Publication
Title
Chemical communication in the lacertid lizard **Podarcis muralis** : the functional significance of testosterone
Author
Abstract
Chemical signals are essential for intersexual communication in many animals, including lizards. While faeces have been suggested to contain socially relevant chemical stimuli, epidermal gland secretions are generally believed to be the leading source of chemosignals involved in lizard communication. Early research has shown that sex hormones affect epidermal gland activity, with androgens stimulating gland/pore size and/or gland productivity. However, the functional significance of hormone-induced glandular activity in lizard chemical communication remains unclear. In this study, we manipulated testosterone (T) concentrations in male Podarcis muralis lizards. While T-supplementation did not change pore size, it did increase secretion production substantially. Chemosensory tests showed that female conspecifics tongue-flick at a higher rate and more quickly towards the secretion of males with experimentally increased T levels than towards the secretion of control males, suggesting that females can discriminate between males with dissimilar T levels based on chemical cues of secretion alone. Based on the scent of faeces, however, females were unable to discriminate between males with differential T levels. Also, females reacted more quickly when offered larger amounts of secretion - irrespective of whether secretions were obtained from control or T-increased males. This result indicates that secretion quantity affects chemosignal detectability in Podarcis muralis.
Language
English
Source (journal)
Acta zoologica. - Copenhagen
Publication
Copenhagen : 2017
ISSN
0001-7272
Volume/pages
98:1(2017), p. 94-103
ISI
000392846400009
Full text (Publishers DOI)
Full text (open access)
The author-created version that incorporates referee comments and is the accepted for publication version Available from 02.01.2018
Full text (publishers version - intranet only)
UAntwerpen
Faculty/Department
Research group
Publication type
Subject
Affiliation
Publications with a UAntwerp address
External links
Web of Science
Record
Identification
Creation 22.04.2016
Last edited 28.04.2017
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