Genders matters: Sexual differences in chemical signals of Liolaemus wiegmannii lizards (Iguania, Liolaemidae)

Roberto García-Roa, Santiago Carreira, Pilar López, José Martín

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

13 Scopus citations


Males have traditionally been the focus of study when analyzing traits involved in communication. However, intraspecific interactions often imply both sexes as signals senders. Researches have shown the relevant role that chemical communication plays in lizards. However, the knowledge about the female scents is scarce. The aim of this paper is to characterize, by using gas chromatography-mass spectrometry (GC-MS), the lipophilic fraction of precloacal gland secretions of adult males and females of the lizard Liolaemus wiegmannii and evaluate intersexual differences in composition and proportion of their chemical profiles. We identified 48 and 41 lipohilic compounds in males and females, respectively. The main compounds were steroids and waxy esters. We also found squalene, alcohols, aldehydes and carboxylic acids. Overall, we found significant differences between sexes with respect to the relative proportions of compounds. We also found differences in proportions of three of the five predominant compounds shared by both sexes (squalene, cholesta-3,5-dien and cholesta-2,4-dien). Our study describes that females of L. wiegmannii hold lipids in their precloacal secretions, which are further clearly different from those of males. Further researches are needed to understand the ecological implications of these sexual differences in precloacal secretion of L. wiegmannii.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)108-114
Number of pages7
JournalBiochemical Systematics and Ecology
StatePublished - 1 Dec 2016
Externally publishedYes


  • Chemoreception
  • Female signals
  • Lipids
  • Lizards
  • Uruguay

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Ecology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics
  • Biochemistry


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