It started with a google search for Clelia clelia, which is one of my favorite snakes. These large colubrids are commonly known as the mussurana and feed upon vipers. Mussuranas are resistant to viper venom, which also makes them very useful for developing antivenoms. They are impressive hunters that take down venomous snakes with the deftness and tenacity of a honey badger. I have always been impressed by their sheer pluckiness as well as their beauty, and have spent many an hour reading up on them. It comes as no surprise, however, that while I was looking up information on tropical snakes from the New World I inadvertently came across some cool images of anoles!
A very lucky group of arachnologists traveled to the Peruvian Amazon in 2009 and posted some of their pictures on this site. The herping gods were on their side and they found an abundance of beautiful amphibians and reptiles, including many poison frogs and Stenocercus fimbriatus. This species, also known as the Western leaf lizard, is also another personal favorite for its beautiful camouflage and a dorsal pattern that is strangely reminiscent of Anolis barbouri, a leaf-litter anole from Hispaniola.
These adventurers also got to see some fantastic anoles, including A. bombiceps, the blue-lipped anole. Like the western leaf lizards, these anoles do a fantastic job of blending in with the leaf litter and background vegetation, so kudos to the explorers for actually spotting them. They also have photos of some unidentified anoles that could use a trained eye or two. Specifically, they have a photo of a large adult that they have tentatively identified as Anolis chrysolepis, and a juvenile or female that they could not recognize. Anyone out there care to offer an opinion?