Anolis Lionotus…Sleeping Posture

During a field survey in Muelas (21-08-2011; 21:07), buffer zone of the Santa Fe National Park in central Panama, an A. lionotus was captured in its sleeping posture on the river bank.¬†Interestingly, they seem to “mimic” the dead tree branch, but being cryptic at night does not make much sense to me; even if the predator is capable of night vision, being perched on a tree without leaves does not seem to be an advantage.

Anolis lionotus


5 thoughts on “Anolis Lionotus…Sleeping Posture

    1. Thanks for your comment. Yes, that is my suggestion. Now the branch is just above the river stream and that could favour a scape behaviour into the water in case of threat, which I did not consider before. Is A. lionostus using the same posture when sleeping among foliage or under more cover? is that is the case, then this has nothing to do with concealment but is a normal behaviour.

  1. How many did you see like this? I have seen A. lionotus sleeping in this position, but also in low-hanging bromeliads, clinging to moss on boulders and branches, and clinging to bare boulders and branches. Occasionally I have found groups of lionotus sleeping in groups, especially on large boulders or rock-walls near waterfalls or large trees near the running water. I Once observed 7 adults laying on top of each other, but more commonly I’ve seen them in “loose” groups in large boulders.

    I would think jumping in to a stream at night would be a risky behavior considering the threat from drowning, getting washed far downstream, and predation from crayfish. Some of the my study streams in Panama and Costa Rica have very large crayfish that hunt at night.

    I have rarely seen aquatic anoles sleeping on twigs and leaves like non-aquatics. I wonder if the predation pressure from snakes differ between sleeping aquatic and non-aquatic anoles.

    1. In fact there were a group of A. lionotus (+/- 5) sleeping in nearby branches like this, but I just captured this one as its resemblance to the closest branch called my attention. We have seen them jumping quickly into the water at daytime once we approach and staying there for several minutes instead of using other alternatives to scape, but the level of risk impossed by crayfish (not in our area) or freshwater shrimps / fish (preset in our area) could be a problem at night. Interestingly they did not use the same scaping behaviour at night even leave us approach really close, perhaps they relly on their mimicry? Besides snakes I would think about little owls or other night hunting birds as potential predators, this could also be another reason as to why they use this posture, I think.

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