Photo Guide To Mexican Anoles

Could this be the all-time coolest anole dewlap?

As we all know, even though the diversity of anoles is greater on mainland Central and South America, we know a lot more about the island species. This extends even to simple matters such as resources for learning about and identifying species–for many mainland areas, it is hard to get information on the species that occur there, although this has changed in recent years.

Nowhere is this more true than in Mexico, an anologically rich area for which information on the anolifauna has not been brought together into a single compendium. Into this breach step Levi Gray, Steve Poe, and Adrian Nieto Montes de Oca, who have just produced a photo guide to the anoles of Mexico.

They recognize 46 species of Mexican anoles.  Of these 46, the authors and collaborators in the Poe Lab have caught 40 of them, including approximately 21 from their type localities, and field work this month is targetting three of the others.  The photos in the key are all from the authors, except the carolinensis photo provided by Alexis Harrison.  The key includes all Mexican anoles that the authors recognize (leaving out forms they consider unlikely to be valid–e.g., cumingi–or that have questionable status–e.g., utowanae).  The authors report that the well-known species schmidti, simmonsi, breedlovei, polyrhachis, microlepis and adleri are junior synonyms of other forms; these points will be discussed in a paper currently in review in Zootaxa; unfamiliar names in the key (e.g., rubiginosus) will be explained in that paper as well.

Below are low-resolution pictures of the guides; larger, downloadable pdfs can be accessed here. And I can’t help but adding: isn’t the diversity of dewlap colors and patterns incredible? I vote for sericeus as one of the greatest ever!

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.

7 thoughts on “Photo Guide To Mexican Anoles

  1. This is really cool, and I can’t wait to see the accompanying paper. These photos bring back lots of good memories of Mexican anoles in the field. I haven’t seen some of these species alive since the 1970s, but their dewlaps are fresh in my mind. Now if only someone would prepare a similar guide to all the anoles!

  2. I just got some photos from Gunther who’s in the field in Mexico right now and the taylori dewlap photos he sent were fabulous! But sericeus is super cool, too. Can’t wait to see the dewlap guide to ‘em all, Steve!

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