In spite of the importance of chemoreception and chemical signals in social organization of lizards, only a few studies have examined the chemical composition of secretions that lizards use for intraspecific communication. The secretion of the femoral glands of male Schreiber's green lizards (Lacerta schreiberi) contains 51 lipophilic compounds, including several steroids, a-tocopherol, n-C9 to n-C22 carboxylic acids and their esteres, and minor components such as alcohols between C12 and C24, two lactones, two ketones, and squalene. These compounds were identified on the basis of mass spectra, obtained by GC-MS. We compared these chemicals with those found in other lizard species, and discussed how environmental conditions could explain the differential presence of chemicals in different lizards. Particularly, the high abundance of a-tocopherol in this lizard is suggested to contribute to avoid oxidation of other lipids in secretions, increasing chemical stability of scent marks in the humid conditions of its habitat.
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