Meeting Abstract

P1.9  Friday, Jan. 4  Behavioral responses to conspecific chemicals of two Sceloporus species differing in signaling morphology PRUETT, JA*; VITAL, C; ZÚÑIGA-VEGA , JJ; MARTINS, EP; HEWS, DK; Indiana State University, Terre Haute, USA; Universidad Autónoma de Ciudad Juarez, México; Faculdad de Ciencias,Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México; Indiana University, Bloomington, USA; Inidana State University, Terre Haute, USA

Lizards communicate through a variety of signal modalities that involve motion, display of color patches, and pheromones. Trade-offs among signal modalities along with variation in trait lability can affect evolution of multimodal signals. Previous work with Sceloporus suggests that a species without color patches (white) is more responsive to chemical cues than a species with patches (blue). Here, we further investigate how the loss of blue coloration might have influenced the evolution of chemical signaling in Sceloporus. We predicted that behavioral responses to chemical cues of conspecific males would be stronger in S. siniferus (white) than in S. merriami (blue). We presented swabs with chemical cues and clean swabs (control) to male lizards in the field and recorded chemosensory behaviors, aggressive displays and movement. Male siniferus performed more visual displays overall than merriami, however, exposure to male cues decreased visual display rates in both species. Rates of chemosensory behaviors overall were low for both species, but merriami tended to exhibit more (tongue flick, chin wipe). Exposure to male cues reduced the distance and frequency of movements by siniferus but not in merriami. These data and our other Sceloporus studies suggest that male merriami are less likely to exhibit visual displays when presented only with conspecific chemical stimuli compared to when they are presented with visual stimuli. The overall high rates of visual displays by siniferus may reflect the importance of motion versus color in certain habitats.