Journal of Chemical Ecology

, Volume 18, Issue 5, pp 703–712

Seasonal variation of lipids in femoral gland secretions of male green iguanas (Iguana iguana)

  • Allison C. Alberts
  • Thomas R. Sharp
  • Dagmar I. Werner
  • Paul J. Weldon

DOI: 10.1007/BF00994608

Cite this article as:
Alberts, A.C., Sharp, T.R., Werner, D.I. et al. J Chem Ecol (1992) 18: 703. doi:10.1007/BF00994608


Femoral gland secretions were collected from 21 captive adult male green iguanas (Iguana iguana) in Orotina, Costa Rica, and San Diego, California, during the breeding (November) and nonbreeding (March) seasons. Lipids were extracted with methylene chloride, weighed, separated by thin-layer chromatography, and analyzed by gas chromatography-mass spectrometry. Free and esterified C14-C26 fatty acids, 5β-cholestan-3α-ol (epico-prostanol), cholest-5-en-3β-ol (cholesterol), cholest-5-en-24-methyl-3β-ol (campesterol), cholesta-5,22-dien-24b-ethyl-3β-ol (stigmasterol), cholesta-8,24(5α)-dien-4,4,14α-trimethyl-3β-ol (lanosterol), cholest-5-en-24-ethyl-3β-ol (β-sitosterol), and two uncharacterized sterols were indicated. More lipids were recovered from femoral gland secretions obtained during the breeding than the nonbreeding months, indicating that secretion deposits may be more detectable during the mating season.

Key Words

Femoral glands lipids fatty acids sterols pheromones Iguana iguana 

Copyright information

© Plenum Publishing Corporation 1992

Authors and Affiliations

  • Allison C. Alberts
    • 1
    • 4
  • Thomas R. Sharp
    • 2
  • Dagmar I. Werner
    • 3
  • Paul J. Weldon
    • 4
    • 5
  1. 1.Center for Reproduction of Endangered SpeciesZoological Society of San DiegoSan Diego
  2. 2.Department of ChemistryTexas A & M UniversityCollege Station
  3. 3.Fundacion Pro Iguana VerdeSan JoséCosta Rica
  4. 4.Department of BiologyTexas A & M UniversityCollege Station
  5. 5.Department of HerpetologyNational Zoological Park Smithsonian InstitutionWashington D.C.
  6. 6.Analytical Research and DevelopmentPfizer Central ResearchGroton

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