Help Us With Extra Eggs


A portion of our current collection. Each cup contains a single incubating egg.

Our group has posted frequently about our anole breeding work. Now many years of fine-tuning our methods has resulted in a very efficient and high yield colony, but has generated an unforeseen, but welcome problem… too many eggs. We currently have 260 eggs incubating and are getting 50-70 new eggs laid a week (in addition to the ~2700 eggs and ~1500 hatchlings that this experiment has already produced). All of these eggs are the results of a cross involving members of the A. distichus species complex from Hispaniola. This quantity of eggs is more than we need for our current experiments and more than we can house, so we are wondering if folks in the AA community can help us figure out how to put them to good use. These eggs are from a research colony and can only be used for research purposes at an accredited research institution; we cannot provide eggs or hatchlings to be kept as pets*.

Do you have a need for, or ideas for the use of, a large number of eggs, embryos or recent hatchlings? We are looking for suggestions that might help us use these eggs to learn something about anole biology that we may not have thought of, or don’t have the expertise to do. For example, if there is anybody out there who wants to create a developmental series for A. distichus, we can provide you with the required samples. Perhaps someone could make use of a large sample of egg yolk or other egg components for their work on anole reproduction? We are also hoping for some creative suggestions; see, for example, a recent study on explosive hatching in response to predator presence.

Drop us a line in the comments or contact me directly if you are interested or have ideas.

* To be clear, we are not against keeping anoles as pets but our university committee on animal resources stipulates that animals from our colony must be used for addressing specific projects or questions. Indeed, any potential uses would need to be approved by the approproate institutional review committee(s).

About Anthony Geneva

Postdoctoral Fellow at Harvard University. I use a variety of evolutionary genetic approaches to ask questions about gene flow, adaptation and speciation.

6 thoughts on “Help Us With Extra Eggs

    1. Ha, the same thought crossed my mind when I was writing that line about obtaining large quantities of yolk! In response to your question, though, the answer is no:(

  1. Hi Jonathan.
    Maybe some experiments about warming global, like Amiel & Shine 2012 in Australia with some modifications.

    1. That’s exactly the sort of thing we are looking for. Does anyone want to do the experiment?

      FYI – for anyone interested the paper is:
      Amiel, J. J., and R. Shine. 2012. Hotter nests produce smarter young lizards. Biology Letters. 8:372-374. [ doi link]

  2. Would the excess hatchlings be available to use for teaching lab exercises at universities? With Anolis becoming a model organism for evolutionary ecology research, it would be interesting for there to be a parallel development of the use of Anolis as a teaching system for undergraduates. Xenopus, Drosophila and Zebrafish are all great research model systems that also are great to use in teaching labs.

    For my herpetology class at CWRU, I have thought about obtaining sagrei and carolinensis to use in a behavior or locomotion lab (e.g., modeled on Losos and Sinervo 1989 J. Exp. Biol). Perhaps something interesting could be developed for comparisons among populations of the distichus? I won’t be teaching Herpetology again until Fall 2014, so it isn’t something I’d be involved with any time soon. But maybe someone else would be interested in developing a pilot teaching project.


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