The Distribution and ecology of Acanthodactylus schreiberi in the south of Lebanon.
Riyad. A. SADEK1 , Suad HRAOUI-BLOQUET2
1Biology Department, American University of Beirut,P.O.Box 11-0236, Beirut, Lebanon.
2 Faculté des Sciences II, Université Libanaise, P.O.Box 90656, Jdeidet-el-Maten, Liban
The distribution of the fringe-toed lizard Acanthodactylus schreiberi in Lebanon has shrunk considerably during the last 25 years due to urban and touristic development projects. Its distribution is probably limited now to the sandy beaches around the southern town of Tyre (Sour). In the past, its distribution ranged 85 kms north to the sandy areas of Beirut
During the summer of 1996, a preliminary study was conducted south of Tyre where it occurs in relatively high densities. It is often seen in open areas or among plants and may hide under stones or in arthropod or mammal burrows. A mark-and-release study of 42 lizards in August and September has yielded a few recaptures. This probably indicates reduced territoriality during that period of the year. It is active for most of the year. During the summer, the lizards maintain their body temperature within a fairly narrow range (35.5 - 37.5°C) for most of the day. The females (maximum recorded SVL = 79mm) which are slightly smaller than males (maximum recorded SVL = 83 mm), lay eggs at least twice a year as indicated by the two generations of juveniles appearing in the summer.
A further study within the above framework, supported by the University Research Board, is currently in progress.