Preen oil chemical composition in herring gull Larus argentatus, common gull Larus canus and black-headed gull Chroicocephalus ridibundus confirms their status as two separate genera

Publication date: April 2020Source: Biochemical Systematics and Ecology, Volume 89Author(s): Izabela Fischer, Włodzimierz Meissner, Łukasz P. Haliński, Piotr StepnowskiAbstractFatty acid and alcohol components of preen oil were determined in three gull species that belong to two systematic genera: herring gull Larus argentatus, common gull Larus canus and black-headed gull Chroicocephalus ridibundus. All gulls were captured in winter, in Gdańsk, Poland. All gulls produced monoesters composed of C7–C16 saturated fatty acids and C11–C20 saturated alcohols, with n-octanoic acid and n-hexadecanol as the major fatty acid and alcohol, respectively. Preen oils of black-headed gull had higher content of trimethyl fatty acids, 2,8-dimethylundecanoic acid, 2,6-dimethylundecanoic acid and 2,6-dimethylnonanoic acid, and lower content of 2-methyl fatty acids than oils of herring gull and common gull. Preen oils produced by black-headed gull also had lower content of 2-methyl alcohols. The relative contents of n-octanoic acid and n-hexadecanol did not differ among species. The differences among species are probably not a result of different diet, as all gulls fed mainly on household refuse. Hence, preen oil analysis confirmed the taxonomic relations among these gull species, that recently were placed into two different genera.
Source: Biochemical Systematics and Ecology - Category: Biochemistry Source Type: research

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