Male leopard geckos (Eublepharis macularius) can discriminate between two familiar females

Lara D. LaDage, Michael H. Ferkin

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

20 Scopus citations


Much is known about the abilities of various taxa concerning discrimination of species, sex, familiarity-based discrimination and individual discrimination. However, literature pertaining to the precision of discrimination within lizard taxa assumes that discrimination between familiar and unfamiliar individuals can be extrapolated to include individual discrimination between two familiar individuals. The present study had two aims. First, we determined that male leopard geckos (Eublepharis macularius) can concurrently become familiar with two different females and discriminate those females from a novel female. Second, we investigated the ability of male leopard geckos to distinguish between two familiar females using a habituation- dishabituation paradigm. Males habituated to the presence of the first female, exhibited by decreased typical courtship behaviours directed towards that female. Male courtship behaviours, however, were reinstated upon introduction of the second familiar female. These results indicate that males possess the ability to discriminate between two familiar females and adjust their courtship efforts appropriately.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1033-1049
Number of pages17
Issue number8
StatePublished - Aug 2006

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Animal Science and Zoology
  • Behavioral Neuroscience


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