Comparative chemical ecology, behaviour, and evolutionary genetics of acanthodactlylus boskianus (Squamata: Lacertidae) : comparative chemical ecology, behaviour and evolution

Khannoon, Eraqi Radwan R.

Biological sciences
November 2009

Thesis or dissertation

© 2009 Eraqi Radwan R Khannoon. All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced without the written permission of the copyright holder.

Acanthodactylus boskianus is a common lizard species frequently occurring in different habitats throughout Egypt. Both males and females have well developed epidermal femoral glands. This species is territorial and males acquire dominance hierarchies in captivity. The current work included three different techniques to study the importance of femoral gland secretions in communication and signal evolution of A. boskianus. These are behaviour, chemical and DNA analyses techniques.

Behavioural bioassays in different experiments showed that the femoral gland secretions are used in communication between the lizards. Communication includes possible roles in mate choice, agonistic behaviour between potential competitor males, and chemical trailing of scent pheromones. These behavioural results reflect the chemical results which showed the chemical variability between male ages, sexes, and allopatric populations. Chemical analysis of the secretions resulted in the identification of natural compounds not previously reported in reptiles, glycerolmonoethers and monoglycerides.

The secretions seem to be used as scent pheromones, which are involved in signal evolution processes resulting in divergence of the chemical fingerprints of the gland secretion between allopatric populations.

Department of Biological Sciences, The University of Hull
Hardege, Jörg D.; Lunt, David H.
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