Data from: Does maternal care evolve through egg recognition or directed territoriality?

Huang W, Pike DA

Date Published: May 23, 2011


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Description Dataset Key: 1. Is nest-guarding dependent upon nest location? This experiment tested whether the propensity of female lizards to attack egg-eating snakes varied depending upon whether the female was in the nest-site in which she originally laid eggs, or displaced to a novel site located nearby. We tested each female twice: once after displacing the female to a novel nest site located approximately 120 cm from the nest in which she originally laid eggs, and again after the female returned to the original nest. 2. Effects of recent disturbance. We tested for effects of recent disturbance (i.e., moving the female to a novel nest-site) by monitoring the anti-predator responses of an additional 40 egg-guarding females that were disturbed and then immediately tested against an intruding snake. Disturbance consisted of removing a female from her original nest hole, measuring and weighing it, and then returning it to the same hole. Immediately thereafter we encouraged a snake to enter the nest hole. 3. Will females guard conspecific eggs? This set of experiments tested the hypothesis that females can recognize their own eggs, which should result in females failing to defend the eggs of a conspecific. We removed the eggs from nest-guarding females (N = 28, clutch size ranging from 6-8) and immediately either returned the same eggs to the nest (N = 14 females) or replaced them with the same number of eggs from a different female (N = 14 females). We then introduced a snake and recorded the response of each female. 4. Do females defend their shelter-site prior to laying eggs? We re-visited a different set of trials conducted by Huang (2006; Huang, W.-S. 2006. Parental care in the long-tailed skink, Mabuya longicaudata on a tropical Asian island. Animal Behaviour 72:791-795.) on female long-tailed skinks to determine whether reproductive status influences anti-predator behavior towards egg-eating snakes. We divided the 107 females from Huang (2006) according to whether they were gravid (N = 12) or not gravid (N = 95). Female lizards were then tested against an intruding snake and the lizard’s response was recorded.
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When using this data, please cite the original publication:

Huang W and Pike DA (2011) Does maternal care evolve through egg recognition or directed territoriality? Journal of Evolutionary Biology 24(9): 1984–1991.

Additionally, please cite the Dryad data package:

Huang W, Pike DA (2011) Data from: Does maternal care evolve through egg recognition or directed territoriality? Dryad Digital Repository.
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