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Ecomorphological Variation in Three Species of Cybotoid Anoles

Kahrl, Ariel F.; Ivanov, Brittney M.; Valero, Katharina C. Wollenberg; Johnson, Michele A.


Ariel F. Kahrl

Brittney M. Ivanov

Michele A. Johnson


© 2018 by The Herpetologists' League, Inc. Caribbean Anolis lizards exhibit a complex suite of ecological, morphological, and behavioral traits that allow their specialization to particular microhabitats. These microhabitat specialists, called ecomorphs, have independently evolved on the four islands of the Greater Antilles, and diversification among anole ecomorphs has been the focus of many studies. Yet, habitat specialization has also occurred among species within the same ecomorph group. Here, we examined ecological, morphological, and behavioral divergence in three Hispaniolan trunk-ground species, the cybotoid anoles: Anolis cybotes, A. marcanoi, and A. longitibialis. We found differences in limb morphology, locomotor behavior, and perch use among the three cybotoid species that mirror differences across the ecomorphs. Among these species of cybotoids, those that have longer limbs tend to move less frequently, occupy broader perches, and have smaller fourth toes with fewer lamellae. We also observed that the species with greater male-biased size dimorphism had larger heads, smaller dewlaps, and smaller testes. These results are consistent with the predictions of sexual selection theory, in that species with large male body size may have larger heads because of increased male-male combat, and smaller testes potentially attributable to a trade-off between pre- and postcopulatory selection. Overall, our study suggests that a combination of local adaptation to different structural habitats and sexual selection might produce ecomorphological diversification within cybotoid anoles of the same ecomorph group.

Journal Article Type Article
Publication Date Mar 1, 2018
Journal Herpetologica
Print ISSN 0018-0831
Electronic ISSN 1938-5099
Publisher Herpetologists League
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 74
Issue 1
Pages 29-37
Institution Citation Kahrl, A. F., Ivanov, B. M., Valero, K. C. W., & Johnson, M. A. (2018). Ecomorphological Variation in Three Species of Cybotoid Anoles. Herpetologica, 74(1), 29-37.
Keywords Animal Science and Zoology; Ecology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics
Publisher URL
Copyright Statement ©2018 University of Hull
Additional Information This is a description of an article accepted for publication in Herpetologica. The full text is not currently available in this repository.


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