Anolis ortonii Displaying

I had the opportunity to study abroad in Ecuador last year, an amazing experience which culminated in a one-month stay in the rainforest at the Tiputini Biodiversity Station located in Yasuni Biosphere Reserve.  The most common species of anole there was Anolis ortonii, if you knew where to look. Despite several written accounts of A. ortonii being found close to the ground, I observed them in high abundance about 150 feet in the air at the top of a ceiba tree made accessible by a canopy tower.

My experience with Anolis displays in the wild is next to nothing, but  from what little I’ve seen, this swaying seemed unusual to me. Perhaps the more experienced anolologists here can comment on this. Regardless, enjoy the video of a lesser-known mainland anole!

8 thoughts on “Anolis ortonii Displaying

  1. I don’t think I’ve ever seen a display like that before! Interesting wave. Ambika’s comment is interesting, but I didn’t notice the leaves blowing much, so I’m not sure that’s the answer, it looked more like it/they (more than one individual being filmed?) were waving their dewlap(s). There really hasn’t been enough work done on dewlap displays, and I don’t then Jenssen and crowd are really doing it anymore…

  2. Yes, concerning the wind I don’t recall it being very windy and as Kirsten mentioned the surrounding vegetation doesn’t move much. Also given how reliably the dewlaps swayed I was figured that it was part of the display. Three different individuals from three separate instances are shown in the video with the first anole being from a separate canopy tower in another section of forest.

  3. Good point re: vegetation. In that case, incredibly interesting displays! As Kirsten says, this waving behaviour (and displays generally) definitely warrants further investigation–is it common across individuals and across species? Does it vary among individuals, and does it indicate anything about the animal? So much to ask!

  4. This is amazing… Now I know what I have seen.
    I have seen some anole displaying that way in French Guyana ( Emerald Jungle Village – Montsinery). The swaying was confusing and I couldn’t get a good look at the animal as it was on the other side of a window in a papaya-tree -not high up in the canopy about 3 m above the ground. Right then I had no idea what species I had actually seen, but it must have been A.ortoni. The same swaying, indeed, like a small flag in a breeze..

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