Is ultra-violet fluorescence a trait related to breeding in the mongolian racerunner (Eremias argus; lacertidae, reptilia)?

Jiao Li, Yucheol Shin, Meiling Hong, Yikweon Jang, Amaël Borzée

Research output: Contribution to journalLetterpeer-review


Ornamental traits such as ultraviolet (UV) fluorescence and reflectance can provide reliable signals indicating the bearer’s condition as a potential mate. UV fluorescence is widely found in nature and used for multiple functions, such as indicating female maturity in arachnids and acting as a signal enhancer in many insects. Lizards can display a broad range of colours, but the function of some of their ornamental traits remains unclear. Here, we report the presence of UV fluorescence in female Eremias argus specimens, a small lizard inhabiting Mongolia, China and the Korean Peninsula. Based on our observation, combined with the literature on the breeding behaviour of the species, we provide two hypotheses, assigning the use of UV fluorescence to: 1) an indicator of females’ body conditions and 2) signal efficacy backup. To verify our hypotheses, we suggest a protocol with three serial trials under low light and enhanced UV light conditions.

Original languageEnglish
Article number3
JournalJournal of Biological Research (Greece)
StatePublished - 2023

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
We are grateful to the reviewers for spending time reviewing our work. Declarations This project is based on museum specimens; therefore, no research ethics approval is applicable. Availability of data All data is presented in the manuscript. Competing Interests The authors declare not to have competing interests. Funding This work was supported by the Foreign Youth Talent Program (QN2021014013L) from the Ministry of Science and Technology to AB; and partially funded by the Hainan Natural Science Foundation (320MS039), Hainan Students Innovation and Entrepreneurship Training Program (S202111658021) and the National Natural Science Foundation of China (31870506). Authors’ contributions Conceptualization: JL, AB; Formal analysis: JL, AB; Funding acquisition: AB, MH, YJ; Visualization: JL, AB; Writing – original draft: JL, AB; Writing – review & editing: JL, AB, YS, MH, YJ.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2023, Aristotle University of Thessaloniki. All rights reserved.


  • Biofluorescence
  • Lizard
  • Mating
  • Signal strengthening
  • True signal


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