The impact of egg incubation temperature on the personality of oviparous reptiles

Harry Siviter, D. Charles Deeming, Joanna Rosenberger, Oliver H.P. Burman, Sophie A. Moszuti, Anna Wilkinson*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle (Academic Journal)peer-review

45 Citations (Scopus)


Personality traits, defined as differences in the behavior of individual animals of the same species that are consistent over time and context, such as ‘boldness,’ have been shown to be both heritable and be influenced by external factors, such as predation pressure. Currently, we know very little about the role that early environmental factors have upon personality. Thus, we investigated the impact of incubation temperature upon the boldness on an oviparous reptile, the bearded dragon (Pogona vitticeps). Eggs, from one clutch, were incubated at two different average temperatures within the normal range. After hatching the lizards were raised under the same environmental conditions. Novel object and novel environment tests were used to assess personality. Each test was repeated in both the short term and the long term. The results revealed that incubation temperature did impact upon ‘boldness’ but only in the short term and suggests that, rather than influencing personality, incubation temperature may have an effect on the development of behavioral of oviparous reptiles at different stages across ontogeny.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)109-116
Number of pages8
JournalAnimal Cognition
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2017

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2016, The Author(s).


  • Behavioral trait
  • Boldness
  • Incubation temperature
  • Lizard
  • Personality
  • Reptile


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