The distribution, density and biomass density of lizards in a semi–arid environment of northern Kenya


  • *South Turkana Expedition paper No. 19.


An attempt was made to determine the species composition, density and biomass density of lizards in some of the principal land units in South Turkana. Thirteen species were recorded. Density estimates were determined from quadrat sampling in representative habitats.

Because the number of lizards active was found to vary with time of day and temperature, minimum density estimates were obtained by confining counts to peak activity periods. Biomass density was calculated from the product of species density and the mean population weight measured from shot specimens. The biomass density estimate of the lizard fauna was found to be about 4–5% of the large mammal fauna, and appreciably more in the more arid land units.

The species composition of South Turkana lizards show affinities to the Somali fauna, though not to the extent of the East Rudolf fauna, suggesting a more recent penetration of arid–adapted species.