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PeerJ ; 9: e10649, 2021.
Artigo em Inglês | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-33505804


Studies evaluating the health status and characteristics of free-ranging wildlife populations are scarce or absent for most species. Saurian health assessments are usually performed in species that have conservation issues or that are kept in captivity. The Berthold's bush anole (Polychrus guturossus) is one of eight species belonging to the genus Polychrus, the only representative of the family Polychrotidae. Only a handful of studies have been reported concerning these lizard's morphological variation, ecology, and natural history, probably because P. gutturosus is a canopy dweller and it can be difficult to locate individuals. It is believed that deforestation and habitat modification could pose a threat for this species, although to date no health assessment has been done. The aim of this study was to generate health baseline data on P. gutturosus. Forty Berthold's bush anoles (20 males and 20 females) were sampled at the Pacific versant in Costa Rica, where physical examination, skin and cloacal temperatures, and blood samples were obtained from individuals immediately after capture. Animals from the studied population were all healthy (body condition 2.5-3.0/5.0). No lesions or ectoparasites were detected, but hemoparasites were found in nine individuals. Hematological and biochemical values were obtained, and the morphology of leukocytes were found to be similar to other iguanians. A positive correlation was found between the tissue enzymes aspartate aminotransferase (AST) and creatinine kinase (CK) and a negative correlation was found between skin and cloacal temperatures and AST and CK. There were positive correlations between female weight and total protein, calcium, and the calcium and phosphorus ratio. No significant inter-sex differences were found in biochemical values, despite females being larger than males. This is the first health assessment performed on a free-ranging canopy dwelling lizard. These findings provide baseline data that may be useful for future monitoring if the species faces changes in health status due to anthropogenic causes or natural disturbances.