The ability for effective, accurate and precise thermoregulation is of paramount importance for ectotherms. Sympatric lizards often partition their niche and select different microhabitats. These microhabitats, however, usually differ in their thermal conditions and lizards have to adapt their thermoregulation behavior accordingly. Here, we evaluated the impact of habitat partitioning on the thermal biology of three syntopic, congeneric lacertids (Podarcis peloponnesiacus, P. tauricus and P. muralis) from central Peloponnese, Greece. We assessed thermoregulation effectiveness (E) using the three standard thermal parameters: body (Tb), operative (Te) and preferred (Tpref) temperatures. We hypothesized that the microhabitats used by each species would differ in thermal quality. We also predicted that all species would effectively thermoregulate, as they inhabit a thermally challenging mountain habitat. As expected, the partition of the habitat had an effect on the thermoregulation of lizards since microhabitats had different thermal qualities. All three species were effective and accurate thermoregulators but one of them achieved smaller E values as a result of the lower Tb in the field. This discrepancy could be attributed to the cooler (but more benign) thermal microhabitats that this species occupies.
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