Escape strategy of Schreiber's green lizards (Lacerta schreiberi) is determined by environment but not season or sex

Renáta Kopena, Gábor Herczeg, Pilar López, José Martín

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

1 Citation (Scopus)


Antipredator escape behaviour varies with several well-established sources of variation ranging from the physical environment to reproductive status. However, the relative roles of these sources are rarely assessed together. We measured (i) the distance to the nearest refuge that Schreiber's green lizards, Lacerta schreiberi, maintained before an attack (refuge distance) and (ii) the distance lizards allowed a simulated predator to approach before fleeing (flight initiation distance, FID). Refuge distance was unaffected by studied variables. However, FID was positively related to refuge distance on grassy, but not on rocky substrates. Furthermore, refuge distance and escape angle interacted in a substrate-independent manner: lizards allowed predators close when refuges were close or when lizards had to flee towards the predator. In contrast, neither mating season nor sex affected FID. We suggest that the escape strategy of L. schreiberiis determined more by the physical environment than by sex or reproductive condition.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1527-1542
Number of pages16
Issue number11
Publication statusPublished - Jul 27 2015



  • Antipredator behaviour
  • Escape angle
  • Escape behaviour
  • Flight initiation distance
  • Refuge distance
  • Squamata

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Animal Science and Zoology
  • Behavioral Neuroscience

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