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Age Structure of the Caucasian Agama (Paralaudakia caucasia) from Elmadağ, Iğdır, Turkey: Preliminary Data from Small Sample Size

Kalayci T. Ergül, A. Altunışık, Ç. Gül, M. Tosunoğlu, Nurhayat Özdemir


Life history traits of lizard species, including agamid species, generally involve male-larger body size, but age of these species has not adequately been examined in each cohort. We thus conducted a skeletochronological study using 16 preserved specimens of Paralaudakia caucasia (8 males, 6 females, and 2 juveniles) captured from Elmadağ, Iğdır, Turkey. Mean snout-vent length was slightly but insignificantly larger in males (120.2 mm) than in females (115.9 mm). Maximum longevity was 10 years in males and 6 years in females. No significant difference in age structure was found between the sexes. Juveniles were 2-year old young. Mean age was 7.12 years for males and 5.33 years for females. Sexually matured individuals were found at the end of the second or third years (i.e., first reproduction occurred at 3 – 4 years). A positive correlation was detected in age and body size in both sexes, as has previously been shown in other lizard species. Our finding of age structure in P. caucasia would contribute to our understanding of life-history trait variations among lizard species.


Eastern Anatolia, age structure, body size, Paralaudakia caucasia, skeletochronology, Turkey

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