Parasitism and Predator Escape Tactics

General Overview

Antagonistic, asymmetric, directional
Predator-prey arms race, escalation
Microparasite-Macroparasite-Parasitoid-Predator Spectrum

Lizard malaria (Sceloporus occidentalis)
More males than females are infected
Infected females have smaller clutch sizes than uninfected females
Infected lizards also have lower metabolic rates, reduced running stamina,
plus lower fat reserves

Malarial parasitism can allow coexistence of Anolis

Blood leech ectoparasites on red-spotted newts (Notophthalmus)

Oochoristica, tapeworm parasites of reptiles

Snakes -- the Ultimate predators

Cranial Kinesis, large prey
Hinged Teeth
Split-second neuromuscular co-ordination
Fangs, venom injection mechanisms (hypodermic)
Infrared heat detectors
Ambush predation

Lizard Tails

Counterbalancing effect of long tails, prehensile tails
Glandular tails secrete noxious mucous
Use of spinily-armored tails to block off tunnels, crevices
Knob-tailed geckos (genus Nephrurus)
Caudal autotomy, caudal luring
Tail break frequencies

Salamander tail displays
Garter snake anti-predator postures

Endler's table of predator x prey encounter events

Aspect Diversity

Heliobolus lugubris (left) mimic oogpister beetles

Coral snake mimicry, millipede mimicry
Naive avian predators

Egernia burrows, escape hatches

Back to Parasitism and Predation

Back to Herpetology Home Page

Last updated 18 March 1997 by Eric Pianka