An index of spring diet in the common flat lizard, Platysaurus intermedius wilhelmi

Published in: African Journal of Herpetology
Volume 63, issue 2, 2014 , pages: 98–108
DOI: 10.1080/21564574.2014.924593
Author(s): Ian W. MurrayBrain Function Research Group, School of Physiology, Faculty of Health Sciences, South Africa


Flat lizards of the genus Platysaurus are primarily insectivorous, but some species are omnivorous, eating significant amounts of plant material. The common flat lizard, P. intermedius, is thought to forage on arthropods, flowers, leaves and fruit. However, this assertion is based on a single study that documents the presence of various food items in a large series of museum specimens from several subspecies of P. intermedius. I examined faecal pellets from P. i. wilhelmi collected during October 2013 in order to survey the spring diet of this subspecies. I found that P. i. wilhelmi preyed mostly on ants, bees and wasps, and included only a minimal amount of vegetation in its diet, some of which was likely to have been incidentally ingested while feeding on arthropods. This study provides only the second examination of the feeding ecology of P. i. wilhelmi, and shows that during spring, flat lizards from one population in South Africa feed largely on insects from the order Hymenoptera.

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