Melanism, body condition and elevational distribution in the asp viper

Détails

ID Serval
serval:BIB_2E14BA8732C0
Type
Article: article d'un périodique ou d'un magazine.
Collection
Publications
Titre
Melanism, body condition and elevational distribution in the asp viper
Périodique
Journal of Zoology
Auteur(s)
Castella B., Golay J., Monney J.C., Golay P., Mebert K., Dubey S.
ISSN
0952-8369
Statut éditorial
Publié
Date de publication
2013
Volume
290
Numéro
4
Pages
273-280
Langue
anglais
Notes
Castella B & Golay J contributed equally
Résumé
Alternative morphotypes can confer important selective advantages in different habitats, whereas they can be penalized in other circumstances. In ectotherms, such as reptiles, the body colour can have direct effects on numerous aspects of their existence, such as thermoregulation or prey-predator interactions. Darker melanic individuals show lower skin reflectance and consequently heat up more rapidly and maintain optimal body temperatures more easily than lighter coloured individuals. As a consequence, melanistic individuals of diurnal species in cool areas may exhibit higher body condition, growth rate, survival and fecundity than lighter coloured individuals. Such advantages of dark coloration may be counterbalanced by a lower crypsis to predators and a decreased foraging efficiency. We investigated, in two montane populations of asp vipers Vipera aspis, the relationship between (1) colour polymorphism and body condition and length and (2) the coloration of individuals and their elevational distribution. We showed significant relationships between (1) the coloration, body condition and sex of individuals; (2) sexes and reproductive state and morph frequency; and (3) colour morphs that were distributed following an elevational gradient. Hence, colour polymorphism plays an important role in the ecology and evolution of the asp viper and is maintained through differential selective pressures.
Mots-clé
coloration, crypsis, melanism, montane species, reptile
Web of science
Création de la notice
07/08/2012 18:05
Dernière modification de la notice
20/08/2019 13:12
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