Meeting Abstract

P2.160  Thursday, Jan. 5  Behavioral profile and predictors of social status for male green anole lizards (Anolis carolinensis) during two weeks of cohabitation NAIR, D.T.; MILLER, B.M.; ZIGLER, A.M.; FARRELL, W.J.*; Franklin and Marshall College; Franklin and Marshall College; Franklin and Marshall College; Franklin and Marshall College

Green anole lizards (Anolis carolinensis) have long served as a model organism for the study of aggression and social status. We collected and analyzed video records (2 hrs/day) documenting the behavior of 12 size-matched, male green anole dyads during two weeks of cohabitation in an attempt to precisely document the stability of the dominant/subordinate relationships formed and to identify early indicators (from the first two hours of interaction) of social dominance. The aggressive displays exhibited by male anoles have been well documented and include lateral compression of the body (LC), pushups (PU), and extensions of the red dewlap beneath the throat (DE). The dyads examined established stable dominant/subordinate relationships with one animal always displaying more PU than his opponent during observations conducted on alternate days from Day 2 to 14 of cohabitation. These presumably dominant animals frequently chased and displaced opponents from established cage locations while rarely, if ever, being chased or displaced themselves. Contrary to previous reports, a shorter initial latency to darkening of the postorbital eyespot failed to reliably predict dominance (7/12 correct), and similar results were obtained for latency to LC, PU and DE (8/12, 6/12 and 7/12 respectively). In contrast, higher numbers of PU and DE during the first two hours of interaction and greener body color during the second hour of interaction correctly predicted future dominance in 11/12 dyads. These results suggest that vigor of aggressive response is a better predictor of social status than initial reactivity.