Histological and structural observations on pre-anal glands of the gekkonid lizard, Hemidactylus flaviviridis
N. B. CHAUHAN
Division of Histophysiology, Department of Zoology, Faculty of Science, M.S. University of Baroda, Baroda, 390 002, India (Accepted 9 May 1985)
The skins of vertebrates contain both unicellular glands, which discharge directly to the surface and multicellular glands which communicate with the surface by a duct. Mucin secretion is very common among the aquatic forms whereas lipid secretion is characteristic of terrestrial forms. In comparison with mammals, which possess, for example, sebaceous, sweat, mammary and Meibomian glands, birds and reptiles have fewer types of epidermal gland. Notable are the uropygial and Harderian glands of birds (Cowan, 1971; Maiti, 1971), the chin glands of tortoises (Rose, 1970), the cloacal glands of blind snakes (Blum et al. 1971) and the cephalic glands in seasnakes (Bums & Pickwell, 1972). In addition to these glands, glandular cells and scales occur in various regions of the squamate integument (Maderson, 1967; Maderson & Licht, 1967). Prominent among them are the pre-anal glands of lizards. The pre-anal glands of reptiles have been described only for taxonomic purposes (Dumeril & Bibron, 1834; Taylor & Leonard, 1956) with scant attention to their anatomical features, functional significance and seasonal variation. It was in the context of this limited information (Cole, 1966; Rastogi & Prasad, 1972; Chiu & Maderson, 1975) that the present work on the pre-anal glands of Hemidactylus flaviviridis was carried out. The object of the histological study was to compare its structure with similar glands in Uromastix hardwickii (Athavale, Asnani, Pilo & Shah, 1977) and in other lizards. Metabolic studies of the glands and their relation to the gonadal cycle have been reported elsewhere (Athavale, Shah & Ramachandran, 1982).
J. Anat. (1986), 144, pp. 93-98.