Category Archives: Anole Photographs

Finding the “Rare” Anolis duellmani

Like many quests to find rare herps, this is a story of courage, persistence, and strength. Just kidding; it was a piece of cake.

Anolis duellmani was described by Fitch and Henderson (1973) based on four specimens from the southern slope of the Volcán San Martín Tuxtla, Veracruz, Mexico. Even though the phylogenetic position of A. duellmani is uncertain, no additional morphological variation had been described for the species. As part of a major effort led by Dr. Adrián Nieto-Montes de Oca and Dr. Steven Poe to untangle the systematics of Mesoamerican anoles, Israel Solano-Zavaleta, Levi N. Gray, and I went to Los Tuxtlas to search for the elusive species.

Continue reading Finding the “Rare” Anolis duellmani

Registro de Copula de Anolis huilae

Copula de Anolis huilae en Ibagué (Colombia).

Copula de Anolis huilae.

En el marco de mi tesis de maestría sobre la Ecofisiología térmica de Anolis huilae tuve la oportunidad de observar, creería que sería el primer registro, una pareja de ésta especie copulando en el tronco de un árbol. Evento que lo considero relevante por la falta de información acerca de ésta especie.

El estudio lo estoy desarrollando en el Corregimiento de Juntas, Ibagué (Colombia). Mi objetivo es conocer aspectos de la fisiología térmica de A. huilae y relacionarla con las temperaturas ambientales y microambietales de su hábitat.  Para la colecta de datos me estoy apoyando con una cámara termográfica infrarroja (metodología no invasiva) y modelos de cobre con data loggers insertos en ellos.

Imagen termográfica de copula de Anolis huilae.

Imagen termográfica de copula de Anolis huilae.

En una primera etapa del estudio estoy averiguando si A. huilae es una especie heliotérmica o tigmotérmica; como también, si es termoconformadora activa o termoconformadora pasiva. Datos que próximamente los compartiré.

Observaciones comportamentales, no registradas,  ayudarán a conocer más aspectos de la biología y ecología de ésta especie, de la que aún falta mucho por descubrir. Así mismo, he observado en esta localidad la simpatría con otro anolis, Anolis antonii.


English translation via the internet:

Record of Copulation of Anolis Huilae

In the framework of my master’s thesis on the thermal ecophysiology of Anolis huilae, I had the opportunity to observe, you would not believe that would be the first record, a couple of this species copulating in the trunk of a tree. Event that is considered relevant by the lack of information about this species.

The study, I am developing in the Corregimiento of seals, Ibagué (Colombia). My goal is to understand aspects of the thermal physiology of A. huilae and relate it to the ambient temperatures and microenvironments of its habitat. For the collection of data I am supporting with a infrared thermal imager (non-invasive methods) and copper models with data loggers inserts in them.

In the first stage of the study, I am enquiring whether A. huilae thermoregulation is a species or is thigmothermic; also, whether it is an active or passive thermoregulator. I will share the data soon.

Behavioral observations, unregistered, help you learn more aspects of the biology and ecology of this species, which still lack much to discover. Also, I’ve seen in this locality the sympatry with another anole, Anolis antonii.

Anolis trachyderma Loses a Sleeping-on-Leaf Battle with a Snake

In January 2013 I was in the Amazon rainforest in Peru near Iquitos, looking for herps to photograph. This was my first significant visit to Amazonia and I was surprised at the dearth of anoles. I hadn’t (yet) caught up on enough anole literature to realize that the anole density in that area is so very much smaller than the anole density in the Caribbean or Florida. On a good anole-finding day, I only saw perhaps three or four during the day, and another five or six sleeping at night on leaves and twigs. Most of the anoles I encountered were Anolis trachyderma, such as these two sleepers. Alas, their leafy beds were perhaps not as safe as they might have hoped…

Anolis trachyderma sleeping on a leaf at night near Iquitos, Peru.

Anolis trachyderma sleeping on a leaf at night near Iquitos, Peru. 

Continue reading Anolis trachyderma Loses a Sleeping-on-Leaf Battle with a Snake

A Doubly Regenerated Tail and Other Morphological Oddities

I’m doing fieldwork with Anolis sagrei in Gainesville, FL, this summer. We now have about 125 lizards  measured and marked, and have come across a number of interesting morphological oddities in these lizards. Most interesting so far is this doubly regenerated tail, i.e. there appear to be two spots at which the tail has regenerated, which means a regenerated tail must have broken and regenerated again.

A doubly regenerated tail in a male Anolis sagrei in Gainesville, FL.

A doubly regenerated tail in a male Anolis sagrei in Gainesville, FL.

Approximately three minutes before we noticed this tail, my field assistant Christian Perez asked me if double regenerations were possible, and I confidently said “no.” As Jonathan Losos puts it in Lizards in an Evolutionary Tree, “when a tail regenerates, the new portion of is made of a rod of cartilage and thus lacks the intravertebral breakage planes that enable an unregenerated tail to autotomize.” So how did this double regeneration happen? Anyone seen this before?

The next oddity is this male with a mysteriously shortened upper jaw:

A shortened upper jaw in a male Anolis sagrei in Gainesville, FL.

A shortened upper jaw in a male Anolis sagrei in Gainesville, FL.

Third, we have a partially discoloured dewlap:


A discoloured dewlap in Gainesville, FL

A discoloured dewlap in Gainesville, FL

And finally, here’s an addition to our collection (1, 2) of multiply tailed lizards:

A double tail in an Anolis sagrei in Gainesville, FL.

A double tail in an Anolis sagrei in Gainesville, FL.


Which Puerto Rican Anoles Are These?

A few weeks ago I had the opportunity to visit Puerto Rico for the first time, albeit briefly. Fortunately, a lot of anoles can be found even on a brief visit. With the help of and other references, I could identify most of them. I was hoping to get some help from the knowledgable readers of Anole Annals on the rest. I suspect they are mostly all juvenile Anolis cristatellus cristatellus, but the appearances are varied enough that I couldn’t be sure. Any ID help is greatly appreciated!

Small brown anole at Cueva Maria de la Cruz, Puerto Rico

Unidentified Anole #1:  Cueva María de la Cruz

This small brown anole and a couple of similar-looking buddies were dashing about on a large tree trunk at the edge of a grassy clearing at Cueva María de la Cruz. This small cave is in northeast Puerto Rico, near the coast, north of the western edge of El Yunque National Forest. I saw adult Anolis cristatellus cristatellus in smaller trees nearby, so it seems likely that this is a juvenile, though its pattern looked non-standard to me.

Continue reading Which Puerto Rican Anoles Are These?

Dewlap Plus Tail-wagging in Anolis cristatellus wileyae

Anolis cristatellus wileyae on St. Thomas wagging its tail as it shows its dewlap.

Crack that whip!

This proud Anolis cristatellus wileyae had snuck into the Butterfly Farm a few minutes’ walk from the cruise port in St. Thomas, U.S.V.I. So had a few dozen of its conspecifics, but this was the only one showing off its pretty two-toned dewlap while lashing its tail back and forth dramatically. Perhaps this is a common behavior, but it’s not one that I had seen before. Do other anole species also do this kind of double-showoff?

Ecuadorian Anoles on BBC News


During the last five years, herpetologists at the Museo de Zoología QCAZ, Pontificia Universidad Católica del Ecuador (PUCE), have discovered and described 35 new species of amphibians and reptiles, some of which are anoles. BBC news recently posted a photographic article on this work, which was funded by the Ecuadorian government and PUCE. Anolis otongae and A. podocarpus are some of the recently discovered species featured in that article.

The Museo de Zoología QCAZ also maintains ReptiliaWebEcuador, a website on Ecuadorian reptiles with tons of information in Spanish, including pictures, maps, free downloads, and more. Visit us if you want to know more about Ecuadorian anoles.

A Peek Inside an Anole

Three different individuals of Anolis cybotes that appear to have small pebbles or debris in their guts.

Three different individuals of Anolis cybotes that appear to have small pebbles or debris in their guts.

While analyzing some xrays of Anolis cybotes for my thesis work, I came across a few specimens that appear to have small dark masses in their guts. The numbers are pretty low – in over 200 xrays, I can only detect these masses in a handful of individuals. My curiosity was piqued. At first glance, they look like they might be gastroliths. Gastroliths, or gizzard stones, are rocks that animals eat to aid in digestion. Basically, the rocks help manually grind the food into smaller bits in a special portion of the digestive track called the gizzard. We know that many archosaurs (crocodilians, dinosaurs [including birds], and pterosaurs) have gizzards. Dinosaur gastroliths are some of my favorite fossils because they are usually polished and quite beautiful. However, unless I’m mistaken, lepidosaurs (squamates and rhynchocephalians) don’t have gizzards and aren’t known to have gut stones. Does anyone have an idea about what this could be? It’s possible that these are just accidental ingestions of small pebbles. Anolis cybotes do often forage near or on the ground, so perhaps it’s not so far-fetched for them to pick up a little rocky debris.

Also, check out this image of a regenerated tail!

Anolis cybotes with a regenerated tail.

Anolis cybotes with a regenerated tail.

Anolis desechensis: Little Known Anole From The Puerto Rican Bank


desechensis island conservation FB


Anolis desechensis is a member of the A. cristatellus species complex from Puerto Rico. Found only on the tiny island of Desecheo, very little is known about its natural history. In fact, some might question whether it should be a distinct species, but in the absence of any data, it’s hard to say.

This lovely photo comes from the Facebook page of Island Conservation, a wonderful organization devoted–as its name implies–to the conservation of island biota. I just heard a talk yesterday crediting them for eradicating rats from an island in the Galapagos, paving the way for preservation of a unique giant tortoise race. But that’s another story.

Variation in Anolis equestris

Last week, while going through some old pictures  I had stored on my computer , I happened upon a few photos of  A. equestris that I must have saved back when I  used to surf the web for pictures of anoles. Taking a second to glance through the pictures for old times sake, I realized something: A. equestris is actually a quite variable species. Now I’m sure others besides myself have realized this before, the people who went about naming the long list of subspecies that I just found out this species has for example, but I can’t seem to find pictures of some of these subspecies so as to identify the animals in the photos, if they are indeed different subspecies that is, so I decided to post them here in hopes of getting an ID. I have chosen one photo for each of the different forms that I have noticed. I have my guesses about many of them and I’m pretty sure about a couple others. I have written my guess, if any, under each photo along with the photo reference; could anyone who knows the ID of a particular animal post their opinion in the comments? Thanks in advance!

Anolis equestris potior or Anolis equestris cyaneus

Anolis equestris potior

Anolis equestris equestris

Anolis equestris equestris
(introduced to Miami)


Photo from: ? probably Anolis equestris equestris

Photo from:
probably Anolis equestris  or A.luteogularis
Photo apparently taken at La Habana.
two other photos: (1,2)


Anois equestris, photo by Henk Wallays.  license:CC BY-NC photo from Anolis equestris thomasi

Anolis equestris, photo by Henk Wallays.
license:CC BY-NC
photo from
Anolis equestris thomasi

photo from this pdf

photo from this pdf. 
Other photos of this form (1, 2)
And another one taken near Playa Larga.

Continue reading Variation in Anolis equestris

Ecuadorian Sweep of 2013 Anole Annals Photo Contest

Goldenscale Anole (Anolis chrysolepis) small

Anolis chrysolepis. © Lucas M. Bustamante-Enríquez/TROPICAL HERPING

It’s over, it’s all over! After more than 50 fabulous submissions, 600 votes, and detailed review of the finalists by an all-star team of anole photography experts, Anole Annals is pleased to unveil this year’s winners. Last year’s theme was blue anoles, this year’s: Ecuador!

The Grand Prize winner (above) is a lovely photo of Anolis chrysolepis taken in Amazonian Ecuador by Lucas Bustamante (check out Lucas’ photography on the Tropical Herping website or in his new book on the herpetofauna of Mindo, Ecuador). Lucas reports that the photo was taken in Yachana Lodge, an ecotourism lodge located on the Napo River in the Ecuadorian Amazon. Says Lucas: “I was walking in the morning to the viewpoint and I found this male Goldenscale Anole (Anolis chrysolepis) making a display. I took my camera as soon as possible but I couldn’t photograph it “red-handed.” However, he maintained an elegant posture and I was happy with the picture. This anole lives in low vegetation and litter. Males, females and juveniles are very territorial.”

Second prize goes to Diana Troya for her fabulous photo (below) of two Anolis gemmosus males displaying to each other, tongues out, bodies raised and compressed. What a gorgeous dewlap, especially when backlit! Diana’s reports that the photo was taken “in the Natural Reserve Rio Guajalito in Santo Domingo de los Tsachilas-Ecuador. I was a field assistant of Andrea Narvaez, who is doing her doctoral thesis on the ecology of Anolis and as part of her project we had to film the display of Anolis species.”

Congratulations to both winners!


Anolis gemmosus. Photo by Diana Troya.

Another Blue Anole!

There’s been discussion about blue anoles previously on Anole Annalsbut I’ve come across yet another on the internet. The anole in the above picture  is a species from the Sierra de Bahoruco in the Dominican republic. Apparently it has not been formally described yet and so does not yet have a name, but from the looks of it I would say it was related to A.alliniger or singularis. This actually leaves Puerto Rico as the only island without a blue trunk-crown anole. I have found one other picture of this species on Flickr (though it does not allow for posting on other web pages).

Below is another photo from the Anolis Contact Group, of yet another new species that appears to be related to singularis.

Anole Photo Contest 2013–Time To Vote!

Territorial Dispute

territorial_dispute_resizedI observed this (full size image) interaction in my backyard one afternoon while I was hunting for good pictures. All anoles tend to flee as I walk around my backyard, but some only retreat partially or temporarily. These two stayed relatively out in the open until I moved a little closer, causing one to flee in to the vicinity of the other one causing the event seen in the picture.
Continue reading Territorial Dispute

Diversity Within Lesser Antillean Anoles – Name The Species!

PowerPoint-PräsentationHey Folks,

Here is just a little task for you to get rid of unnecessary time. I made a collection of some Lesser Antillen Anoles from pictures, I took over the years or that hav ebeen given to me.

Can you name the species, or even the local morph/subspecies?

additional information: two of the pictures show females.

and here again with higher resolution.

Viele Grüße from Germany

Request For Brown Anole (A. Sagrei) Photographs

Brown anoles. Photo courtesy Bob Reed

Brown anoles. Photo courtesy Bob Reed

Hello fellow scientists and photography aficionados!

My name is Veronica Gomez-Pourroy and this is week has been laden with firsts for me: first time living in the US, first week at the Losos Lab, and now… the first post in this brilliant blog!! I am a zoologist on my third semester of my Evolutionary Biology masters, and I’ve begun working on my first (of two) Master’s thesis. I will be investigating phenotypic variation in the widespread and very cool Brown Anole (Anolis sagrei), working with Jonathan Losos and Marta López Darias.

One of the elements we’d like to look into is variation in skin patterning and dewlap colouration – but at the moment I’m using specimens from museum collections and as we know, colour gets corrupted soon after an animal is “pickled.” For this reason, I am asking for your help to compile a comprehensive collection of pictures of A. sagrei–both males and females–that span most of their range. If you’d like to share your pictures with us, please email them to:

and include the location and, if possible, date when the photo was shot. I will be forever grateful for any help, and will acknowledge you in my thesis, of course!!
A huge thank you in advance, I’ll keep you posted on the progress made.