Tag Archives: anoles

10 (Vinales)

Please Help Me Identify Some Anoles and Other Cuban Lizards

Hello to everybody, I’m an italian naturalist that visited Cuba last December 2016.

I’m mainly a birder, but I like to give a name to all the creatures I meet. So, I’m going to post 20 pictures of lizards photographed in Cuba: for some I have hypotheses about the identification, but I need confirmation. For some others, I’m completely lost!
Can anybody help me??

Continue reading Please Help Me Identify Some Anoles and Other Cuban Lizards

Colors And Shapes Of The Horned Anole

 

Ecuador's most wanted! This lizard was thought to be extinct for nearly fifty years, and still after its "rediscovery" in 2005, it remains hard to locate.

Ecuador’s most wanted! This lizard was thought to be extinct for nearly fifty years, and still after its “rediscovery” in 2005, it remains hard to locate.

Most records of Horned Anole are in disturbed areas, including near roads vegetation, botanical gardens and bamboo trees.

Most records of Horned Anole are in disturbed areas, including near roads vegetation, botanical gardens and bamboo trees.

It took me more than two years of constant visits to Mindo, a cloud forest-town in the Western Ecuadorian Foothills, to meet with the Horned Anole (Anolis proboscis)! I always felt it was a mythological reptile, not only for Ecuadorian herps but throughout the world. Has anyone seen a lizard with a long appendix on the tip of his nose, a wide color throughout the body, prehensile tail and even spines on the back? It is difficult not to speak mystically when we refer to Horned Anole.

For over 50 years it was listed as “Possibly extinct,” until 2005, when a group of Ecuadorian scientists “rediscovered” it. But it was not until two years ago when the global and local Anole experts, led by Jonathan Losos, Steven Poe and Fernando Ayala, started several expeditions to investigate everything about its morphology, phylogeny and natural history.

Its tail is prehensile and is possibly used to embrace the branches when it sleeps.

Its tail is prehensile and is possibly used to embrace the branches when it sleeps.

The Horned Anole is a diurnal and slow-moving lizard that usually is found perched between 4-8 meters above the ground. Although most records are in vegetation on roadsides, highways and near open areas can be very difficult to find due to their excellent camouflage that blends perfectly with twigs full of mosses, lichens and epiphytes, perfectly rhyming its colorful skin.

But what use their proboscis? Sexual selection and defense of territory are the first hypotheses that leap to the mind. Science will tell us soon! But even that, we are left to enjoy its beauty and unparalleled mystique.

 

 

Definitely its silhouette is unmistakable. His sharp proboscis distinguishes it from all Ecuadorian lizards.

Definitely its silhouette is unmistakable. His sharp proboscis distinguishes it from all Ecuadorian lizards.

It can be difficult to find. Not only because they are commonly perched on high branches, but also for their camouflage, forming an ideal combination with branches and colorful leaves.

It can be difficult to find. Not only because they are commonly perched on high branches, but also for their camouflage, forming an ideal combination with branches and colorful leaves.

It is slow-moving and spends most of its time 450–800 cm from ground and feeds on a variety of arboreal arthropods.

It is slow-moving and spends most of its time 450–800 cm from ground and feeds on a variety of arboreal arthropods.

 

Anolis proboscis sleeps on horizontal twigs and leaves (juveniles seem to prefer lower perches).

Anolis proboscis sleeps on horizontal twigs and leaves (juveniles seem to prefer lower perches).

3P QuickCureClay Demo Video (With More Anole Sculptures!)

In my last post, I discussed my use of a new polymer clay, 3P QuickCureClay, in sculpting anoles.  Several commenters were interested in learning more about this medium and its potential for making models to assess predator marks.

I’ve now created a demonstration video of the clay which displays its unique properties and versatility (plus, newly finished anole sculptures make an appearance!):

 

 

heatstack

Shelby Prindaville’s Anole Artwork

Watercolor drawing by Shelby Prindaville

Shelby Prindaville, Polychrotidae (Heatstack) detail, watercolor and pencil on paper, 30×22″, 2011

My watercolor drawings and figurative sculptures feature a variety of Anolis lizards.  The visually fascinating characteristics of anoles combined with their small size yet reptilian “otherness” (occupying a middle ground between too-easily-anthropomorphized mammals and too-alien fish or invertebrates) make anoles an ideal animal representative for my broader ecological interests.

Watercolor drawing by Shelby Prindaville

Shelby Prindaville, Anolis proboscis (Pair), watercolor, 3P art medium, and pencil on translucent paper, 16×24″, 2012

The drawings and sculptures I create with anoles use their innate character and abilities to explore a purgatorial space. The first drawing in the watercolor series puts anoles in place of rats in the rat king myth made famous in The Nutcracker; the use of anoles allows a way out of the diseased mass through voluntary autotomy and allegorically demonstrates that repairing environments requires sacrifice. Other drawings pull from subjects ranging from the Ouroboros to Terry Pratchett’s allegory of summer.

Watercolor drawing by Shelby Prindaville

Shelby Prindaville, Anolis carolinensis and Mimosa Pudica (Falling), watercolor and pencil on velvet paper, 27×19″, 2012

My desire to sculpt small yet still anatomically accurate anoles has actually led to the development of a new polymer medium: 3P QuickCure Clay.  I collaborate with LSU Chemistry Professor John Pojman and his company 3P, and my suggestion to create a clay and its subsequent development has allowed me to use a batch-curing process that achieves the intricately detailed results below.

Sculpture by Shelby Prindaville

Shelby Prindaville, Polychrotidae (Dive and Climb), 3P Clay, 4x8x2.5″, 2012

To see larger images or more of my artwork, please visit shelbyprindaville.com.