How to Cite
Bohórquez Alonso, M. L., & Molina Borja, M. (2003). El método etológico observacional en el medio natural : aplicación al análisis de la actividad y pautas de comportamiento en lagartos de Tenerife (Islas Canarias). Acta Colombiana De Psicología, (10), 33–44. Retrieved from

 Authors who publish in this journal agree to the following terms:

 Acta Colombiana de Psicología complies with international intellectual property and copyright laws, and particularly with Article No. 58 of the Political Constitution of Colombia, Law No. 23 of 1982, and the Agreement No. 172 of September 30, 2010 (Universidad Católica de Colombia Intellectual Property Regulation).

 Authors retain their copyright and grant to the Acta Colombiana de Psicología the right of first publication, with the work registered under Creative Commons attribution license, which allows third parties to use the published material, provided they credit the authorship of the work and the first publication in this Journal.


We present preliminary results on the application of the observational ethological method to the study of activity of lizards from Tenerife in two habitats of the island with different ecological characteristics: Malpaís de Güimar (SE of the island) and the periphery of Teide National Park (centre of the island), and in two daily times. We counted the number of animals of each sex and category while walking in transects with hazardously chosen directions. The behaviour pattern performed by each observed animal was also scored. The results show that there were always more active males than females or juveniles in both zones. The number of total active animals per unit area and time was inversely related to the environmental temperature in Teide National Park. In Malpaís de Güimar the higher number of animals was recorded in intermediate temperatures between maximum and minimum ones. The number of observed animals was greater at midday than in the morning in Malpaís de Güimar, but the contrary occurred at Teide N.P. The results support the finding in other species of a higher activity level in males and also suggest a differential activity pattern in relation to environmental temperature in both zones studied.



Alvarez, F. (1994). Una historia de la etología. En J. Carranza (ed.). Etología, introducción a la ciencia del comportamiento. (pp. 25- 38) Cáceres: Servicio de Publicaciones Universidad de Extremadura.

Andersson, M. (1994). Sexual selection. Princeton: Princeton University Press.

Angilletta, M. J., Hill, T. & Robson, M. A. (2002). Is physiological performance optimized by thermoregulatory behavior?: a case study of the eastern fence lizard, Sceloporus undulatus. Journal of Thermal Biology, 27, 199-204.

Arnold, E. N. (1973): Relationships of the paleartic lizards assigned to the genera Lacerta, Algyroides and Psammodromus. Bulletin of the British Museum. (Natural History) Zool, 25, 289-366.

Arnold, E. N. (1989): Towards a phylogeny and biogeography of the Lacertidae: relationships within an old-world family of lizards derived from morphology. Bulletin of the British Museum (Natural History) Zoology, 55, 209-257.

Barnett, S (1975). The rat: a study in Behavior. Chicago y Lóndres: The University of Chicago Press.

Bauwens, D., Hertz, P.E. & Castilla, A. (1996). Thermoregulation in a lacertid lizard: the relative contributions of distinct behavioral mechanisms. Ecology 77, 1818-1830.

Castilla, A. M., Van Damme, R., & Bauwens, D. (1999). Field body temperatures, mechanisms of thermoregulation and evolution of thermal characteristics in lacertid lizards. Natura Croatica, 8, 253-274.

Colmenares, F. (Ed.) (1996). Etología, psicología comparada y comportamiento animal. Madrid: Editorial Síntesis.

Dewsbury, D.A. (1992). Comparative psychology and ethology: a reassessment. American Psychologist 47, 208-215.

Díaz, J.A.,Díaz-Uriarte, R., Rodríguez, A. (1996). Influence of behavioral thermoregulation on the use of vertical surfaces by iberian wall lizards Podarcis hispanica Journal of Herpetology, 30, 548-552.

Díaz, J.A. (1997). Ecological correlates of the thermal quality of an ectotherm´s habitat: a comparison between two temperate lizard populations. Functional Ecology, 11, 9-89.

Fernandes, C. & Files, S. (1996). The influence of open arm ledges and maze experience in the elevated plus – maze. Pharmacology, Biochemestry and Behavior, 54, 31-40.

Font, E., Colmenares, F. & Guillén-Salazar, F. (1998). El lugar de la etología en las ciencias del comportamiento: un debate inacabado. Revista de Psicología General y Aplicada, 51, 55-83.

García Casanova, J.& Rodríguez Delgado, O. (1993). El espacio natural del malpaís de Güímar. Editorial Benchomo. La Laguna – Tenerife – Islas Canarias.

Huey, R.B. (1982). Temperature, physiology, and the ecology of reptiles. En Gans, C., Pough, F.H. (eds.) Biology of the Reptilia, (Vol. 12 pp 25-91). London: Academic Press.

Huey, R. B. & Stevenson, R. D. (1979). Integrating thermal physiology and ecology of ectotherms: a discussion of approaches. American Zoologist, 19, 357-366.

Kingsbury, B.A. (1989). Factors influencing activity in Coleonyx variegatus. Journal of Herpetology, 23, 399-404.

Krebs, J.R. (1977). The significance of song repertoires: the Beau Geste hypothesis. Animal Behaviour, 25, 475-478.

Lehner, P. (1996). Handbook of ethological methods. Cambridge. University Press.

Lorenz, K. (1957). Methoden der verhaltensforschung. Kükenthal: Handbuch der Zoologie, 8, 1-22.

Molina Borja, M. (1981). Etograma del lagarto de Tenerife, Gallotia galloti Doñana. Acta Vertebrata, 8, 43-78.

Molina Borja, M. (1985). Spatial and temporal behaviour of of Gallotia galloti in a natural population of Tenerife. Bonner zoologische Beitrage, 36, 541-552.

Molina Borja, M. (1991). Notes on alimentary habits and spatial-temporal distribution of eating behaviour patterns in a natural population of lizards (Gallotia galloti). Vieraea, 20, 1-9.

Molina-Borja, M., Padrón-Fumero, M. & Alfonso-Martín, M. T. (1997). Intrapopulation variability in morphology, coloration and body size in two races of the Tenerife lizard, Gallotia galloti. Journal of Herpetology, 31, 499-507.

Molina-Borja, M.; Padrón-Fumero, M. & Alfonso-Martín, T. (1998). Morphological and behavioural traits affecting the intensity and outcome of male contests in Gallotia galloti galloti (Family Lacertidae). Ethology, 104, 314-322.

Morales Matos, G. & Pérez González, R. (2000). Gran atlas temático de Canarias. Arafo – Tenerife. Islas Canarias: Editorial Interinsular Canaria.

Nicholson, A.M. & Spellerberg, I.F. (1989). Activity and home range of the lizard Lacerta agilis L. Herpetological Journal, 1, 362-365.

Pearson, O. (1977). The effect of substrate and of skin color on thermoregulation of a lizard. Comparative Biochemistry and Physicology, 58A, 353-358.

Pough, F.H. (2001). Herpetology. New Jersey: Prentice Hall.

Ruby, D.E. (1981). Phenotypic correlates of male reproductive success in the lizard Sceloporus jarrovi. En R.D. Alexander & D.W. Tinkle (Eds.). Natural selection and social behaviour, (pp. 96-107). New York: Chiron Press.

Stamps, J.A. (1983). Sexual selection, sexual dimorphism and territoriality. En R.B. Huey, E.R. Pianka & T.W. Schoener (Eds.), Lizard ecology. studies of a model organism, (pp. 169-204). Cambridge: Harvard University Press.

Tinbergen, N. (1935). Über die orientierung des bienewolfes ii: die bienenjagd. Zeitschrift vergleichende physiologie, 21, 699-716.

Tinbergen, N., Broekhuysen, G.J., Feekes, F., Houghton, J.C. W., Kruuk, H., & Szulc, E. (1962). Egg-shell removal by the blackheaded gull Larus ridibundus L. A behaviour component of camouflage. Behaviour, 19, 74-118.

Van Damme, R., Bauwens, D., Castilla, A.M. & Verheyen, R.F. (1989). Altitudinal variation of the thermal biology and running performance in the lizard Podarcis tiliguerta. Oecologia 80, 516-524.

Von Frisch, K. (1954). The dancing bees. Londres: Methuen.


Download data is not yet available.

Reference by

Sistema OJS 3 - Metabiblioteca |