Male-Male Interactions in Anolis maynardi

The winner

Bright green male who won the fightAn instantaneous color change for the loser.

Two adult male A. maynardi were sitting on a flat tile deck about 6 inches apart with dewlaps exposed and head crests up. There was much head bobbing and they showed their bright yellow dewlaps by turning their heads sideways. Then fast wrestling occurred – It looked like they were using their mouths to bite each other — with the participants separating briefly before repeating the wrestling, during which they turned each other over and over. We (humans) may have precipitated the end of this bout by opening a door to get a camera, but one male ran off the deck down the vertical wall and the other stayed to watch. At this point a small female ran between the two towards the male nearest the deck. After 10 minutes the male that moved off first is sitting on a hand rail and has changed to his dark color, while the other male remains on a step still bright green.

Also: a brief note on nocturnal feeding. We had our first decent rain of the season on the 24th April and on coming home at about 8.30 pm, a large cosmopolitan gecko and a male A. maynardi were sharing the same wall and feeding on insects attracted to the outdoor lights.

About Pat Shipman

I'm a semi-retired paleoanthropologist with a particular interest in ecology and past ecosystems. Since I now spend several months a year on Little Cayman, which boasts the rare Anolis maynardi, I have gotten very interested in anoles and conservation. I remain an amateur but as there is so little known about A. maynardi I hope the observations my husband and I make will fill in a few gaps. I am also a science writer and biographer, so if you google me or look me up on amazon, all "those people" are really just me, from the scientific books like THE ANIMAL CONNECTION to FEMME FATALE (a biography of Mata Hari).

2 thoughts on “Male-Male Interactions in Anolis maynardi

  1. This may be a silly question, but I am OK with that.

    Do “loser” green anoles (A. maynardi or otherwise) often remain dark for a some time following a battle? Conversely, do the “winners” stay proud and green? Does anyone have any insight into this?

  2. “Loser” A. carolinensis are usually, but not always, dark for a while if left in the same cage as the “winner”. No idea exactly how long, or if this persists after the rival male is no longer in view.

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