Male and Female Anoles that Look Different: Anolis transversalis

transversalis doc frog

Anolis transversalis, female on the left

We’ve talked previously about anole species that differ in the color of their dewlaps, but I don’t recall any discussion of species in which the males differ markedly in body patterning. Certainly, that happens a lot. For example, we’ve talked a lot about polymorphisms in female back patterns, but in most of these species, the males don’t have any of the patterns shown by the females. And in this case, and many others, one sex is patterned and the other one pretty much isn’t.

In any case, Anolis transversalis is a great example of a species in which both sexes are patterned, but differently. And to boot, their dewlaps are differently colored as well. What a species!

Does anyone want to suggest–or better yet, supply photos–of other species in which both sexes are patterned, but differently?

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.

One thought on “Male and Female Anoles that Look Different: Anolis transversalis

  1. so are the babies dimorphic? or do they perhaps have female coloration on hatching and as juveniles up to a certain point?

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