Ongoing Research on Giant Blue Anoles and the A. equestris Species Complex

Photo by Luis Diaz.

The ninth most viewed page of Anole Annals of all time is dedicated to this beauty, a member of the Anolis equestris species complex. That post referred to a PDF version of a poster with photos of some reptiles and amphibians of Cuba. Luis Diaz, Curator of Herpetology at Museo Nacional de Historia Natural de Cuba, recently commented on the beautiful photo above that was in that poster and posted on AA:

I’m the author of two of the pictures you posted a long time ago on Anole Annals. At the moment the pdf you mentioned was published, only one subspecies of Blue Giant Anole existed (A. e. potior). Now populations in Cayo Coco (like the individual shown in the picture), are considered Anolis equestris cyaneus, not potior as mentioned in the referred photographic guide. We named Anolis equestris equestris the individual with a large black blotch on the neck (actually from Peralta, Zapata Swamp, a bit far away from Playa Larga), but it has the coloration of A. e. calceus. However, we have new genetic evidences (information obtained during a joined project with Antonio Cadiz, University of Havana, and Masakado Kawata from the University of Tohoku) for the taxonomic re-assessment of Cuban giant anole species and subspecies. We are working in a soon coming review of this group. I’m very interested in the photograph linked as: http://www.pbase.com/image/100014648. This is a really diverse and complicated group of anoles.

Dr. Luis M. Diaz
Curator of Herpetology
Museo Nacional de Historia Natural de Cuba

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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