Zoological Studies

Vol. 48 No. 4, 2009

Locomotor and Elevational Distribution of a Mountainous Lizard, Takydromus hsuehshanensis, in Taiwan

Shu-Ping Huang and Ming-Chung Tu*

Department of Life Science, National Taiwan Normal University, 88 Ting-Chow Rd., Sec. 4, Taipei 116, Taiwan

Shu-Ping Huang and Ming-Chung Tu (2009) We investigated the impact of environmental temperature on elevational distributions of a high-mountainous lizard, Takydromus hsuehshanensis, by examining the thermal sensitivity of its locomotor performance.  Its sprint speed was measured at 9 body temperatures after 2 wk of acclimation at 2 different temperatures.  The same measurements were performed on a closely related species, T. formosanus, which lives at lower elevations.  The results indicated that (1) T. hsuehshanensis was capable of maintaining normal locomotor performance within a body temperature range which approximates summer temperatures of lowland areas; (2) T. formosanus was able to run significantly faster than T. hsuehshanensis within a certain range of body temperatures; (3) these 2 species did not differ in their thermal sensitivities of the locomotor performance; and (4) temperature acclimation treatments did not affect the locomotor performance of these 2 species.  We concluded that locomotor performance is not a crucial factor limiting the distribution of T. hsuehshanensis in lowland areas.

Key words: Lizards, Temperature, Locomotion, Distribution, Elevation.

*Correspondence: Tel: 886-2-29333149.  Fax: 886-2-29312904.   E-mail:biofv026@scc.ntnu.edu.tw