Noninvasive analysis of fecal reproductive hormone metabolites in female veiled chameleons (Chamaeleo calyptratus) by enzyme immunoassay

Zoo Biol. Jan-Feb 2011;30(1):95-115. doi: 10.1002/zoo.20318.


The noninvasive technique of gonadal steroid metabolite measurement in feces for evaluation of reproductive activity has proven an effective and important tool for population management in various captive species, but has not yet been validated and used in reptile species. In this study, enzyme immunoassays (EIAs) were validated for the analysis of fecal samples from female veiled chameleons (Chamaeleo calyptratus) for estrogen (E2), testosterone (T), and progesterone (P) and their metabolites. High performance liquid chromatography and physiological methods (GnRH stimulation) were used for the validation of the assays. Biological events, such as skin color changes indicative of ovarian activity and oviposition, correlated with the cyclical pattern of E2, T and P metabolites in feces over a period of two reproductive cycles. This is the first study to report frequent longitudinal measurements of fecal hormone levels by EIA in a reptile species.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Estradiol / analysis*
  • Feces / chemistry*
  • Female
  • Immunoenzyme Techniques / methods
  • Immunoenzyme Techniques / veterinary*
  • Lizards / physiology*
  • Progesterone / analysis*
  • Testosterone / analysis*


  • Testosterone
  • Progesterone
  • Estradiol