Identification of Volatiles from the Secretions and Excretions of African Wild Dogs (Lycaon pictus)
- 716 Downloads
Gas chromatography/mass spectrometry was used to identify 103 organic compounds from urine, feces, anal glands, and preputial glands of free-ranging African wild dogs, Lycaon pictus. Aliphatic acids were the dominant class of compound in all materials. In addition to aliphatic acids, urine contained dimethyl sulfone, 1,3-propanediol, benzoic acid, 1-methyl-2,4-imidazolidinedione, and squalene as major components: feces contained indole and cholesterol; and both contained 2-piperidone, phenol, 4-methyl phenol, benzeneacetic acid, and benzenepropanoic acid and other compounds. Anal gland secretion was particularly rich in cholesterol and fatty acids, and preputial gland secretion rich in squalene. A large majority of the identified compounds have been reported from other mammals, including species sympatric with African wild dogs. Eleven of the African wild dog components have not been reported previously from mammals and have not been found in sympatric species; one component, 1-methylimidazole-5-carboxaldehyde has not been reported previously as a natural product. In the chemical profiles of their urine, feces, and anal gland secretion African wild dogs differ markedly from other canids.
KeywordsLycaon pictus African wild dog Semiochemical Pheromone Chemical communication Scent mark
We are grateful to the Paul G Allen Family Foundation for its generous support of this research; to the Botswana Department of Wildlife and National Parks for permission to work in Botswana under research permit number EWT 3/3/8 XXIV (71); to the Restek Corporation for supplying columns and consumables, and to Prof Ben Burger, Laboratory for Ecological Chemistry, University of Stellenbosch, South Africa for providing 1-methyl-2,4-imidazolidinedione. Drs R. Jackson and A. Wilson carried out immobilizations. Samples were collected by the BPCT research team of L. Pfefo, M. Sarefo, B. Sango, A. Stein, F. Broekhuis, and G. Cozzi.
- Albone, E. S. 1984. Mammalian Semiochemistry. The Investigation of Chemical Signals Between Mammals. John Wiley and Sons, Chichester.Google Scholar
- Burger, B. V. 2005. Mammalian semiochemicals. Top. Curr. Chem. 240:231–278.Google Scholar
- Creel, S. and Creel, N. M. 2002. The African Wild Dog Behavior, Ecology and Conservation. Princeton University Press, Princeton.Google Scholar
- Creel, S., Mills, M. G. L., and McNUTT, J. W. 2004. African wild dogs. Demography and population dynamics of African wild dogs in three critical populations, pp. 337–350, in D. W. Macdonald and C. Sillero-Zubiri (eds.), Biology and Conservation of Wild Canids. Oxford University Press, Oxford.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
- Durbin, L. S., Venkataraman, A., Hedges, S., and Duckworth, W. 2004. Dhole Cuon alpinus (Pallas, 1811), pp 210–219, in C. Sillero-Zubiri, M. Hoffmann and D.W. Macdonald (eds.), Canids: Foxes, Wolves, Jackals and Dogs Status Survey and Conservation Action Plan. IUCN/SSC Canid Specialist Group.Google Scholar
- IUCN 2012. IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Version 2012.1. <www.iucnredlist.org>. Downloaded on 11 September 2012.
- Mech, L. D. and Boitani, L. (eds.) 2003. Wolves Behaviour Ecology and Conservation. University of Chicago Press, Chicago.Google Scholar
- Nielsen, L. T., Eaton, D. K., Wright, D. W., and Schmidt-French, B. 2006. Characteristic odours of Tadarida brasiliensis mexicana Chiroptera: Molossidae. J. Cave Karst Stud. 68:27–31.Google Scholar
- Parker, M. 2010. Territoriality and scent marking behavior of African wild dogs in northern Botswana. Ph.D. dissertation, University of Montana, Missoula.Google Scholar
- Wang, X., Tedford, R. H., van Valkenburgh, B., and Wayne, R. K. 2004. Ancestry evolutionary history, molecular systematics, and evolutionary ecology of canidae, pp. 39–54, in D. W. Macdonald and C. Sillero-Zubiri (eds.), Biology and Conservation of Wild Canids. Oxford University Press, Oxford.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
- Woodroffe, R., McNutt, J. W., and Mills, M. G. L. 2004. African wild dog Lycaon pictus, pp. 174–183, in C. Sillero-Zubiri, M. Hoffmann, and D. W. Macdonald (eds.), Canids: Foxes, Wolves, Jackals and Dogs Status Survey and Conservation Action Plan. IUCN/SSC Canid Specialist Group, IUCN, Cambridge.Google Scholar