Green pigmentation in the serum of shingleback lizards (Tiliqua rugosa) was the result of an excess of the bile pigment biliverdin (hyperbiliverdinemia). This was confirmed by comparing the absorbance spectrum of the affected serum with that of commercial biliverdin, using TLC and acidification with both nitric and sulphuric acid. The average content of biliverdin in animals with hyperbiliverdinemia was 2.52 +/- 0.15 mg/100 ml. Significant changes in the packed cell volume, haemoglobin content, blood glucose levels, body mass and levels of erythropoietin were also observed in animals with this form of green jaundice. Interestingly, significant erythrocyte degeneration, especially in the stroma area of the red blood cells, appears to result in a significant release of haemoglobin into the blood serum, which may account for the excess levels of biliverdin. Changes in the haematology of shingleback lizards are discussed along with the probable cause for hyperbiliverdinemia.
|Publication status||Published - 2003|