CZAAWE Resource Article

Social status, gonadal state, and the adrenal stress response in the lizard, Anolis carolinensis
Publication Type 
Journal Article
Year of publication 
1984
Authors 
Publication/Journal 
Hormones and Behavior
ISBN 
0018-506X
Abstract 
Adult males of the small arboreal iguanid lizard, Anolis carolinensis, form social dominance hierarchies when placed in habitats with limited resources. Skin color changes occur during hierarchy formation, most conspicuously in subordinates, who appear darker (more brown) than dominants (more green). Because skin color in this species is under the control of hormones frequently associated with physiological stress, radioimmunoassay of plasma levels of the principal reptilian adrenal steroid, corticosterone, was performed. To examine the influence of gonadal androgen, known to influence the aggression that attends hierarchy formation, lizard pairs were constituted in which one or both members were castrated. Corticosterone levels of intact subordinates were significantly elevated, whereas those of castrated subordinates or dominants showed levels comparable to those of isolates. No significant differences in spermatogenic stage could be detected between intact dominants or subordinates.