As Rich Glor mentioned recently, we are in the second year of an experimental hybrid cross between two bark anole species. Although we are still early in this year’s experiment, we have had about 50 eggs hatch and, surprisingly, two have had malformed forelimb digits. The first was missing two toes on one of its forelimbs and died a few days after hatching. The second (pictured above) hatched with six toes, but has been otherwise healthy. Each of these toes has an intact claw, and at least one has lamellae. The fourth digit (from closest to the body counting outwards) seems to lack the (expected) scansor and is permanently bent upwards.
Mats Olsson and colleagues (2004) found malformations in the limbs and jaws and kinked backbones in crosses between populations of Lacerta agilis. Of the over 800 hatchlings in last year’s F1 experiment, we found a few animals with malformed spines, but not a single animal with digit or jaw issues. It’s particularly interesting (to me at least) that these issues have manifested in the backcross generation, an issue I hope to investigate further as more animals hatch.
Polydactyly has been reported in captive-bred crested geckos (Correlophus ciliatus), but I couldn’t find anything about anoles. Has anyone else seen something similar in anoles? If so, please let us know in the comments.