2013 Student Research Conference:
26th Annual Student Research Conference

Factors Influencing Habitat Selection in Sphaerodactylus macrolepis
Kaitlin E. Allen
Dr. Chad Montgomery , Faculty Mentor

The suitability of retreat site habitat is evaluated using structural, environmental and social cues often including factors such as social advantage, predator avoidance, and thermoregulation. Sphaerodactylus macrolepis is a species of dwarf gecko found in the Caribbean. Due to their small size (~2434 mm SVL), Sphaerodactylus are highly susceptible to desiccation and prefer cool, moist, well-shaded habitats. The objective of this study was to determine the preferred retreat site humidity and the effect of sex on retreat site selection in S. macrolepis. We obtained a lab colony of 33 wild caught S. macrolepis. We determined humidity preference by providing each gecko with a choice between a humid and non-humid retreat site for 17 hours. Each choice was recorded and analyzed using contingency tables. We concluded that humidity has no effect on retreat site selection. We also found that while males preferred to use retreat sites, female locations were random.

Keywords: retreat site selection , humidity preference , Sphaerodactylus macrolepis , gecko

Topic(s):Biology

Presentation Type: Poster

Session: 2-13
Location: GEO
Time: 3:30

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