More ‘Cryptic’ Anole Species from Central America

Köhler & Vesely begin their recent Herpetologica paper [doi link] on the Central American anole Anolis sericeus with a quote from the famous West Indian herpetologist Thomas Barbour (1932), who suggested that it was ‘‘a wicked and sinful affection to describe more anoles.’’  Undaunted, Köhler & Vesely go on to elevate two species from within the widespread Anolis sericeus based on differences in scalation, dewlap size and hemipenal morphology.  It’s a shame their photos are published in black and white because A. sericeus and its relatives have one of the prettiest dewlaps you’re ever going to see (this crappy photo I took in Belize a few years back really does them little justice).  The diagnostic features that Köhler & Vesel report are compelling, and provide another exciting example of morphologically cryptic species in a widespread anole species.

About Rich Glor

Assistant Professor of Biology at the University of Rochester and longtime anole enthusiast.
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