Stimulus control of predatory behavior by the Iberian wall lizard (Podarcis hispanica, Sauria, Lacertidae): Effects of familiarity with prey

Publication Type:
Journal Article
Year of Publication:
E. Desfilis, E. Font, F. Guillén-Salazar
Journal of Comparative Psychology
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The authors examine the relative roles of vision and chemoreception and the influence of previous experience with prey on the predatory behavior of Iberian wall lizards (Podarcis hispanica). Experiment 1 compared the responses to visual, chemical, and a combination of visual and chemical cues of a familiar prey by 2 groups of lizards that had been kept in captivity for either 3 months or 21 days. Experiment 2 assessed the responses of lizards kept in the laboratory for more than 3 months to a novel prey species. The results reveal that feeding on a prey species affects the lizards’ responses to chemical stimuli from that prey. The response to chemical cues of a novel prey requires a 1st-feeding experience with that prey. Lizards that have been fed the same prey species for several months cease responding to the chemical stimuli of that particular prey.


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