Nebraska Academy of Sciences


Date of this Version


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1992. Transactions of the Nebraska Academy of Sciences, XIX: 43-47. Copyright © 1992 Ballinger, Coady, Prokop and Lemos-Espinal.


Strike-induced chemosensory searching (SICS) was found in two families of lizards (Teiidae, Anguidae) but not in two other lizard families (Scincidae, Iguanidae). Experiments on another family (Xenosauridae) were inconclusive as to its possession of SICS. The rate of tongue-flicking was significantly increased after a simulated prey strike compared to controls in Cnemidophorus sexlineatus and Barisia imbricata. SICS may be part of a complex foraging strategy evolved in certain reptiles rather than part of a generalized chemosensory behavior because two species of skinks did not exhibit SICS in spite of a well developed vomeronasal olfactory apparatus and known abilities to use chemosensation extensively in sexual and individual recognition behaviors. Additional studies in other saurian families are needed to further understand the relationship between SICS and other chemosensory behaviors.

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