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Chemical characterization of epidermal, cloacal and preanal and femoral glands secretions of the Brazilian lizards species of Teiidae family (Squamata)

Grant number: 15/12841-5
Support type:Scholarships in Brazil - Doctorate
Effective date (Start): October 01, 2015
Effective date (End): September 30, 2019
Field of knowledge:Biological Sciences - Zoology
Principal Investigator:Miguel Trefaut Urbano Rodrigues
Grantee:Carolina Nisa Ramiro
Home Institution: Instituto de Biociências (IB). Universidade de São Paulo (USP). São Paulo , SP, Brazil
Associated research grant:11/50146-6 - Comparative phylogeography, phylogeny, paleoclimate modeling, and taxonomy of neotropical reptiles and amphibians, AP.BTA.TEM
Associated scholarship(s):17/19640-0 - Chemical communication in Teiidae lizards: chemistry and behavior, BE.EP.DR

Abstract

Chemical communication is an important component of biology and social relations of reptiles, who use the vomeronasal system to obtain chemical signs from the environment and transfer them to the nervous system, allowing its interpretation. The chemical compounds used for intraspecific communication are known as pheromones and present a number of functions such as, for exemple, status identification, territories demarcation, information on conspecifics physical and health condition, besides sexual identification, in many cases essential to reproduction. The lizards from the Teiidae family are restricted to the New World, they are diurnal and egg layers, presenting species of medium and large sizes that are important and conspicuous elements of Brazilian herpetofauna, featuring 36 of the 151 species of the family. Data on the chemical communication of Teiidae are basically non-existent, being represented only by a single work that characterized the composition of femoral secretions from males of Tupinambis merianae. This study aims to describe and compare the chemical composition of Teiidae's pheromones by studying the pre-cloacal secretion, femoral pores, cloacal swabs and epidermal secretions in order to (1) verify the potential importance of these factors in the chemical communication between species of this family, (2) investigate if there is variation in these characters according to the types of habitat in which the species occurs and (3) its phylogenetic importance.