CZAAWE Resource Article

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 
Journal of Comparative Psychology
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.