Aspidoscelis deppii (black-bellied racerunner). Predation by turkey vulture.
- Robert P. Reynolds and Christina A. Gebhard
Aspidoscelis deppii is widely distributed from Veracruz and Michoacan, Mexico, to Costa Rica (Köhler et al. 2006. The Amphibians and Reptiles of El Salvador, Krieger Publishing Company, Malabar, Florida. 238 pp.). Neotropical lizards are abundant and common prey to all classes of terrestrial vertebrates, and bird predation of lizards is well known. The Turkey Vulture (Carthartes aura) is widely distributed from southern Canada south to South America and is present throughout the entire range of A. deppii, where it occupies a variety of open and forested habitats and feeds opportunistically on a wide range of wild and domestic carrion. While almost exclusively a scavenger, this species is known to rarely kill small animals or invertebrates (Kirk and Mossman 1998. In A. Poole [ed.], The Birds of North America Online. Cornell Lab of Ornithology, Ithaca; accessed 15 August 2013). An adult Turkey Vulture was collected during avian control to minimize wildlife hazards at the Aeropuerto Internacional de El Salvador (ca. 50 km SE of San Salvador, 13.4408°N 89.0556°W; datum WGS84) on 10 July 2012 and subsequently cataloged (USNM 646876) in the Bird Division at the National Museum of Natural History (NMNH) in Washington, DC. Dissection during preparation of the bird as a museum specimen revealed a male A. deppii (ca. 56 mm SVL) in the stomach. It was cataloged at the NMNH in the Division of Amphibians and Reptiles (USNM 580989). Tissue samples were removed from both the lizard and the bird and deposited in the biorepository at the NMNH. To the best of our knowledge, this is the first documented record identifying A. deppii as a prey item of the Turkey Vulture.
Additional publication details
- Publication type:
- Publication Subtype:
- Journal Article
- Aspidoscelis deppii (black-bellied racerunner). Predation by turkey vulture.
- Series title:
- Herpetological Review
- Year Published:
- Society for the Study of Amphibians and Reptiles
- Contributing office(s):
- Patuxent Wildlife Research Center
- 1 p.
- First page:
- Last page:
- El Salvador
- Other Geospatial:
- Aeropuerto Internacional de El Salvador