A Second Front in the Sagrei-Cristatellus Wars: Anolis Sagrei Arrives in Costa Rica

Not content with kicking butt in Florida, Anolis sagrei has recently been reported from the Caribbean coast of Costa Rica. Photo by Melissa Losos.

Anole Annals has previously reported on the ongoing interactions between A. cristatellus and A. sagrei in Miami (for example, here and cool video here), as well as the invasion of Costa Rica by A. cristatellus. Now the plot has thickened.

In a 2009 paper in Zootaxa, Savage and Bolaños reported that A. sagrei had been collected in the vicinity of Limon, the same region in which A. cristatellus also has been introduced. Jay Savage has kindly provided further information that A. sagrei is not only common in some parts of central Limon, where A. cristatellus is also known to be common, but it is also reported to be common at a Shell gas station in the nearby town of Moin, a town in which, again, A. cristatellus is common. It will be interesting to see how rapidly A. sagrei spreads in Costa Rica, and how the two species interact. One interesting twist: in Miami, it is A. cristatellus that has invaded in the presence of an already well-established A. sagrei; in Costa Rica, the table is turned. There’s a great research project waiting to be done here!

About Jonathan Losos

Professor and Curator of Herpetology at the Museum of Comparative Zoology at Harvard University. I've spent my entire professional career studying anoles and have discovered that the more I learn about anoles, the more I realize I don't know.

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