Size-dependent chemosensory responses to familiar and unfamiliar conspecific faecal pellets by the Iberian rock-lizard, Lacerta monticola

Citation
P. Aragon et al., Size-dependent chemosensory responses to familiar and unfamiliar conspecific faecal pellets by the Iberian rock-lizard, Lacerta monticola, ETHOLOGY, 106(12), 2000, pp. 1115-1128
Citations number
60
Language
INGLESE
art.tipo
Article
Categorie Soggetti
Animal Sciences","Neurosciences & Behavoir
Journal title
ETHOLOGY
ISSN journal
0179-1613 → ACNP
Volume
106
Issue
12
Year of publication
2000
Pages
1115 - 1128
Database
ISI
SICI code
0179-1613(200012)106:12<1115:SCRTFA>2.0.ZU;2-4
Abstract
We conducted a field study to analyse the social relationships between male s of the Iberian rock lizard (Lacerta monticola). The degree of familiarity was determined based on the degree of overlap between their home ranges. W e then designed a laboratory experiment to test whether the same males were able to discriminate between familiar and unfamiliar conspecifics using fa ecal pellet odours. Differential tongue-flick rates suggest that large male s (snout-to-vent length, SVL > 75 mm), at least, may discriminate between o dours of familiar and unfamiliar males. The behavioural responses were depe ndent on relative differences in body size between the responding male and the male that donated the faecal pellet. Thus, as responding small males in creased in size relative to their corresponding familiar male, their rate o f tongue-flicking significantly decreased; this was not the case in respons e to unfamiliar males. In contrast, there were no significant correlations between the response of large males to familiar or unfamiliar male stimuli, regardless of size differences. These results suggest that chemical cues c ontained in faecal pellets allow individual recognition in male L. monticol a, and that the response depends on body size. We suggest that faecal pelle ts might be used to scent-mark home ranges, which would contribute to lower ing the costs of aggressive interactions.