Skip to Main Content
U.S. Forest Service
Caring for the land and serving people

United States Department of Agriculture

Home > Search > Publication Information

  1. Share via EmailShare on FacebookShare on LinkedInShare on Twitter
    Dislike this pubLike this pub
    Author(s): Vanessa S. Quinn; Diana K. Hews
    Date: 2003
    Source: Copeia 2003(4):858-864
    Publication Series: Scientific Journal (JRNL)
    Station: North Central Research Station
    PDF: View PDF  (936.63 KB)

    Description

    Phrynosomatid lizards show considerable variation among species in the occurrence of a secondary sexual trait, blue abdominal coloration. The production of blue skin may be controlled by at least two cellular components, melanin in melanophores, and guanine in iridophores. To examine the hypothesis that a mechanism producing variation in abdominal coloration is variation in the presence of melanin in the melanophores within the dermal layer of skin, we used light microscopy to compare melanin density of five species of phrynosomatid lizards with ancestral and derived abdominal coloration. Our results show that the skin of adults with blue abdominal coloration has more dermal melanin than white skin regardless of species or sex. We experimentally tested this relationship by examining the dermal melanin in skin from female Sceloporus undulatus consobrinus with exogenously elevated levels of testosterone or 5&#prop;-dihydrotestosterone. These females displayed malelike abdominal coloration and malelike melanin density. Our results suggest that melanin density plays a role in the presence of blue abdominal coloration in these phrynosomatid lizards.

    Publication Notes

    • Check the Northern Research Station web site to request a printed copy of this publication.
    • Our on-line publications are scanned and captured using Adobe Acrobat.
    • During the capture process some typographical errors may occur.
    • Please contact Sharon Hobrla, shobrla@fs.fed.us if you notice any errors which make this publication unusable.
    • We recommend that you also print this page and attach it to the printout of the article, to retain the full citation information.
    • This article was written and prepared by U.S. Government employees on official time, and is therefore in the public domain.

    Citation

    Quinn, Vanessa S.; Hews, Diana K. 2003. Positive Relationship between Abdominal Coloration and Dermal Melanin Density in Phrynosomatid Lizards. Copeia 2003(4):858-864

    Related Search


    XML: View XML
Show More
Show Fewer
Jump to Top of Page