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Reduced tail regeneration in the Common Lizard, Lacerta vivipara, parasitized by blood parasites
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1. Many lizards will lose their tail through autotomy as an antipredator device even though there must be significant costs during tail regeneration. 2. Parasites are energetically costly to the host, and may reduce the rate of cell regeneration. The relation between the presence of haemogregarines (phylum Sporozoa) and the rate of tail regeneration in the Common Lizard Lacerta vivipara (Jacquin) was examined. 3. Experimentally induced autotomy in parasitized lizards resulted in a significantly reduced rate of tail regeneration compared with non-parasitized lizards. On the ether hand, tail loss was not associated with an abnormal increase of parasite load, suggesting that the physiological stress (induced by tail loss) did not cause a decrease in parasite defence.
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