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Diversity of compounds in femoral secretions of Galápagos iguanas (genera:

PeerJ (2017-08-23)
Alejandro Ibáñez, Markus Menke, Galo Quezada, Gustavo Jiménez-Uzcátegui, Stefan Schulz, Sebastian Steinfartz
ABSTRACT

Chemical signals are widely used in the animal kingdom, enabling communication in various social contexts, including mate selection and the establishment of dominance. Femoral glands, which produce and release waxy secretions into the environment, are organs of central importance in lizard chemical communication. The Galápagos marine iguana ( Femoral secretions were analysed by gas chromatography coupled to mass spectrometry (GC-MS), and chromatography with a flame ionisation detector (GC-FID) in order to characterise the lipophilic composition. To understand the potential role of femoral secretions in marine iguana intraspecific communication, territorial males were sampled for their femoral glands and monitored to record their head bob rate-a territorial display behaviour in males-as well as the number of females present in their leks. We found that the gland secretions were composed of ten saturated and unsaturated carboxylic acids ranging in chain length between C Land and marine iguanas strongly diverged in their chemical composition of the femoral glands likely due to ecological differences between both species. Despite that marine iguana populations varied in their femoral gland composition that was not related to their genetic structure. Our results indicated that 11-eicosenoic acid may play an important role in intraspecific chemical communication in marine iguanas.

MATERIALS
Product Number
Brand
Product Description

Sigma-Aldrich
Lignoceric acid, ≥99% (GC)