Interactions between pygmy bluetongue lizards and co-existing species
Godfrey, Stephanie Susan
Bull, Christopher Michael
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This paper describes observations of interactions between endangered pygmy bluetongue lizards (Tiliqua adelaidensis) and other species that co-occur in their native grassland habitat in the mid-north region of South Australia. The lizard lives in spider burrows, and rarely moves away from the burrow entrance. We viewed over 16,000 h of video recording of occupied pygmy bluetongue lizard burrows, taken over five 10 day periods throughout one complete lizard activity season, and documented all cases in which these endangered lizards interacted with co-existing species. We found that these interactions were infrequent. We observed potential competition over burrow resources with lycosid spiders (Lycosa spp), centipedes, and a house mouse, and potential competition over invertebrate prey with a predatory wasp. We also observed unsuccessful predation attempts on lizards in burrows by ravens and brown snakes. We suggest that conservation management might have proceeded effectively without this information, but that it provides useful background information for informed decision making.