Anoles’ Namesake Salamander Rediscovered After 30 Years

Nyctanolis pernix. Photo by Robin Moore

The Amphibian Survival Alliance reports: “Two rare salamander species lost to science for nearly 40 years have not only been recently rediscovered, but a consortium of international groups has protected some of the last remaining forest home of the salamanders just in the nick of time.”

One of these salamanders is Nyctanolis pernix, a long-limbed, arboreal salamander. Paul Elias and Dave Wake described the species in 1983 in the festschrift for Ernest Williams, Advances in Herpetology and Evolutionary Biology (in fact, it was the first article in the volume). The authors explained the species name as follows: “We name the new genus for its anoline apsect and nocturnal habitats (Gr., nyktos, night) and the species (L., quick agile) for its gymnastic behavior.

Read all about it on the ASA webpage.

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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