IUCN threat status:

Vulnerable (VU)

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Biology

The mugger is a highly social species that communicates through visual and audible signals, has a dominance hierarchy and exhibits territoriality. Males thrash their tails and lift their snouts to establish territories and gain dominance before courtship and mating. One month after mating, between February and April, the female lays 10 – 48 eggs in a nest site that she returns to every year for much of her life. After 55 – 75 days of incubation, the eggs hatch and the hatchlings are carried to water by the female and sometimes even the male (5). The sex of the hatchlings is determined by the temperature at which they incubate. Males result from eggs incubated at 32.5 ºC and females result from eggs incubated either above or below 32.5 ºC (2). The juvenile muggers remain in the territory for up to a year. They reach sexual maturity at six years (5). Muggers consume crustaceans, insects and small fish when young, and move on to a diet of fish, frogs, crustaceans, birds, monkeys and squirrels in adulthood (2) (5).

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Source: ARKive

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