Lizard epidermal gland secretions I : chemical characterization of the femoral gland secretion of the sungazer, Cordylus giganteus

Louw, Stefan ; Burger, B. V. ; Le Roux, Maritha ; Van Wyk, Johannes H. (2007-09)

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The giant girdled lizard or sungazer, Cordylus giganteus, is endemic to South Africa. It has been suggested that in this species, as in other lizard species, epidermal glands in the femoral, pre-cloacal regions, and cloacal glands are the main sources of semiochemicals and that these secretions could play an important role at different levels of the social biology of the animals. To gain a better understanding of the nature of the femoral gland secretions of the sungazer, characterization of the constituents of the secretions was carried out. By using GC-MS analysis, in conjunction with auxiliary techniques, such as solventless sample introduction and trimethylsilyl derivatization, 53 relatively involatile compounds, including carboxylic acids, alcohols, ketones, esters, and steroids, were identified in the secretions of both sexes. The study showed that the secretions of male and female sungazers contain only semi-volatile chemicals.

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