RESEARCHERS SPONSORED by your AG Society are using reptile scent to identify lizard species in outback
Australia. PhD candidate Stephen Zozaya and Dr Conrad Hoskin, both from James Cook University, and volunteers spent two months catching the widespread Bynoe’s gecko, which they think may really be many distinct species. Stephen and Conrad are trying to find how these different species tell each other apart to prevent interbreeding, and think they may be doing it by smell. “Using chemical analysis, we’ve found that different gecko populations have different scents,” Stephen explains. “There’s more work to be done, but we hope this information can help us figure out how many species there really are in this group.”
This smallAustralian lizard, Bynoe’s gecko, may turn out to be more than one species.
James Cook University lizard researchers Stephen Zozaya (at left) and Dr Conrad Hoskin.