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Journal of Environmental Biology

pISSN: 0254-8704 ; eISSN: 2394-0379 ; CODEN: JEBIDP

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        Abstract - Issue Jan 2008, 29 (1)                                                                                                             Back


Chemosensory recognition of the marbled whiptail lizard, Aspidoscelis marmorata (Squamata: Teiidae) to odors of sympatric lizards (Crotophytus collaris, Coleonyx brevis, Eumeces obsoletus and Uta stansburiana) that represent different predation risks

F. Punzo*

Department of Biology, Box 5F, University of Tampa, Tampa, Florida - 33606, USA

(Received: August 19, 2006 ; Revised received: January 15, 2007 ; Accepted: March 15, 2007)

Abstract: The ability of the whiptail lizard Aspidoscelis marmorata (Teiidae) to detect and discriminate chemical stimuli associated with the integument of a sympatric saurophagous lizard (Crotaphytus collaris) was tested. Females of A. marmorata were presented with cotton swabs containing chemical cues from C. collaris and three species of nonsaurophagous lizards, as well as water and cologne (pungency control), and total number of tongue-flick (TF) recorded. Other responses were assessed including directed TF rate, time from initial presentation of the stimulus to first TF (latency), time spent fleeing from the stimulus, and number of flight bouts. The number of TFs, directed TF rate, and number of attempts at fleeing exhibited by were significantly greater when females were presented with swabs containing cues from C. collaris as compared to nonsaurophagous lizards and both control treatments. A. marmorata required significantly less time to elicit their first TF when presented with cues from C. collaris as compared to all other treatments. Most previous studies have focused on the responses of lizards to cues associated with snake predators. This study provides the first available data on responses of a teiid to cues associated with a saurophagous lizard.

Key words: Aspidoscelis marmorata, Chemosensory recognition, Predator odor

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