Dewlap Plus Tail-wagging in Anolis cristatellus wileyae

Anolis cristatellus wileyae on St. Thomas wagging its tail as it shows its dewlap.

Crack that whip!

This proud Anolis cristatellus wileyae had snuck into the Butterfly Farm a few minutes’ walk from the cruise port in St. Thomas, U.S.V.I. So had a few dozen of its conspecifics, but this was the only one showing off its pretty two-toned dewlap while lashing its tail back and forth dramatically. Perhaps this is a common behavior, but it’s not one that I had seen before. Do other anole species also do this kind of double-showoff?

About John Sullivan

I'm a herp fan who has spent my spare time in the past couple of decades traveling and photographing herps in the wild. My photographs end up on my website and, among other places.

2 thoughts on “Dewlap Plus Tail-wagging in Anolis cristatellus wileyae

  1. I have seen A. cristatellus do this frequently, males, females, and juveniles… I’m not sure what it is all about. I have also observed A. stratulus and A. gundlachi waving their tails.

  2. I’ve found (unpublished) that there are significant sex- and population-specific patterns of tail-wagging in cristatellus. Not sure what’s driving this variation in signaling, but interesting to see that the males tail wag in St. Thomas. They don’t do it everywhere.

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