The effect of personality on male-male interactions in a social lizard, <em>Egernia whitii </em> — ASN Events

The effect of personality on male-male interactions in a social lizard, Egernia whitii  (#645)

Kirke Munch 1 , Geoff While 1 , Erik Wapstra 1
  1. University of Tasmania, Sandy Bay, TAS, Australia

Intra-sexual conflict over limited resources influences social dynamics. Recent work suggests that consistent individual variations in key behavioural traits (i.e., animal personality) may play a crucial role in mediating social interactions between individuals. Despite this, the potential pivotal role of animal personality for the evolutionary ecology of social interactions has been greatly understudied. Aggression can play an important role in dictating the outcome of interactions, whereas exploration might influence how much an individual explores it surroundings, and thus how many individuals it encounters. The dynamics of territorial communities and social interactions are therefore better understood by including individual specific behavioural characteristics. We investigated the link between personality and the availability of limited resource on social interactions and territory acquisitions in male lizards. Using outdoor enclosures we manipulated habitat quality (complex rock piles) in two treatments and examined the effects the makeup of particular personality traits within a population has on determining social structure, territory acquisition, and physical condition.