Microhabitat Preferences of two Sympatric Lacertid in the National Park of El Kala, Algeria

Rouag, R., Ziane, N., Benyacoub, S.

DOI: https://doi.org/10.2478/vzoo-2018-0026


Habitat preferences were studied in sympatric populations of two Lacertids, Psammodromus algirus and Acanthodactylus erythrurus (Lacertidae) from the National Park of El Kala (north-eastern Algeria). The relationship between habitat physical structure and population densities was studied in order to establish eventual segregation between the two lizards. A difference exists between the two species in their distributions. Acanthodactylus erythrurus is a strictly terrestrial species, usually found on sandy and more open grounds than Psammodromus algirus which can penetrate dense vegetation and look for sunny locations by climbing on shrubs; a behavior which A. erythrurus does not control. Our results confirm spatial segregation on a microhabitat scale, supporting the conclusions that microhabitat selection is an important factor in lizards community organization and contributing to reduce potential competition.