Walking, Talking Green Anole Stars at Wild Amelia Nature Festival

 

Ms. Ann-Ole thanks local herpetologists. From the Wild Amelia Facebook Page: Many thanks to herpetologists Mark Beshel (far left) and Caleb Bress (far right) of the Jacksonville Zoo and Gardens for their entertaining and informative presentation on the green anole at the last of the Wild Nites this Festival year. Who knew the green anole could be sooo much fun? Thanks also to our own Ms-Ann-ole! Photo--Scott Moore

Ms. Ann-Ole thanks local herpetologists. From the Wild Amelia Facebook Page: Many thanks to herpetologists Mark Beshel (far left) and Caleb Bress (far right) of the Jacksonville Zoo and Gardens for their entertaining and informative presentation on the green anole at the last of the Wild Nites this Festival year. Who knew the green anole could be sooo much fun? Thanks also to our own Ms-Ann-ole! Photo–Scott Moore

The just completed Wild Amelia Nature Festival this year featured the green anole as its mascot. AA‘s friend, anole author Karen Cusick, attended and filed this report:

“The Wild Amelia Facebook page has photos and some info on a lot of the activities–releasing sea turtles, ecotours on foot, by kayak, and by segway, learning about bats with the Bat Lady, sunrise yoga on the beach, etc., so I hope that helped.

Although the green anole was the Critter of the Year, the main things specifically related to green anoles were: the green anole presentation by the people from the zoo (along with the person in the anole suit); a couple of booths at the expo that featured some pictures and books about anoles and other lizards; the kids’ activity where they got prizes for going around answering questions about anoles; and the festival tee shirts with the anole logo. I noticed that the person in the anole costume was also on hand to congratulate two children for becoming Seashore Junior Naturalists.”

Karen also nabbed two photography awards for the photos below. Congratulations, Karen!

Award-winning photo by Karen Cusick. First place in “Other Fauna” category for non-professional photographers.

Another award-winning photo by Karen Cusick. First place in “Bird” category

Another Three-Legged Lizard

sagrei abaco 2015 island 5(k25)

Here’s yet another three-legged lizard. This is a male brown anole (Anolis sagrei) from Abaco, Bahamas  Despite missing most of its right leg (yes, the image is reversed), the little guy was fat and sassy and got around just fine. When he was let go, he even crouched down as if about to jump, before thinking better of it.

We’ve had plenty of previous postings on these three-leggers [for the full list, type “three-legged lizard” into the search bar on the right]. Always looking for more examples!

 

Mom’s Diet Is Important for Her Babies–Even in Anoles!

A good investment in the future. Photo by David Delaney

A good investment in the future. Photo by David Delaney

What moms eat and how much they eat can affect their reproduction, as well as many characteristics of their offspring – this has been shown in many different animals. But are these effects found in anoles as well? Two recently published papers from my lab address this topic in Anolis sagrei. In the first paper (coauthored with Matt Lovern), we housed reproductive females under two diet treatments (low vs. high amounts of food) for about four months in the lab. After quantifying reproductive variables (e.g., egg production, egg size, yolk steroid hormones) and offspring phenotypes, we showed that diet treatment had no effect on how many eggs a female produced and on allocation of steroid hormones to yolk, but females in the high-food treatment consistently produced larger eggs (resulting in larger offspring) than those in the low-food treatment. Also, regardless of maternal feeding treatment, egg size and the concentration of yolk testosterone increased over successive eggs that females produced.

We then incubated the eggs and raised the offspring under controlled conditions in the lab. Offspring produced by mothers in the high-food treatment had increased growth rates and survival; these patterns were driven by offspring size (larger size offspring in the high-food maternal treatment). We then performed a complementary study where we reduced maternal yolk investment by experimentally extracting yolk from eggs in order to determine if the effects of maternal diet were mediated by the amount of yolk invested into eggs. The effect of experimental yolk reduction on egg/offspring size, growth and survival mirrored the effects of maternal diet. These findings suggest that the maternal effects of diet on offspring growth and survival are likely mediated by how much yolk females allocate to eggs. This study provides evidence for a functional mechanism of diet-mediated maternal effects and demonstrates that there are fitness consequences of maternal diet.

Whether these effects of maternal diet are adaptive was the topic of the second study (coauthored by three undergraduate students in my lab). This “follow-up” study (conducted a few years later) was also a controlled lab-based study, where we housed mothers under similar “high” versus “low” diet treatments as described above (but the treatments were not entirely the same for logistical reasons). The resultant offspring were then raised reciprocally under the same two diet treatments that their mothers experienced. This experimental design (two levels of maternal diet and two levels of offspring diet) enabled us to test whether low food availability to mothers “prepares” offspring for low-food environments, and likewise, whether high-food maternal environments “prepare” offspring for environments with plenty of food.

Surprisingly, the effect of diet treatment on maternal reproduction was the opposite of that found in the first study. This time the number of eggs produced by females in the low-food treatment was half that produced by females in the high-food treatment; egg size was not affected at all by diet treatment. These contrasting results could be explained by the slightly different feeding regimes – in the first study, all lizards were given the same amount at each feeding, but the feeding frequency per week differed between treatments, whereas in the second study the feeding frequency was the same between treatments and the quantity of food provided differed between treatments.

Despite this, the primary finding of the study was that offspring survival was relatively high when there was plenty of food available to them (not surprising). However, offspring also survived comparatively well under poor food conditions, but only when their mothers also had little amounts of food during reproduction. These findings suggest that poor maternal environments might ‘prepare’ offspring for environments with little food resources.

 

 

 

New Species of Anole from Panama

 

elcope dewlap

Introducing Anolis elcopeensis. (B) is a female; the rest are males.

In their new paper in Amphibian & Reptile Conservation, Poe and colleagues note that thirteen new species of Anolis have been described from Panama since 2007, bringing that country’s total to 44. They now raise those numbers to 15 and 45.

The first thing you need to know about Anolis elcopeensis is how to pronounce it. It’s named after the park formerly known as El Cope National Park in Panama, so it’s el-coh-pay-en-sis (the park now goes by the name Parque Nacional G. D. Omar Torrijos H.).

The second thing you need to know is that A. elcopeensis is a very close relative of A. fuscoauratus, a species widely-distributed throughout Amazonia and elsewhere in South America. Anolis elcopeensis differs from A. fuscoauratus and related species by its orange dewlap and small size (maximum: 45 mm snout-vent length). Mitochondrial DNA differences support its designation as a distinct species.

With the recognition of A. elcopeensis, that brings us to 399 Anolis species (according to a search on the Reptile Database)! Woo-hoo! And I suspect there are more soon to come. Indeed, Poe et al. suggest that A. fuscoauratus may be a complex of many cryptic species. Stay tuned!

Abstract:

We describe Anolis elcopeensis, a new species of anole lizard from low to moderate elevations of the Pacific slope of the Cordillera Central of central Panama. Anolis elcopeensis is a close relative of and resembles the Amazonian species A. fuscoauratus but differs from it and similar species mainly in body size, male dewlap color, and mitochondrial DNA. We estimate the phylogenetic position of the new species relative to all species of Anolis, and analyze variation in the mitochondrial COI gene among some populations of the new species. We also discuss the mythical presence of Anolis fuscoauratus in Panama, document the possible occurrence of A. maculiventris in Panama, and present preliminary evidence for multiple cryptic fuscoauratus-like species in eastern Panama.

Lizard Brain Research in the Johnson Lab

Michele Johnson’s Lab at Trinity University seems to have brains on the brain. Jake Stercula recently reported on his studies on how the different preferred temperatures of Puerto Rican anoles species affects their brains. That is, how do brains of different species handle being at different temperatures? Read all about his research on “how temperature affects lizard brain cells.”

Meanwhile, Johnson lab member Maria Jaramillo is studying how lizard brains process different images. She’s showing anoles videos of another lizard displaying or of a leaf and investigating how brain activity differs.

It’s Hard Out Here for an Anole

I moved to Florida almost a year ago but am just now gearing up for my first, full-fledged anole deluge, typical of Florida in the spring. As the temperature rises, more and more anoles can be seen basking, mating, or, most frequently, scattering to get out from under your feet as you walk down the sidewalk! Life as an anole can be challenging, as has been documented here on AA by the likes of James Stroud and Ambika Kamath, but now that I am in the thick of anole season here in Gainesville, seeing first hand the tribulations that arise from amazingly dense populations of lizards navigating an ever-challenging urban environment, I have come to realize (and in a few cases document!) the brutal realities of life as an anole in central Florida. Below are a few of the more incredible maladies I’ve seen since moving to Florida:

  • A lizard who just couldn’t quite fit through the stem of a Heliconia, a fatal miscalculation.

AA Size Palmetto Head

  • An A. carolinensis missing his entire dewlap, possibly from a bite injury? As he ran up the tree on which I released him, I could see the lizard extending what was left of his second ceratobranchials (just under his chin), a fruitless attempt to warn me to bug off.

AA Size Dewlapless

  • A brutally battered A. sagrei. This lizard was missing both eyes and his tail, two of the three injuries still bleeding when I found him, while also sporting a completely broken upper left jaw. Looks like these nasty wounds may have been sustained from a larger predator, such as a bird or pedestrian, as it seems unlikely that a lock-jaw fight between two male lizards would lead to such deadly consequences for the loser.

AA_2AA_1AA_3

Anolis gundlachi and Sustainable Forestry in Puerto Rico

A little over two weeks ago, I had a paper focusing on Anolis gundlachi published in Herpetology Notes. I had known since I was a child that I wanted to be a herpetologist, but when I graduated in 2003 with a Bachelor’s in Environmental Studies, there weren’t many opportunities in my area; I fell into environmental consulting, where I stayed for five years.

Eventually, I came to realize that my life’s journey would never change if I didn’t force it to.  In addition to my love of herpetology, I had always wanted to live in the tropics, so when my lease in Atlanta was up in 2008, I sold most of my belongings and went to live and volunteer at Las Casas de la Selva, an approximately 1,000 acre sustainable forestry project in Patillas, Puerto Rico.

Started on the remnants of an old, abandoned coffee plantation, in the early 1980’s the founders of the project planted the introduced timber tree “Blue mahoe” (Talipariti elatum) on approximately 300 acres, allowing the rest of the property to undergo secondary succession.  Now, the T. elatum is being extracted, and younger native trees that have grown beneath the plantation canopy are left behind. The project is staffed entirely by volunteers, and scientific research is carried out with help from the Earthwatch Institute.  For those not aware, Earthwatch is a non-profit organization that provides a unique form of ecotourism mixed with research. Potential travelers fill out an application, and if approved, join a group for an expedition to one of the dozens of projects Earthwatch partners with, for the sole purpose of assisting with scientific research.  I was given permission to design a study and use Earthwatch volunteers to gather data.Anolis gundlachi

My research idea was simple enough, to set up plots in areas with and without Talipariti elatum and see if the presence of the tree made a difference in anole abundance.  With four to six Earthwatch groups per year, I was well on my way to collecting large amounts of data. Meanwhile, as this was my first field survey ever, I was teaching myself “on the fly” through trial and error, as well as spending nights in my casita reading books on research design, ecology, and Puerto Rican herpetofauna.

One of the most disheartening moments during my research was when I had gained enough experience to realize…that I needed to start over.  After reading numerous articles and books dealing with anoles and general ecology, after accumulating almost two years in the field, I decided that I couldn’t in good faith rely on the data I had gathered at the start of my project. I was too inexperienced when I had first started the study, and I felt that I simply couldn’t be certain of the identifications I had made during previous counts; such are the hazards of self-teaching. I was also convinced that in my attempts to survey as large an area as possible, I had included far too many plots in my study, preventing me from gathering useful data; even if the anole identifications were accurate in each plot, I had so many that I had ended up with few anole counts that allowed me to compare the seasonal abundance of one plot to another.  I reduced the size of my study area to one “control” area (without mahoe) and one “plantation” area (with mahoe), with each area containing six plots.  It was a hard lesson to learn, and even harder to admit my mistakes to myself in the first place.

I also learned a lesson in regard to “citizen science,” of which I am still a huge advocate. I now know that in order to get reliable data, it is up to the researcher to set aside an adequate amount of time for training, as well as to implement a research design that is appropriate for the level of experience your volunteers have.

I restarted my research; and although at first I was decidedly taciturn at going back to the starting line, as I conducted more and more counts, I realized I was getting good, usable data. After I felt I had enough counts, I brought my survey to a close, wrote the paper manuscript, reached out to more experienced colleagues to review it, and eventually submitted it to Herpetology Notes, and received feedback and requests for revisions.  Now, that paper has been published, and to me, it means so much more than just the results showing that the null hypothesis couldn’t be rejected–my paper is proof-positive that I can do this. I can be a herpetologist. I can learn the proper methods and protocols of research design. As someone who is largely self-taught and is getting a late start, completing this study make me certain that my best is yet to come, and I can make useful contributions to the discipline.

The paper‘s abstract:

The island of Puerto Rico has one of the highest rates of regrowth of secondary forests largely due to abandonment of previously agricultural land. The study was aimed at determining the impact of the presence of Talipariti elatum, a timber species planted for forest enrichment, on the abundance of anoles at Las Casas de la Selva, a sustainable forestry project located in Patillas, Puerto Rico. The trees planted around 25 years ago are fast-growing and now dominate canopies where they were planted. Two areas, a control area of second-growth forest without T. elatum and an area within the T. elatum plantation, were surveyed over an 18 month period.  The null hypothesis that anole abundance within the study areas is independent of the presence of T. elatum could not be rejected. The findings of this study may have implications when designing forest management practices where maintaining biodiversity is a goal.

Green Anole Window Decals

We once discussed what the appropriate term would be for a group of anoles, but what about a family of anoles? Is there such a thing? If not, there is now.

Just in case stick figures aren’t an appropriate representation for your family group, look no further than the green anole window decals made personally by herp. lover Andrew. These aren’t yet available on the web, but Andrew may knock a few out for you if you write him directly. I did and now I have one of the most stylish minivans in Florida!Anole family

What You Can Learn from Watching a Lizard for a Long Time

Photo by Ambika Kamath

Behavioral research is often reduced to a large set of data points, necessary of course for statistical analysis. But sometimes what gets lost is actual knowledge of what animals do in their natural habitats. There’s no substitute for just watching an animal over the course of a day or  a week. Often what you’ll see is that animals are not little automatons, repetitively undertaking particular actions in accord (or not) with our theories. Rather, they have lives where they do all kinds of idiosyncratic behaviors, the sort of quirky detail that often get lost in high-falutin’ analyses of behavior. Ambika Kamath demonstrated just this in her recent post, “A Week in the Life of U131.” Here’s the first paragraph. You’ll have to go to her website to read the rest:

When you’re collecting data on the behaviour of individual animals over time, as I am this summer, your observations sometimes feel less like a collection of numbers and more like a collection of personal narratives. Of course, the data are both numbers and narratives, and when it comes time to analyze this collection of datapoints and understand the patterns that emerge from it, the numbers will be all that matter. But in the meanwhile, before I can look the bigger picture, I enjoy considering the individual narratives. And this week, I encountered a lizard whose story illustrates why it’s worth considering these narratives at all.

Anole Annals Wants You…to Write a Post!

The goal of Anole Annals is to be the clearinghouse for all things Anolis, the place that the anole community turns to for the exchange of information or ideas. To do so, we welcome–no, heartily encourage–contributions from anyone and everyone.

Who can post? Anyone who has something to say about the biology, natural history, or amazing-ness of anoles (well, within reason–we leave anole husbandry and sales issues to other websites). And fear not–you’ll have an audience. Anole Annals is now routinely visited by 600-1000 readers a day. That sounds like a broader impact to me!

Anole Annals is a good place to let the anole community know what you’re working on, like Ambika Kamath’s recent overview of her fascinating work on anole social behavior. And, it’s a great way to spread word of your recently published work–why not provide a short precis or tell the backstory of how the paper came to be, like Liam Revell recently did? It’s a great way of giving people the short story of what you’ve done and get them interested in reading the whole paper.

If you are fortunate to live in an anole-inhabited region, tell us about your local species, like David Alfonso’s recent post on the anoles of Colombia. And if you’ve observed something unusual, here’s a good place to report it, like Graham Reynolds note on twig anoles using mangroves.

And it’s just a great place to ask a question, post a photo, or report an observation. Plus, announcements of relevant conferences or personal milestones, such as newly-minted Ph.D.s, are always appropriate.

Posting is easy, and really doesn’t take much time. More than 100 scientists and anole enthusiasts have written posts–you should too! And if you’ve done so before, you’re overdue for another one. Don’t overthink it–just post today!

Anole Research Cakes!

It’s been an eventful year in the Losos Lab–three members of the lab have successfully defended their Ph.D.s in 2014-2015! To celebrate their defences, lab member Talia Moore designed and made three wonderful cakes, each tailored to the research of the newly-minted Ph.D.

For Dr. Martha Muñoz, who studied the shift of high-altitude anoles’ perches from trees to rocks, we had this beauty:

photo 1

 

For Dr. Alexis Harrison, who studied the Anolis dewlap, primarily in A. sagrei:photo 2

And for Dr. Shane Campbell-Staton, who studies geographic variation in cold tolerance in the North American Anolis carolinensisa map with sampling locations rendered in sprinkles, and lizard popsicles!

shane cake

 

Clay Models with Dewlaps Are Attacked More than Clay Models Without Them

modelIn recent years, biologists have put out clay model lizards to measure attack rates by birds and other predators. In a recent study published in Herpetology Notes, Vazquez and Hilje put a twist into this approach, by ornamenting some faux lizards with a colorful dewlap-like structure. Sure enough, those models were attacked more. Here’s their abstract:

We investigated how predatory attacks on Norops lizards occur in old-growth and secondary pre-montane wet forests in Costa Rica using clay models. Using models with secondary sexual characteristics also permitted comparison of attack rates between males and females, as well as the specific site of the attack (head, body, or tail). Birds were found to account for the bulk of predation attempts on the lizard models in both forest types, and there was no significant difference in attack frequency between forests. Attempts were more frequently made on males, indicating that colorful, bright dewlaps used to attract females and for territorial displays might also function in attracting predators. Male models received more attacks on the head, suggesting that birds may preferentially target areas of brighter coloration, whereas female models received more attacks on their tail, indicating that birds may not have adopted any avoidance of a potentially less profitable region from which tails can be autotomized.

Predation of a Gymnophthalmid Lizard by an Andean Motmot (Momotus aequatorialis) in the Canyon of Combeima, Central Andes of Colombia.

The canyon of Combeima is located in the Central Andes in Colombia, in corregimiento of Juntas, municipality of Ibagué (Tolima). This life zone is approximately at 1700 masl (pre-montane forest). The Canyon is known for its biological diversity in birds, anole lizards and some snakes.

In this canyon, the abundance of Andean Motmot (Momotus aequatorialis) is high allowing them to be readily observed. The Andean Motmot, M. aequatorialis was separated as a distinct species from the rest of the complex Momotus momota according to (Stiles 2009). The distribution of M. aequatorialis is reported in mountain regions of the Andes between 1500 and 3200 masl (Hilty and Brown 1986, Stiles 2009).

Andean motmots feed mainly arthropods and fruits (Remsen et al. 1993), and it has been documented that they may also feed of various vertebrates such as frogs (Master 1999), snakes (Stiles & Skutch 1989), hummingbirds (García-C & Zahawi 2006) and mammals such as mice, bats, shrews (Delgado-V. & Brooks 2003, Chacón-Madrigal & Barrantes 2004, Greeney et al. 2006, Sandoval et al . 2008) as well as marsupials of the genus Micoureus (Acevedo-Q 2012).

Here I report predation by M. aequatorialis on a lizard of the family Gymnophthalmidae. The bird was holding the lizard in its beak, lacking a part of its tail (Fig. 1). The observation was conducted for the period in which the bird remained perched on the tree.

IMG_0530

Figure 1. Andean motmot (M. aequatorialis) capturing a Gymnophthalmidae Lizard

I also observed that the M. aequatorialis had an ectoparasite on the blue stain (Fig 2), another example of the various interactions that can be found in this ecosystem.

Motmot_Ecto

 Figure 2. M. aequatorialis with an ectoparasite (Red circle)

Lizard Systematics: Morphology and Molecules Redux

Closely related to snakes after all?

Two years ago, I wrote an AA post on lizard phylogenetics, summarizing the results of a paper by Gauthier et al. that claimed that analyses based on morphological and molecular data produced very different phylogenies. Moreover, Gauthier et al. argued that the morphological data provided absolutely no support for the phylogeny suggested by the molecular data.

The issue has now been further considered in a recent paper by Reeder et al. in PLoS One. These authors provide some new morphological data and add a tad of previously unutilized molecular data; with these data sets, they recover essentially the same disagreement in phylogenies. However, what is new in this paper is that they perform a combined analysis that analyzes morphological and molecular data together. The results of this analysis are firmly in agreement with the molecular data. To address the possibility that this is simply a result of the much greater quantity of molecular characters, the authors also conducted analyses that essentially weighted the molecular and morphological data equally. Still, the result was the tree produced by the molecular data alone.

Perhaps the most striking point in the Gauthier et al. paper was the claim that the morphological data gave absolutely no support for the molecular tree. This suggested, in turn, that if the molecular tree is correct, then morphological evolution has been extraordinarily homoplasious. However, Reeder et al. dispute this claim, finding that a number of morphological characters support the molecular phylogeny.

Reeder et al. also broke the morphological characters into six subsets: cranial characters; characters related to the jaws, teeth, and hyobranchial apparatus; characters related to the vertebral column; other postcranial osteological characters, mostly related to the limbs and limb girdles; miscellaneous morphological characters, including morphology of the osteoderms, scleral ossicles and tongue; and characters of squamation and external morphology. Their analysis found that only the cranial characters were incongruent with the molecular phylogeny, and they suggested that these were the characters in which homoplasy was rampant, leading to false signal in the morphological analyses.

Overall, the authors make a strong case that the molecular phylogeny is likely to be the correct one and that morphological data, particularly cranial characters, are misleading due to homoplasy. It will be interesting to see whether and Gauthier et al. respond to these analyses.

Here is the take home message from the discussion of Reeder et al.’s paper:

Our combined analyses strongly suggest that the phylogenetic hypothesis for living squamates based on the molecular data is correct. Specifically, our results support the hypothesis that Iguania is placed with snakes and anguimorphs, and not at the squamate root (as suggested by morphological data alone). Our conclusions are based on several lines of evidence, including:

(a) combined analyses of the relevant molecular and morphological data supports the molecular placement of Iguania, even when the molecular dataset is reduced to only 63 characters, less than one tenth the size of the morphological dataset,

(b) mapping morphological characters on the combined-data tree shows that there is actually hidden support for the molecular hypothesis in the morphological data (similar to the number of characters supporting the morphological

hypothesis),

(c) the morphological dataset is dominated by misleading phylogenetic signal associated with convergent evolution of a burrowing lifestyle and associated traits, and a similar problem associated with feeding modes may explain the morphological placement of Iguania, and

(d) the morphological hypothesis is unambiguously supported by only one of six subsets of the morphological data. Conversely, we find no evidence for hidden signal supporting the morphological hypothesis among the 46 genes in the molecular dataset; no genes support this hypothesis. Further, the failure of some genes to fully support the molecular placement of iguanians in Toxicofera seems to be associated with sampling error (i.e. shorter genes).

Update on the Anoles of Singapore

Anolis sagrei displaying in front of a supertree at the Gardens by the Bay

Anolis sagrei displaying in front of a supertree at the Gardens by the Bay

Two years ago, we posted on a paper in Nature in Singapore documenting the occurrence of the festive anole, Anolis sagrei, in Singapore. The ubiquitous colonizers had turned up in the newly created Gardens by the Bay, an enormous new botanical garden built on reclaimed land at the southern end of the island. AA decided to look into the situation further and sent this correspondent to the “Lion City” to report back on the situation.

Reporting for duty at the Gardens at approximately 930 am on the morning of 16 April, we quickly determined that the lizards are common in the lushly planted gardens pretty much wherever we went. The only exception was an open meadow housing a statue, where we did see an introduced agamid lizard (below). This area was only searched for three minutes, however, and it would not be surprising to find the anoles in the shrubbery surrounding the statue (below). The other place the lizards were not seen were in the two spectacular indoor cool houses, the Flower Dome and the Cloud Forest. Both are kept at temperatures possibly too low for the lizards, and also likely are fumigated.

IMG_7387

Introduced Calotes versicolor at Gardens by the Bay

IMG_7370xOtherwise, however, the anoles seem to be everywhere and it seems unlikely, given the luxuriance of the vegetation, that they can be eradicated (and we know how well such elimination efforts have fared in Taiwan—not).

The question is whether the anole will spread to the rest of Singapore, and from thence to Malaysia. Given the heavy motor traffic bringing visitors to the gardens, it seems inevitable that the anoles will hitch-hike their way across the bridge and colonize the main island of Singapore, which is for the most part one big Anolis sagrei habitat, with plenty of tropical vegetation everywhere. Moreover, the gift shop at the Gardens was selling orchids. I don’t know where they came from, but if on site, that is a great way to distribute brown anoles far and wide.

IMG_2609xIt’s not clear whether the anole is already present on the Singaporean main island. One commenter on our previous post said that it had been seen elsewhere, and I was told that there were unsubstantiated reports that it had been observed in the Singapore Botanical Garden. I spent several hours there myself and saw the anole mimic pictured on the right, but no anoles.

My prediction is that in ten years, Anolis sagrei will be very common in Singapore. But let’s see what the varanids, the Calotes and the birds have to say about that.

New Monograph on the Reptiles and Amphibians of Southern Florida

meshaka

Meshaka and Layne have just published a masterful review of the native herps of southern Florida in Herpetological Conservation and Biology (freely downloadable). Of most interest to readers of these pages is the treatment of Anolis carolinensis, and it is indicative of the quality of this work: the six pages devoted to the natural history of the green anole is the most authoritative and comprehensive of which I’m aware, covering the literature for this species not only in southern Florida, but throughout its range. This monograph is the starting point for anyone interested in green anole biology. In addition, this section shows how surprisingly little we know about the biology of this species. For example, most of the information on green anole diet comes from Wayne King’s work from 1966.

This volume will be useful to anyone interested in the herpetology of southern Florida.