Green-blood pigmentation in lizards

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The green pigment in the plasma of the scincid lizard genus Prasinohaema is identified as the bile pigment biliverdin. Concentrations of biliverdin in the plasma of P. flavipes, P. prehensicauda and P. virens are 714 ± 79 μmol/1 (mean ± one standard deviation), 1020 ± 624 μmol/1 and 819 ± 89 μmol/1, respectively. These values represent the highest concentration of plasma biliverdin measured for any organism and are the first report of non-pathological biliverdin accumulation in amniotes. We review the literature for fish species with high concentrations of plasma biliverdin and pathological biliverdin accumulation in humans; we find that Prasinohaema species have plasma biliverdin concentrations approximately 1.5-30 times greater than fish species with green blood plasma and 40 times greater than humans with green jaundice. © 1994.

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Comparative Biochemistry and Physiology -- Part A: Physiology

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