Nectivory in Anolis evermanni

These stunning images of Puerto Rican emerald anoles, Anolis evermanni, drinking nectar are from the website of Alfredo D.Colón Archilla who has also published an account of the observations. I highly recommend his website for anyone interested in some great photos of Puerto Rican herps for use in future posts; you can also read about … Continue reading Nectivory in Anolis evermanni

Surprises from the Anolis “Third Eye”

Yes, it’s true. A “third eye” does exist, not only in the ancient Hindu literature and the new age imagination, but in birds, amphibians, reptiles, fish, lampreys, and hagfishes. We’re talking about the pineal gland, a small organ located on top of the brain, just underneath the surface of the skull. Although it doesn’t have … Continue reading Surprises from the Anolis “Third Eye”

New York Times Covers Lizard Smarts

Research that is revealing the surprising cognitive abilities of reptiles is featured in the Science Times in tomorrow’s (Nov. 19) New York Times. And not surprising to AA readers, the work of Manuel Leal on the problem-solving ability of Anolis evermanni is prominently reviewed, a topic we have discussed several times in these pages [1,2]. The article contains a nice discussion … Continue reading New York Times Covers Lizard Smarts

Ol’ Blue Eyes: Convergence In Frank Sinatra And Anoles

Ok, this post has nothing to do with Frank Sinatra other than his nickname. But what about blue eyes in anoles? They seem to pop up all over anole phylogeny. For example, in my recent trip to Puerto Rico, three anoles had cerulean peepers–A. evermanni and A. stratulus, which are closely related, and A. gundlachi, which is more … Continue reading Ol’ Blue Eyes: Convergence In Frank Sinatra And Anoles

Anoles on the rocks, so to speak

After a wonderful trip to Puerto Rico for the recent Thermal Ecology meeting mentioned here on Anole Annals and so heavily attended by anolologists, we had the opportunity to visit some of the natural forests that the country had to offer. Whilst in El Verde National Park, we were regaled with stories of local Anolis … Continue reading Anoles on the rocks, so to speak

Anoles Feeding On Liquids – Please Help

Good day everyone. I am currently working on a short manuscript about a brown anole that I observed feeding on sap. I am aware that some anoles will feed on nectar (see list below), but I would like to know if anyone has ever observed anoles feeding on sap? If you have any references pertaining … Continue reading Anoles Feeding On Liquids – Please Help

Diet Study with Gastric Lavage

With only two weeks left in El Yunque, Puerto Rico, the two projects that Travis Ingram and I are doing will soon come to a close. Travis has already written about one project, the enclosure experiment. The second is a diet survey of six species (Anolis evermanni, A. stratulus, A. cristatellus, A. gundlachi, A. pulchellus, … Continue reading Diet Study with Gastric Lavage

Field Work in Puerto Rico and a First Lizard Bite

I’m presently in the field in Puerto Rico working with my (first, brave) doctoral student, Kristin Winchell, along with two undergraduate assistants (Zack & Sofia). Although Kristin has been with me to Puerto Rico once previously (in January), this expedition is the first trip of Kristin’s doctoral research, which will focus on urban ecology and … Continue reading Field Work in Puerto Rico and a First Lizard Bite

January Field Course On Tropical Biology In Puerto Rico

Anole biologist and phylogenetic comparative methods wizard Liam Revell has shamelessly used a photo of Anolis evermanni just so we would advertise his three-week field biology course in Puerto Rico to be held next January. And you know what? It worked: the field-based course in tropical biology – focusing on ecology, evolution, and conservation biology – will … Continue reading January Field Course On Tropical Biology In Puerto Rico

Anole Classic: Rand, 1964

A. Stanley Rand. 1964. Ecological distribution in Anoline lizards of Puerto Rico. Ecology 45: 745-752. Rand examined resource partitioning by seven Anolis species in Puerto Rico. Because of their general ecological similarity, Rand hypothesized that the anole species in Puerto Rico could only coexist if they had evolved (either in sympatry or allopatry) to partition … Continue reading Anole Classic: Rand, 1964

SICB 2015: Skull Shape Optimized for Feeding in Lizards

If you’ve ever had a lizard chomp down on your finger, you know that lizard skulls are well-designed for biting! Dr. Callum Ross, a biomechanist focusing on feeding systems at the University of Chicago, presented a talk at SICB on Monday describing differences in in vivo bone strain between mammal and lizard skulls.  In mammals, … Continue reading SICB 2015: Skull Shape Optimized for Feeding in Lizards

Do Black Spots On Anoles Fool Parasites Into Going Elsewhere?

With regard to the recent discussion of the black spots on the side of A. allisoni: We saw a bunch of sarcophagid flesh fly larvae infections in canopy-dwelling Puerto Rican A. evermanni. These evermanni were sluggish and often had brown spots either on the shoulder or just dorsal and anterior to the rear legs. I captured some … Continue reading Do Black Spots On Anoles Fool Parasites Into Going Elsewhere?

Brown Anole Feeding On Sap

Various anole species have been observed feeding on fruit (e.g., Herrel et al. 2004) and nectar (e.g., Colón Archilla 2010). On March 08, 2013 a brown anole (Anolis sagrei) male in my study area joined the growing list of lizards that have been observed feeding on plant sap. In our natural history note we not only describe … Continue reading Brown Anole Feeding On Sap

Seeking Photographs Of Ecomorphs

Dear Anole Researchers, I’m producing a film on how species form for the Howard Hughes Medical Institute. It focuses on anole evolution and features Jonathan Losos. They will give it away to high school teachers around the country and make it available for free download from their website. To illustrate the concept of anole ecomorphs, … Continue reading Seeking Photographs Of Ecomorphs

World Congress Of Herpetology 7: Anole Brain Power

A pair of talks from Duke University took different approaches to examining anole smarts. Recently minted Ph.D. Brian Powell reported on his examination of the brain size and composition of different anole species. Brian reasoned that anoles living in different habitats would evolve differences in brain structure corresponding to the different challenges they faced, and … Continue reading World Congress Of Herpetology 7: Anole Brain Power

Impact of Shade Versus Sun Cultivation of Coffee on Puerto Rican Anoles

It’s immediately clear to anyone visiting the Greater Antilles that humans have had a dramatic impact on natural environments.  Even in those areas that remain forested and seemingly pristine, it isn’t difficult to find the stray coffee bush or mango tree.  Indeed, some understory crops, such as coffee and cacao, have traditionally been grown under … Continue reading Impact of Shade Versus Sun Cultivation of Coffee on Puerto Rican Anoles

Fruit and Nectar Noshing Anoles

Vega-Castillo and Puente-Rolón in the December, 2011 issue of Herpetological Review report fruit consumption by A. gundlachi, A. stratulus and, most notably, the grass-bush A. krugi. This adds to recent reports of frugivory in three other Puerto Rican species, A. cuvieri, A. evermanni and A. monensis. As I discussed in Lizards in an Evolutionary Tree, frugivory … Continue reading Fruit and Nectar Noshing Anoles

CSI Luquillo: Cold Case or Hot Pursuit? Is Climate Change Affecting Puerto Rican Lizards?

Three years ago I received a message from Ray Huey asking me if I’d be interested in collaborating on an NSF grant to return to Puerto Rico and replicate the studies on Anolis thermal biology and ecology that we had conducted during the 1970s.   The idea was to have the original investigators, including Ray, myself, … Continue reading CSI Luquillo: Cold Case or Hot Pursuit? Is Climate Change Affecting Puerto Rican Lizards?

Chromosome Evolution in Anoles: A Study Waiting to Happen

George Gorman, who pioneered the use of molecular tools to study anole phylogenetics from the late 1960’s to the early 1980’s, asks: “Why not examine karyotypes of Dactyloa?” He says: “In the 1960’s and ‘70’s, before the DNA revolution,  the systematic examination of karyotypes of reptilian taxa mushroomed, and, to some extent helped orient our … Continue reading Chromosome Evolution in Anoles: A Study Waiting to Happen

Anole Classics: Licht and Gorman (1970) on Anole Reproductive Cycles

All anoles lay only a single egg at a time, but that doesn’t mean that no variation exists among species in reproductive cycles. Still the most comprehensive study of this topic is Licht and Gorman’s (1970) comparison of nine populations of seven species throughout the Caribbean (downloadable as part of AA’s “Classics in Anole Literature” … Continue reading Anole Classics: Licht and Gorman (1970) on Anole Reproductive Cycles