Analyses of Skin Secretions of Vipera ammodytes (Linnaeus, 1758) (Reptilia: Serpentes), with Focus on the Complex Compounds and Their Possible Role in the Chemical Communication

Kostadin Andonov, Angel Dyugmedzhiev, Simeon Lukanov, Miroslav Slavchev, Emiliya Vacheva, Nikola Stanchev, Georgi Popgeorgiev, Deyan Duhalov, Yurii V. Kornilev, Daniela Nedeltcheva-Antonova, Borislav Naumov
2020 Molecules  
Snakes rely heavily on chemical cues when foraging, searching for mates, etc. Snakes' sex attractiveness pheromones comprise mainly heavy, semi-volatile compounds such as ketones. Here we investigated the composition of skin secretions of adult Vipera ammodytes (Linnaeus, 1758) individuals. The samples were analyzed by gas chromatography/mass spectrometry and the identification of the compounds was performed using commercial mass spectral libraries and retention times. The relative
more » ... lative concentrations of all detected compounds were tested for significant differences between (1) male vs. female live individuals, (2) shed skin vs. live individuals, and (3) pre-reproductive vs. reproductive live individuals. We detected fifty-nine compounds of which six were ketones. Two ketones (2-pentacosanone and 2-heptacosanone) were present in many of the samples and thus may have an important role in the V. ammodytes chemical communication. We did not find significant differences between the relative concentrations of the compounds between male and female individuals (only three compounds are exceptions). Significant differences were found between extracts from shed skins and live individuals and between live pre-reproductive individuals and live reproductive individuals. The results of the study suggest that chemical communication in V. ammodytes involves less compounds in comparison to the known literature data for other species.
doi:10.3390/molecules25163622 pmid:32784906 fatcat:nalbx6jgnjcgdcxptkeuelnw5a