No behavioral syndromes or sex-specific personality differences in the southern rainforest sunskink (Lampropholis similis)

Celine T. Goulet, Wes Hart, Ben L. Phillips, John Llewelyn, Bob B.M. Wong, David G. Chapple

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Behavioral syndromes, when individuals within a population express consistent behavioral differences across time and context, are widespread in animal taxa. For many species, males and females experience different selective pressures after maturation, resulting in the divergence of life-history and behavioral traits. However, the potential for sex-specific differences in individual behaviors and behavioral syndromes has rarely been assessed. Here, we tested for sex-specific differences in behavior (activity, exploration, sociability) and personality in the southern rainforest sunskink, Lampropholis similis. We found that most behaviors in L. similis did not differ between sexes, the exception being sociality which was higher in females than males. In terms of consistency among behaviors, activity and exploration, but not sociability, were repeatable, and there were no sex-specific differences in repeatability of behavioral traits. Although a behavioral syndrome among these three traits is present in a congener (L. delicata), we found no evidence for such a syndrome in either sex of L. similis. Our study is consistent with the results of studies on other Lampropholis skinks that have found only limited sexual differences in behavior. More broadly, our study demonstrates there can be considerable differences in the presence or absence of behavioral syndromes in closely related species.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)102-108
Number of pages7
JournalEthology
Volume127
Issue number2
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Feb 2021

Keywords

  • activity
  • behavioral syndrome
  • exploratory behavior
  • sexual differences
  • skink
  • social behavior

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