On the 19th of July, 2002, I collected a brown anole (Anolis sagrei) male from the edge of a rice paddy next to a tarred road in Santzepu, Sheishan District, Chiayi County, Taiwan, as part of a diet and reproductive cycle study. As I removed it from the fine-meshed fishing scoop net, which I used for capturing it, I found that it had two tails. I later found that even though the lizard had no abdominal fat bodies the animal was still in a reproductive state, indicating that it was not only able to regenerate a tail twice, but it could also still meet the energetic demands for reproduction.
This finding prompted our study to attempt to address the question of whether there are differences in the abdominal fat body weights and liver weights of A. sagrei specimens that had suffered tail autonomy and conspecifics that had not.
We were surprised when we found no statistically significant variations in the monthly mean abdominal fat-body weight indices or monthly mean liver weight indexes of lizards that had not experienced caudal autotomy and those that had. We hypothesize that A. sagrei specimens that experienced tail autotomy most likely met the energetic demands for regenerating the lost portion of their tail by foraging more.
Editor’s Note: for more on two-tailed anoles, such as the photo below, type “tail” or “tailed” into the search bar on the right.