Sunday, 28 August 2016

Anolis landestoyi: A Chameleon-Like Anole Lizard from Hispaniola.

The Anole Lizards of the Greater Antilles islands are considered a classic example of island biogeography. Easch Island has its own set of Lizards, which tend to be most closely related to other Lizards on the same island, but a series of similar morphotypes, each adapted to a different ecological role, has appeared repeatedly on different islands. Larger islands support a greater number of species and morphotypes, with the largest island, Cuba, supporting a number of morphotypes not seen on any of the smaller islands, such as the semi-aquatic stream-dwelling Anolis vermiculatus, the long-legged karst-dwelling Anolis bartschi and several large, slow-moving, Chameleon-like species.

In a paper published in The American Naturalist on 17 June 2016, Luke Mahler of the Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology at the University of Toronto, Shea Lambert of the Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology at the University of Arizona, Anthony Geneva of the Department of Organismic and Evolutionary Biology and Museum of Comparative Zoology at Harvard University, Julienne Ng of the Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology at the University of Colorado–Boulder, Blair Hedges of the Center for Biodiversity at Temple University, Jonathan Losos, also of the Department of Organismic and Evolutionary Biology and Museum of Comparative Zoology at Harvard University and Richard Glor of the Herpetology Division at the Biodiversity Institute and Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology at the University of Kansas, describe a new species of Chameleon-like Anole from Hispaniola Island in the Greater Antilles.

The new species is named Anolis landestoy, in honour of the honoring Dominican naturalist Miguel Landestoy, who first observed the species and realized its significance. Anolis landestoy is a large (up to 135 mm) Anole Lizard wth green lichenate markings, short limbs and tail and a and large bluish dewlap with dark reticulations. It appears similar to the Chameleon-like Anoles of Cuba, though a genetic analysis revealed it to be more closely related to other Anoles on Hispaniola.

Anolis landestoyi in natural habitat. Miguel Landestoy in Mahler et al. (2016).

The discovery of Anolis landestoy lends further weight to the idea that similar morphotypes of Anole Lizards have repeatedly evolved on different islands in response to similar evolutionary pressures. Cuba, the largest of the Greater Antilles islands is home to several, closely related, Chameleon-like Anole Lizards, and now Hispaniola, the second largest island in the group, has been shown to be home to a single, unrelated, Chameleon-like Anole.

See also...

http://sciencythoughts.blogspot.co.uk/2016/04/tropidurus-sertanejo-new-species-of.htmlTropidurus sertanejo: A new species of Ground Lizard from Bahia State, Brazil. Ground Lizards of the genus Tropidurus are found across tropical and subtropical South America. They are ground dwelling Iguanas, favouring open habitats, closely related to the Marine Iguanas of the...
http://sciencythoughts.blogspot.co.uk/2015/01/a-new-species-of-twig-anole-from-panama.htmlA new species of Twig Anole from Panama. Anoles are small Iguanid Lizards found in the Southern United States, Mexico, Central America and the Caribbean. Twig Anoles, Norops spp., form a distinct cluster of medium sized Anole Lizard species within the genus Norops. There are currently eight...
http://sciencythoughts.blogspot.co.uk/2014/11/four-new-species-of-treerunner-from.htmlFour new species of Treerunner from northern South America.                               Treerunners of the genus Plicaare Iguanid Lizards found in South America east of the Andes. They are medium sized, conspicuous Lizards that are active in the daytime, living in small colonies on rock outcrops or trees, and therefore are well represented in museum collections, as they tend to attract the attention of...
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