Curly-tailed lizards are prey too

The remains of a northern curly-tailed lizard (Leiocephalus carinatus) from Abaco's 'mainland' pine forest.

The remains of a northern curly-tailed lizard (Leiocephalus carinatus) from Abaco’s ‘mainland’ pine forest.

The evolutionary and ecological effects of curly-tail predation on smaller Anolis lizards has been the focus of a 3 decade long research program here on Abaco (link to back-story here). There is no doubt that curly-tails are a menacing predator of smaller, defenseless brown anoles on the small island ecosystems that are the setting for much of that work. However, here on mainland Abaco the curly-tail’s top predator status has been demoted. Numerous predators would very happily consume curly-tails. The carnage above features the remains of an adult curly-tailed lizard that most likely met its demise between the talons of a red-tailed hawk or perhaps a feral cat. Other possible predators in Abaco’s pinelands include feral dogs, pigs, kestrels, and two species of snake. My guess is a red-tail is the predator here, as I usually see one in the very area I found the remains of this personable little beast.

This is what curly-tails look like whole.

This is what curly-tails look like whole.

By | 2017-12-01T14:03:46+00:00 June 7th, 2013|Categories: herpetology, Lizards|0 Comments

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