (IBSP.CRIB 368: 23.8 mm SVL, 65.9 mm tail length,
0.261 g; IBSP.CRIB 369: 23.0 mm SVL, 89.6 mm tail length, 0.258
g). The remaining two eggs were fixed on 2 March 2012 after
fungal contamination. Dissection of these eggs revealed two
fully formed P. glabellum and little residual yolk, indicating that
the eggs were close to hatching.
Female P. glabellum seemingly produce 1–2 eggs in a clutch
(Uzzell 1959, op. cit.; Sawaya et al. 1999, op. cit.). Thus, our
finding of five eggs in a nest indicates that 3–5 oviposition
events occurred in the same site. One could argue that the same
individual female repeatedly used the same site to lay its eggs,
since production of multiple clutches within a reproductive
season occurs in several lizard species (Vitt 1977. Herpetologica
33:333–338) and nest-site fidelity is suggested in some species
(e.g., Bock 1996. Herpetol. Rev. 27:181–183). However, the time
window between the first and second hatchings (7–9 days) was
too narrow and therefore a poor indicative of repeated nest-
site use by the same female. Thus, we argue that 3–5 female
P. glabellum oviposited in the same site characterizing thus
a case of communal nesting. Additionally, our finding and
literature data (Sawaya et al. 1999, op. cit.) suggest that female P.
glabellum reproduce seasonally, with egg-laying and hatching
concentrated in summer.
We thank V. J. Germano for assistance in the laboratory.
SERENA N. MIGLIORE, Programa de Pós-graduação em Anatomia
dos Animais Domésticos e Silvestres, Faculdade de Medicina Veterinária
e Zootecnia, Universidade de São Paulo, Brazil (e-mail: serenanajara@usp.
br); AMOM MENDES (e-mail: email@example.com) and HEN-
RIQUE B. BRAZ, Laboratório de Ecologia e Evolução, Instituto Butantan,
Av. Dr. Vital Brazil, 1500, CEP 05503-900, São Paulo, Brazil (e-mail: h.braz@
PLESTIODON INEXPECTATUS (Southeastern Five-lined
Skink). PREDATION. though small mammals are often hypoth-
esized as predators of amphibians and reptiles such as lizards
and small snakes (e.g., Niemiller et al. [eds.] 2016. The Reptiles
of Tennessee. University of Tennessee Press, Knoxville, Tennes-
see. xix + 366 pp.), predatory interactions between small mam-
mals and lizards are rarely documented. on 8 April 2018 at 1200
h, we observed an Eastern Mole (Scalopus aquaticus) biting and
wrestling a female Plestiodon inexpectatus in Sewanee, Tennes-
see, USA (35.20350°N, 85.92013°W; WGS 84). We initially heard
the interaction and observed the two species engaged with one
another, and as we approached to observe the interaction, they
broke apart and tried to escape. The S. aquaticus was successful
in escaping below ground and we were able to capture the P. i n -
expectatus. We observed numerous injuries to the P. inexpectatus
leading us to conclude that it was likely a predation attempt. The
tail of the P. inexpectatus had been previously injured immedi-
ately posterior to the cloaca and healed, but it had a recent injury
to the front right limb that resulted in the loss of the limb at the
elbow. The individual survived in captivity for 48 h before be-
ing released at its capture location. Regional studies of stomach
contents for more than 400 S. aquaticus found them to be insec-
tivorous, and they observed no vertebrate prey items making this
predation attempt noteworthy (Hartman et al. 2000. Am. Midl.
Nat. 144:342–351; Whitaker 2013. Georgia J. Sci. 71:167–172).
NOAH B. HOOD and KRISTEN K. CECALA, Department of Biol-
ogy, University of the South, 735 University Avenue, Sewanee, Tennessee
37383, USA (e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org).
SCELOPORUS VIRGATUS (Striped Plateau Lizard). BEHAVIOR.
Sceloporus virgatus is a small, mountain-dwelling lizard. In July
2019, we conducted surveys for S. virgatus in the Chiricahua
Mountains near the Southwestern Research Station, Portal, Ari-
zona, USA (31.8840°N, 109.2061°W; 1640 m elev.). Prior to cap-
ture and subsequently while photographing lizards, we noticed
many individuals wagging the tips of their tails back and forth.
Whether this behavior is meant to distract prey (caudal luring)
or to distract predators remains unknown. Caudal luring is rare
in squamates but has been documented in many snake species
and in a close relative, Sceloporus occidentalis (Foster and Mar-
tin 2008. West. N. Am. Nat. 68:257–259). Here, we document the
first observation of tail wagging behavior in Sceloporus virgatus,
with an accompanying video of two individuals exhibiting the
Further study will illuminate the function of this behavior in S.
virgatus, and the evolutionary origin of this behavior in Scelo-
We thank the Arizona Game & Fish Department for issuing
permits for this research (J02260434), as well as the Southwestern
Research Station for assistance.
ERIN P. WESTEEN, Department of Environmental Science, Policy, and
Management, University of California, Berkeley, 54 Mulford Hall #3114
Berkeley, California 94720, USA (e-mail: email@example.com); JOSÉ G.
MARTÍNEZ-FONSECA, School of Forestry, Northern Arizona University,
200 E Pine Knoll Dr, Flagsta, Arizona 86001, USA (e-mail: jm3934@nau.
Fig. 1. A clutch of five Placosoma glabellum eggs found in the leaf lit-
ter in the Municipality of Ubatuba, São Paulo, Brazil.