Female Territoriality in Puerto Rican Anoles

Battling female Anolis gundlachi. Photo by Ellee Cook.

Territorial behavior in anoles has been extensively studied, but mostly between the males. Yet, females engage in all kinds of aggressive interactions and seem to have territorities. What are the similarities and differences between their behavior and what males do?

Ellee Cook is studying just that in Puerto Rico, focusing on A. gundlachi. She’s in the field right now and has just filed a report on Chipojolab. Among other things, she witnessed a drag-down, knock-down fight, pictured above.

Of course, we’re all waiting to know–is this what females use their dewlaps for?

About Jonathan Losos

Professor and Curator of Herpetology at the Museum of Comparative Zoology at Harvard University. I've spent my entire professional career studying anoles and have discovered that the more I learn about anoles, the more I realize I don't know.

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