Comparison of chemosensory behavior and prey trail-following in the varanoid lizards Varanus gouldii and Heloderma suspectum

Publication Type:
Journal Article
Year of Publication:
Clay M. Garrett, Donal M. Boyer, Winston C. Card, David T. Roberts, James B. Murphy, David Chiszar
Zoo Biology
A Wiley Company, Inc., Wiley Subscription Services
, , , , ,

Abstract 10.1002/(SICI)1098-2361(1996)15:3<255::AID-ZOO5>3.3.CO;2-C In the first of three experiments, Gould’s monitor lizards Varanus gouldii (n = 8) and Gila monsters Heloderma suspectum (n = 8) were tested to determine whether a postingestion elevation in tongue-flick rate (PETF) occurred. Based on analysis of numbers of tongue-flicks during 20 successive minutes following treatments and controls, significant PETF was detected in V. gouldii. Analysis of numbers of tongue-flicks over 20 successive minutes for H. suspectum indicated that PETF did not occur. A second experiment with refined procedures confirmed the absence of PETF in our H. suspectum. The third experiment was designed to determine whether V. gouldii and H. suspectum were capable of following prey-chemical trails. Varanus gouldii and H. suspectum followed these trails, and did so equally well, whether or not prey were bitten and ingested prior to exposure to chemical trails. © 1996 Wiley-Liss, Inc.


Back to Resources