Meeting Abstract

P3.18  Monday, Jan. 6 15:30  Resident male lizards are attracted to artificially-presented chemical cues CAMPOS, SM*; KING, C; MARTINS, EP; Indiana University, Bloomington; Indiana University, Bloomington; Indiana University, Bloomington smcampos@indiana.edu

In many animals, territorial residents have a considerable advantage in aggressive encounters, and in gaining access to mates and other resources. Here we use male Sceloporus undulatus lizards to ask whether intruder chemical cues influence a resident male’s use of territorial space. Male chemical cues were collected and artificially-presented in different male territories repeatedly over several days. We recorded the presence and absence of lizards in each territory, sex and identity of lizards present, and distances of present lizards from the placed chemical cue. Males and females collectively, males only, and resident males only were analyzed in subsets, and in all cases were present more often in territories with intruder chemical cues than in territories to which a control was introduced. Lizards tended to keep in closer proximity to the chemical cues than to a blank control. This suggests that a resident male is attracted to an area of its territory that has been chemically marked by a male intruder. Our results indicate the chemical modality of communication assists in shaping spatial distributions of territorial individuals, and influences conspecific encroachment on territorial space.