Hormonal regulation of male reproductive behavior in the lizard Anolis sagrei: A test of the aromatization hypothesis

Richard R. Tokarz

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

26 Scopus citations


This study examined the hypothesis that aromatization of testosterone (T) to estradiol (E) is required to activate reproductive behavior in castrated male lizards (Anolis sagrei). Adult, reproductively active males were assigned to an intact control group or to one of four treatment groups. Treatment males were castrated and 1 week later three of the four castrated groups were implanted with subcutaneous pellets containing either 0.05 mg of E, 0.5 mg of T, or 0.5 mg of dihydrotestosterone (DHT). Two weeks after pellet implantation, males were tested with stimulus males, and 2 days later were tested with stimulus females. Behavioral tests were of 15-min duration and were videotaped. Significantly fewer E-treated castrates erected a crest in tests with stimulus males than did intact males. In tests with stimulus females, significantly fewer E-treated castrates displayed, neck-gripped, and intromitted than did intact males. Estradiol-treated castrates also showed significantly less display behavior than did intact males. However, aggressive and sexual behavior of DHT-treated castrates was not significantly different from that of intact males. The same was true for T-treated castrates with the exception that display behavior in tests with stimulus females was reduced compared to that of intact males. The results suggest that aromatization of T to E is not required for induction of androgen-dependent reproductive behavior in this lizard.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)364-377
Number of pages14
JournalHormones and Behavior
Issue number3
StatePublished - Sep 1986
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Endocrinology
  • Endocrine and Autonomic Systems
  • Behavioral Neuroscience


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