Puerto Rico: Lizards (anoles and one ameiva)

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BeMoreAssertive
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Puerto Rico: Lizards (anoles and one ameiva)

Post by BeMoreAssertive » January 12th, 2015, 1:05 pm

I finally made it over to Puerto Rico for a week in search of anoles. I've never been to the Caribbean or south Florida, so I was really excited to find the famed Anolis ecomorphs. Unfortunately I missed out on the massive beast Anolis cuvieri as well as the rare A. occultus, so I'll definitely be back eventually. Other missed anoles include A. poncensis and A. stratulus. But now here's every other anole:

The extremely common trunk-ground Anolis cristatellus. I counted over 70 individuals walking around a suburb in San Juan one morning in just a couple of hours.

ImageRusty dumpster ecomorph by Johann Sioux, on Flickr

ImageUntitled by Johann Sioux, on Flickr

ImageAnolis cristatellus scoffs at you from his ivory tower by Johann Sioux, on Flickr

The variation in coloration in this species is pretty amazing and confounding at times. I particularly liked the pattern on this juvenile.
ImageUntitled by Johann Sioux, on Flickr

I read that A. pulchellus was apparently the most common anole in Puerto Rico and wasn't so sure after finding so many cristatellus, but once I went away from the trees and looked around the tall grass they were everywhere. They are grass-bush anoles, so go figure.

ImageClassic grass-bush anole by Johann Sioux, on Flickr

ImageGrass-bush anole take 1 by Johann Sioux, on Flickr

ImageGrass-bush anole take 2 by Johann Sioux, on Flickr

Over in El Yunque is the close relative of A. pulchellus, A. krugi. A slightly different grass-bush anole adapted to the cooler, wetter mountainsides.

ImageUh... I can explain by Johann Sioux, on Flickr

ImageUntitled by Johann Sioux, on Flickr

And then a new ecomorph: the trunk-crown A. evermanni.

ImageUntitled by Johann Sioux, on Flickr

ImageA dazzling emerald green anole by Johann Sioux, on Flickr

Unfortunately this individual faded her bright green coloration as I got closer to take this picture.
ImageUntitled by Johann Sioux, on Flickr

Within the forest, the resident trunk-ground anole is A. gundlachi. A beautiful species with bright blue eyes that you unfortunately cannot see too well in this photo.

ImageAnole in a very anole-like posture by Johann Sioux, on Flickr

If you're sick of anoles now, here's a break. I got to check out the dry forest over at Guanica in search of the beautiful Ameiva wetmorei and was lucky enough to find a handful of individuals.

Hiding its most striking feature: the bright blue tail...
ImageUntitled by Johann Sioux, on Flickr

Which you can see a little better here.
ImageUntitled by Johann Sioux, on Flickr

While A. cristatellus is very common at Guanica there's also another trunk-ground species that is less common:A. cooki. It was a nice surprise to find a pair in a tree next to where we parked.

Male:
ImageClint Eastwood by Johann Sioux, on Flickr

I'm assuming this is also A. cooki, but I could be wrong. Female:
ImageUntitled by Johann Sioux, on Flickrr

A similar situation also goes on with the grass-bush anoles. The species with the restricted range, A. poncensis, is much less common then the wide ranging species, A. pulchellus. Here's a photo of the latter.

ImageUntitled by Johann Sioux, on Flickr

Also in Guanica that I didn't get photos of were several Sphaerodactylus and lots of juvenile Puerto Rican crested toads, which just look like normal toads when small. Ameiva exsul was also omnipresent here and many other spots on the island, but I never got a photo I was happy with.

Anyway, thanks for looking!

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JakeScott
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Re: Puerto Rico: Lizards (anoles and one ameiva)

Post by JakeScott » January 12th, 2015, 4:39 pm

My kind of post! I literally make trips just to want to see the varieties of anoles in the Caribbean, Bahamas and South America. Very good photography! Believe it or not, PR is a place I still have yet to go!

-Jake

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chrish
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Re: Puerto Rico: Lizards (anoles and one ameiva)

Post by chrish » January 12th, 2015, 10:59 pm

Very cool post. I spent a few days in the Guanica area and looked everywhere for wetmorei to no avail....and you found several! Oh well, guess I have to go back.

Getting all the PR ano!es is a good start......but then you have to find all the coqui species or at least those that are still extant. ;)

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jason folt
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Re: Puerto Rico: Lizards (anoles and one ameiva)

Post by jason folt » January 13th, 2015, 6:04 am

Really cool. I just spent some time in St. Thomas and photographed some similar animals, a lot less diversity though. I enjoy the mix the Caribbean islands offer.

Jason

NACairns
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Re: Puerto Rico: Lizards (anoles and one ameiva)

Post by NACairns » January 13th, 2015, 6:11 am

Great post and photos. Do you have any habitat shots that coincide with the grass bush eco-morphs?
Thanks for sharing
Nick

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Re: Puerto Rico: Lizards (anoles and one ameiva)

Post by Ribbit » January 13th, 2015, 6:59 am

I love the photos and the captions. Great post!

John

BeMoreAssertive
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Re: Puerto Rico: Lizards (anoles and one ameiva)

Post by BeMoreAssertive » January 13th, 2015, 8:15 am

Thanks, everyone! Jake, I'd recommend it considering how easy everything is if you're coming from the US.
chrish wrote:Very cool post. I spent a few days in the Guanica area and looked everywhere for wetmorei to no avail....and you found several! Oh well, guess I have to go back.

Getting all the PR ano!es is a good start......but then you have to find all the coqui species or at least those that are still extant. ;)
Yeah, we talked to a park worker and he said we were really lucky to see a few since most people never see it. We found a bunch pretty close to the beach among the rocky crags and vegetation rather than inside the actual trails in the park so that might be a good spot to check out if you make it over again. As for coquis, the search function reveals you've got that covered quite well!
NACairns wrote:Great post and photos. Do you have any habitat shots that coincide with the grass bush eco-morphs?
Thanks for sharing
Nick
I don't have any habitat shots, but it's exactly what you would think. Any good patch with tall grass and shrubs is likely to have them.

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Roki
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Re: Puerto Rico: Lizards (anoles and one ameiva)

Post by Roki » January 14th, 2015, 8:00 am

Great posting of anoles. I missed a trip to Puerto Rico about a year ago and it's nice to see what I was missing. Beautiful posts.

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