SICB2015: Static and Dynamic Visual Displays in Anole Lizards

Michelle Oberndorf of the Johnson Lab (Photo courtesy of the Johnson Lab website)

Anolis visual display can come in two flavors: static and dynamic. Static displays are those that are involve permanent morphological structures, whereas dynamic displays involve movement of physical structures. Michelle Oberndorf of the Johnson lab asked if structures involved in both static display (tail crest) and dynamic display (dewlap size), were related to body condition or fighting ability (head size) in males and females of two species of anoles. She collected SVL, mass, head morphology, tail crest size, and dewlap size data from 50 males and 50 females of A. cristatellus and A. gundlachi. She found that in males, tail crest area was correlated with body condition in A. cristatellus. In male A. gundlachi, tail crest area was correlated with head size, and dewlap size, while dewlap size was correlated with body condition and head size. She found no relationships between any of the traits in females of either species. These results suggest that both the dewlap and the tail crest may communicate information about male quality and potential fighting ability.

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Correlations between morphology and body condition for A. cristatellus and A. gundlachi males. Image from Michelle’s poster.

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