Two More New Anole Species

Introducing Anolis alocomyos.

Introducing Anolis alocomyos.

Gunther Köhler and colleagues have done it again!This time, they’ve taken Anolis tropidolepis  in Costa Rica and divided it into three species in the December 2014 issue of Mesoamerican Herpetology.

The back-story: the A. pachypus complex (as the authors refer to it, except using the generic name Norops) has in recent years been split in Panama into four species, but complex member A. tropidolepis remained intact in Costa Rica. These lizards are long-limbed, narrow-padded lizards found near the ground at high elevations.

Based on eight years of collecting, Köhler and colleagues now split the group in Costa Rica into three species that are somewhat genetically differentiated at the 16s mitochondrial gene and that differ in hemipenial morphology and to some extent in scalation.  One of the OTUs (operational taxonomic units), comprised of a single individual, has the mtDNA of one species and the hemipenis morphology of another and is interpreted as evidence of hybridization.

The paper includes interesting discussion of bar-coding and how one goes from degree of genetic differentiation to decisions on species delineation.

One highlight of the paper was the icon shown below, which occurred at the bottom of one of the pages at the end of the article without explanation. A quick look at the other two papers in the issue revealed that each has its own logo–nice!


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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