Colombian Quetzal Feeds Anole to Nestling, But What Species of Anole?

Photo copyright Ben Freeman

Ben Freeman of Cornell University writes: here is a photo of a White-tipped Quetzal with an anole, taken at 1800 m on Santa Marta Mountain, Colombia. While working as a bird guide we found an active quetzal nest and we had the chance to observe the adults on various days (<10 h observation). On three occasions, we saw quetzals bring anoles of the size shown in the photo, while an adult appeared to bring a fruit (Lauraceae) on one occasion. The adult posed for a long time with the lizard before entering the nest, presumably feeding the nestling(s) in the cavity nest.

Anyone know what species of anole this might be?

Here’s another cool shot.

Photo copyright Ben Freeman.

About Jonathan Losos

Author and Professor at Harvard University
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4 Responses to Colombian Quetzal Feeds Anole to Nestling, But What Species of Anole?

  1. marthamunoz says:

    Uh oh… I’m getting a LBA (little brown anole) vibe. I’ll get the ball rolling with a wrong answer – Anolis estoypillado. Looks like it has a particularly long tail. A clue, perhaps?

  2. Rich Glor says:

    Awesome shots. How could such a beautiful bird be a cold-blooded killer of such lovely lizards! PS – I have no idea what species this is.

  3. Nice! You see how birds and lizards can live well together. I recall a photo of the Hispaniolan Trogon (priotelus roseigaster) taken by our friend Eladio, eating what possibly was an A. aliniger, in the Bahoruco mts. Trogons and quetzals are closely related, they actually belong to the same family.

    Some of my friends here know that birds are good hounds and can point out (spot) well anole lizards in the field… 😉

  4. Jonathan Losos says:

    The photo Miguel mentions is in Lizards in an Evolutionary Tree and can be seen on Eladio’s website, along with many other fabulous photos.

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