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Chemical Compounds from Femoral Gland Secretions of Male Iberian Rock Lizards, Lacerta monticola cyreni

López, Pilar, Martín, José
Zeitschrift für Naturforschung 2014 v.60 no.7-8 pp. 632-636
Lacerta, carboxylic acids, chemical composition, cholesterol, esters, females, gas chromatography-mass spectrometry, lizards, males, scent marking behavior, secretion, social structure, squalene
In spite of the importance of chemoreception and chemical signals in the social organization of lizards, there are only a few studies examining the chemical composition of secretions of lizards used for scent marking. The secretion of the femoral glands of male Iberian rock lizards (Lacerta monticola cyreni) contains 44 lipophilic compounds, including several steroids (mainly cholesterol), and n-C₆ to n-C₂₂ carboxylic acids, and minor components such as esters of carboxylic acids, alcohols, squalene, and one lactone. These compounds were identified on the basis of mass spectra, obtained by GC-MS. Most lipids were detected in all individuals, although relative proportions of each chemical show a high interindividual variability. This variability might be related to the characteristics or physical and health condition of males and might be the basis of female choice based on chemical cues observed in this lizard species.