Meeting Abstract

7.1  Wednesday, Jan. 4  Multiple color traits: can they signal body condition or size in male Sceloporus lizards HEWS, D.K.*; OSSIP-KLEIN, A.; OYOLA-MORALES, J.; CAIN, P.; MARTINS, E.P.; Indiana State Univ., Terre Haute; Indiana Univ., Bloomington; Indiana Univ., Bloomington and Cornell Univ., Ithaca, NY; Indiana State Univ., Terre Haute; Indiana Univ., Bloomington diana.hews@indstate.edu

In males, secondary sexual traits may signal aspects of the phenotype that are important to potential mates and/or to competing males. For example, different elements of color signals correlate with different steroid hormones or nematode loads in some lizards. Adult male Sceloporus merrami are unusual for this lizard genus because the abdominal coloring, which is typical of males in this genus, involves several color and shape components, instead of being a simple blue oval that is often partially outlined in black. We assessed the potential for multiple color signals in breeding-season male S. merrami and S. undulatus by first assessing associations among the color and shape elements we measured. We then used multivariate approaches to assess associations between the independent components of abdominal coloring and several variables including 1) body size, as measured by snout-to-vent length (SVL) and mass; 2) body condition, as measured by residuals from a regression of mass on SVL, 3) fluctuating asymmetry in some individual patch elements, and the body size and body condition measures. Future analyses also will assess these relationships, but use additional display modalities including motion (frequency and cadence of display elements) and chemical signals (lipid and protein composition of secretions from femoral glands known to have a social signaling function in Sceloporus.