Dominance in Female Crested Geckos (Correlophus ciliates)
Keywords:Crested Gecko, Correlophus ciliatus, Female Dominance
Correlophus ciliatus (Crested Geckos) are a gecko species found in the pet trade and in zoological institutions. Native to New Caledonia and once thought to be extinct, C. ciliatus now thrive in human care due to husbandry and subsequent ease of breeding in managed facilities. There are multiple discrepancies in best practices of how to properly house C. ciliatus, specifically females. It is commonly known that males are aggressive towards one another, and it is common practice to house females together in one enclosure to their perceived lack of aggression towards conspecifics. In an effort to increase welfare for female C. ciliatus, we conducted an ethnographic analysis of female C. ciliatus cohabitated in human care. We placed two sets of three female C. ciliatus in a vivarium, videoed each respective cohort of females for 60 days, defined behaviors, and attempted to determine if dominance behavior were exhibited by females through ethnographic analysis. Chi-Square tests were used to determine if any identified behaviors occurred more frequently than others for each respective female and also what zone did we see the most aggressive behaviors in the enclosure. In each set, we found that there was one dominant female with two submissive conspecifics.
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