Allometry, sexual size dimorphism, and niche partitioning in the Mediterranean gecko (Hemidactylus turcicus)
Hemidactylus tucrius is a small gekkonid lizard native to the Middle East and Asia that is known to exhibit sexual dimorphism in head size. Several potential explanations exist for the evolution and maintenance of sexual dimorphism in lizards. We tested 2 of these competing hypotheses concerning diet partitioning and differential growth. We found no differences in Average meal size (volume) or in any single dimension of prey size for similarly sized males and females. allometric patterns of increases in head size also were measured in males and females. We found that males exhibited a mixture of isometric and positively allometric patterns of head size increases, whereas females exhibited isometric and negatively allometric patterns. Thus, we concluded that sexual dimorphism in head size is not the result of diet partitioning but instead of differential growth patterns following sexual maturity in males and females.