SICB 2016: Intraspecific Variation and Divergence in Anolis conspersus

Aconspersus4

Color variation of Anolis conspersus on Grand Cayman. Spotted individuals (left) are found in the west of the island and vermiculated ones (right) are found in the east.

Christopher Peterson, a masters student in the Fitzpatrick Lab at the University of Tennessee, studies color variation of Anolis conspersus on Grand Cayman. He found that lizards from eastern Grand Cayman are vermiculated and individuals from the west side are spotted. He hypothesized that color variation along the east-west axis might be due to climatic variation, habitat differences or population structure. He sampled multiple sites across the island and measured air temperature, relative humidity, degree of leaf coverage (shade), perch roughness and perch connectivity. Using a hierarchical Bayesian logistic regression, Christopher did not find correlations between body coloration and climatic variation or habitat differences. He found, however, that spotted individuals have significantly longer tails and vermiculated ones are larger (SVL) on average. Genome wide SNPs will reveal whether population structure can explain variation in coloration between eastern and western populations.

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