While recently working with scanning electron microscopy, I came across something interesting and I need some help identifying it. As a graduate student in Dr. Dan Warner’s lab at The University of Alabama at Birmingham, I am finishing up my thesis work on the adaptive significance of phenotypic plasticity in Anolis sagrei caused by incubation moisture and substrate. I have found significant differences in the level of desiccation tolerance in individuals incubated under wet and dry conditions. In pursuit of the mechanism by which these differences occur, I was using SEM to observe the spacing of the scales of individuals within my treatment groups. In doing so, I came across a toe of one individual and found several structures which I could not identify. The structures (circled in the picture above) are located on the scales around the toe pad and circling around the toenail. They appear to be hair-like projections.
Despite continued searching and communications with several others, I still cannot identify these structures. Any help or direction would be greatly appreciated.