Enrique Font

Laboratorio de Etología

Instituto Cavanilles de Biodiversidad y Biología Evolutiva

Universidad de Valencia



e-mail: enrique.font@uv.es

                                phone: +34 96 354 3659

                                   fax: +34 96 354 3670






Associate Professor of Zoology, Cavanilles Institute for Biodiversity and Evolutionary Biology, and Department of Zoology, University of Valencia (Spain)



1988 Ph.D. (Ethology), University of Tennessee (Knoxville, USA)
1982 Grado de Licenciatura, University of Valencia
1981 Licenciado en Ciencias Biológicas, University of Valencia


Major research interests

I am generally interested in animal communication, evolution of behavior, comparative cognition and neuroethology. Since 1989 my research has focused on a range of topics relating to the behavior and neurobiology of reptiles. Most of the research in my lab is conducted with several species of locally available lacertid lizards (family Lacertidae), although we also have ongoing projects with other lacertids (including Gallotia galloti from Tenerife), Liolaemus (family Tropiduridae), and mealworm beetles (Tenebrio molitor). I am also interested in the study of adult neurogenesis and neuronal regeneration from a comparative perspective.


Current research projects

· chemoreception and chemical communication in lacertids (Podarcis)
· dynamic visual signals in lizards (Podarcis, Gallotia, Liolaemus, Gonatodes)
· ultraviolet reflectance and communication in lacertid lizards
· coloration and color vision in lacertid lizards

· comparative reptilian cognition
· adult neurogenesis and neuronal regeneration in reptiles
· pheromones and chemical communication in beetles (Tenebrio molitor)


Selected recent publications

Font, E., E. Desfilis, M. Pérez-Cañellas & J.M. García-Verdugo (2001) Neurogenesis and neuronal regeneration in the adult reptilian brain. Brain, Behavior and Evolution 58:276-295. (.pdf)

Font, E. & E. Desfilis (2002) Chemosensory recognition of familiar and unfamiliar conspecifics by juveniles of the Iberian wall lizard, Podarcis hispanica. Ethology 108:319-330. (.pdf)

Desfilis, E. & E. Font (2002) Efectos de la experiencia en el comportamiento depredador de los reptiles. Revista Española de Herpetología 2002:79-94.

Desfilis, E., E. Font, M. Belekhova & N. Kenigfest (2002) Afferent and efferent projections of the dorsal anterior thalamic nuclei in the lizard Podarcis hispanica. Brain Research Bulletin 57:447-450.

García-Verdugo, J.M., S. Ferrón, N. Flames, L. Collado, E. Desfilis & E. Font (2002) The proliferative ventricular zone in adult vertebrates: A comparative study using reptiles, birds, and mammals. Brain Research Bulletin 57:765-775.

Font, E. & E. Desfilis (2003) Courtship, mating, and sex pheromones in the mealworm beetle, Tenebrio molitor. In B.J. Ploger & K. Yasukawa, eds., Teaching Animal Behavior in Laboratory and Field. Academic Press, New York, pp. 9-18.

Font, E. & E. Desfilis (2003) Courtship, mating, and sex pheromones in the mealworm beetle, Tenebrio molitor. In B.J. Ploger & K. Yasukawa, eds., Exploring Animal Behavior in Laboratory and Field. Academic Press, New York, pp. 43-58.

Desfilis, E., E. Font & F. Guillén-Salazar (2003) Stimulus control of predatory behavior by the Iberian wall lizard, Podarcis hispanica (Sauria, Lacertidae): Effects of familiarity with prey. Journal of Comparative Psychology 117:309-316. (.pdf)

Font, E. & M. Molina-Borja (2004) Ultraviolet reflectance of color patches in Gallotia galloti from Tenerife, Canary Islands. In V. Pérez-Mellado, ed., The Biology of Lacertid Lizards: Evolutionary and Ecological Perspectives. Institut Menorquí d'Estudis (Recerca 8), Menorca, pp. 201-221. (.pdf)

Moya, A. & E. Font, eds. (2004) Evolution: From Molecules to Ecosystems. Oxford University Press, Oxford. www.oup.co.uk/isbn/0-19-851542-1

Carazo, P., E. Sánchez, E. Font & E. Desfilis (2004) Chemosensory cues allow male Tenebrio molitor beetles to assess the reproductive status of potential mates. Animal Behaviour 68:123-129. (.pdf)

Barbosa, D., E. Desfilis, M.A. Carretero & E. Font (2005) Chemical stimuli mediate species recognition in Podarcis wall lizards. Amphibia-Reptilia 26:257-263. (.pdf)

Molina-Borja, M., E. Font & G.M. Avila (2006) Sex and population variation in ultraviolet reflectance of colour patches in Gallotia galloti (Fam, Lacertidae) from Tenerife (Canary Islands). Journal of Zoology 268:193-206. (.pdf)

Barbosa, D., E. Font, E. Desfilis & M.A. Carretero (2006) Chemically mediated species recognition in closely related Podarcis wall lizards. Journal of Chemical Ecology 32:1587-1598. (.pdf)

Carazo, P., E. Font & B. Alfthan (2007) Chemosensory assessment of sperm competition levels and the evolution of internal spermatophore guarding. Proceedings of the Royal Society B 274:261-267. (.pdf)

Labra, A., P. Carazo, E. Desfilis & E. Font (2007) Agonistic interactions in a Liolaemus lizard:Structure of head bob displays. Herpetologica 63:11-18. (.pdf)

Palacios, V., E. Font & R. Márquez (2007) Iberian wolf howls: Acoustic structure, individual variation, and a comparison with North American populations. Journal of Mammalogy 88:606-613. (.pdf)

Pérez i de Lanuza, G. & E. Font (2007) Ultraviolet reflectance of male nuptial colouration in sand lizards (Lacerta agilis) from the Pyrenees. Amphibia-Reptilia 28:438-443. (.pdf)

Carazo, P., E. Font & E. Desfilis (2007) Chemosensory assessment of rival competitive ability and scent mark function in a lizard, Podarcis hispanica. Animal Behaviour 74:895-902. (.pdf)

Sampedro, C., E. Font & E. Desfilis (2008) Size variation and cell proliferation in chemosensory brain areas of a lizard (Podarcis hispanica): Effects of sex and season. European Journal of Neuroscience 28:87-98. (.pdf)

Carazo, P., E. Font & E. Desfilis (2008) Beyond 'nasty neighbours' and 'dear enemies'? Individual recognition by scent marks in a lizard (Podarcis hispanica). Animal Behaviour 76:1953-1963. (.pdf)

Carazo, P., E. Font, E. Forteza-Behrendt & E. Desfilis (2009) Quantity discrimination in Tenebrio molitor: Evidence of numerosity discrimination in an invertebrate? Animal Cognition 12:463-470. (.pdf)

Font, E., G. Pérez i de Lanuza & C. Sampedro (2009) Ultraviolet reflectance and cryptic sexual dichromatism in the ocellated lizard, Lacerta (Timon) lepida (Squamata: Lacertidae). Biological Journal of the Linnean Society 97:766-780. (.pdf)

Carazo, P. &  E. Font (2010) Putting information back into biological communication. Journal of Evolutionary Biology 23:661-669. (.pdf)

Font, E. & P. Carazo (2010) Animals in translation: Why there is meaning (but probably no message) in animal communication. Animal Behaviour 80:e1-e6. (.pdf)

Bohórquez-Alonso, M.L., J. Martinez Cotrina, D. Aquilar  Pardo, E. Font & M. Molina-Borja (2010) Sex differences in antipredator tail-waving displays of the diurnal yellow-headed gecko Gonatodes albogularis from tropical forests of Colombia. Journal of Ethology 28:305-311. (.pdf)

Font, E., P. Carazo, G. Pérez i de Lanuza & D. Barbosa (2010) Comportamiento y comunicación animal: ¿Qué nos enseñan los lagartos? Acta Zoológica Lilloana 54:12-35. (.pdf)

Pérez i de Lanuza, G. & E. Font (2010) Lizard blues: Blue body coloration and ultraviolet polychromatism in lacertid lizards. Revista Española de Herpetología 24:67-84. (.pdf)

Bohórquez-Alonso, M.L., E. Font & M. Molina-Borja (2011) Activity and body orientation of Gallotia galloti in different habitats and daily times. Amphibia-Reptilia 32:93-103. (.pdf)

Carazo, P., P. Molina-Vila &  E. Font  (2011) Male reproductive senescence as a potential source of sexual conflict in a beetle. Behavioral Ecology 22:192-198. (.pdf)

Carazo, P., E. Font & E. Desfilis (2011) The role of scent marks in female choice of territories and refuges in a lizard (Podarcis hispanica). Journal of Comparative Psychology 125:362-365. (.pdf)

Font, E., P. Carazo, G. Pérez i de Lanuza & M. Kramer (2012) Predator-elicited foot shakes in wall lizards (Podarcis muralis): Evidence for a pursuit-deterrent function. Journal of Comparative Psychology 126:87-96. (.pdf)

Font, E., D. Barbosa, C. Sampedro & P. Carazo (2012) Social behavior, chemical communication, and adult neurogenesis: Studies of scent mark function in Podarcis wall lizards. General and Comparative Endocrinology 177:9-17. (.pdf)

Carazo, P., R. Fernández-Perea & E. Font (2012) Quantity estimation based on numerical cues in the mealworm beetle (Tenebrio molitor). Frontiers in Psychology 3:1-7. (.pdf)

Pérez i de Lanuza, G., E. Font & P. Carazo (2013) Color-assortative mating in a color-polymorphic lacertid lizard. Behavioral Ecology 24:273-279. (.pdf)

Luna, S., G. Pérez i de Lanuza & E. Font (2013) Use of an infrared thermographic camera to measure field body temperatures of small lacertid lizards. Herpetological Review 44:59-62. (.pdf)

Pérez i de Lanuza, G., E. Font & J.L. Monterde (2013) Using visual modelling to study the evolution of lizard coloration: Sexual selection drives the evolution of sexual dichromatism in lacertids. Journal of Evolutionary Biology. (.pdf)


Courses taught

Etología (Ethology, 5 credits, cod. 33061)

Ecología del comportamiento (Behavioral ecology, 3 credits, Master en Biodiversidad: Conservación y Evolución)

Herpetología (Herpetology, 3 credits, Master en Biodiversidad: Conservación y Evolución)


People currently in the Ethology lab

Pau Carazo - assistant professor

Diana Barbosa - doctoral student
Vicente Palacios - doctoral student
Guillem Pérez - doctoral student
Carlos Sampedro - doctoral student


Collaborators and lab friends (past & present)

Miguel Angel Carretero - CIBIO, Centro de Investigação em Biodiversidade e Recursos Genéticos (Vairão, Portugal)

Ester Desfilis - Universidad Complutense de Madrid

Leo Fleishman - Union College (Schenectady, NY)

José Manuel García Verdugo - Instituto Cavanilles, Universidad de Valencia

Matthew Kramer - Biometrical Consulting Service, USDA (Beltsville, MD)

Antonieta Labra - University of Oslo (Norway)

Miguel Molina Borja - Universidad de La Laguna (Tenerife)

Martin Whiting - MacQuarie University (Australia)



Animal Behavior Society
Asociación Herpetológica Española
Association for the Study of Animal Behaviour
Sociedad Española de Etología


Mailing address

Instituto Cavanilles de Biodiversidad y Biología Evolutiva
Universidad de Valencia
c/ Catedrático José Beltrán no. 2

46980 - Paterna
Valencia (Spain)