Survey of androgens and estrogens in serum, liver and testes of male yellow-bellied slider turtles, Trachemys (= Pseudemys) scripta, a species exhibiting dissociated gametogenesis age-dependent melanism, revealed the presence of numerous androgen precursors, androgens, androgen metabolites, and estrogens in quantities varying with season, tissue, and male coloration.
The most commonly found and abundant androgens in all males were dehydroepiandrosterone (DHEA) and androstenedione, which were present at significantly higher levels in testes than in serum or liver.
Epitestosterone was found in the serum and liver of only melanistic males; testosterone was only rarely recovered.
Behavioral testing of castrated male turtles implanted with various androgens, as well as intact and sham-operated controls, revealed that melanistic males courted more frequently than nonmelanistic males, and that exogenous testosterone was most effective in inducing courtship behavior in castrated males.
Additional publication details
Male sex steroids and hormonal control of male courtship behavior in the yellow-bellied slider turtle, Trachemys scripta
Comparative Biochemistry and Physiology, Part A: Molecular & Integrative Physiology