Female Oz lizards literally turn their backs on mates to avoid sex

Buzz 7

Melbourne, Australia

Apr 30 (ANI): Females of an Australian species of lizard rely on testosterone when they want to put off a male from copulating with her, according to researchers at University of Melbourne.

Evolutionary ecology Dr Devi Stuart-Fox of the University of Melbourne, and colleagues studied the female Lake Eyre dragon lizard (Ctenophorus maculosus) and found that she displays a bright orange belly and throat during parts of her breeding season, which researchers think is driven by the hormone testosterone.

They found that the colour features prominently when the female wants to keep amorous males off their back.

The researchers examined female lizards taken from Lake Eyre in South Australia and observed what happened when they were in the company of males.

When lizards copulate, the male bites the female’s neck, climbs on top of her, wraps his tail around hers and inserts one of his two penises.

This can be dangerous for females because when the males bite them on the neck, this can pierce the female’s spine and result in death.

Therefore, once the female’s eggs have been fertilised, she will try to avoid mating. However, males don’t give up easily.

“The males are really persistent. They try and force copulation and they harass females all through the breeding season,” ABC Online quoted Stuart-Fox as saying.

Unreceptive females drive away advancing males by taking on a threatening posture and if that doesn’t work, they throw themselves on their backs and reveal their bright orange underside.


Comment from Leslie

This was way too interesting NOT to post. Seems like females have a lot in common – no matter the specie. The same goes for males….at least men only have one…well you know where I am going from here.


Author: Leslie Carol Botha

Author, publisher, radio talk show host and internationally recognized expert on women's hormone cycles. Social/political activist on Gardasil the HPV vaccine for adolescent girls. Co-author of "Understanding Your Mood, Mind and Hormone Cycle." Honorary advisory board member for the Foundation for the Study of Cycles and member of the Society for Menstrual Cycle Research.