Stumbling over the search terms leading to the Anole Annals blog today I found this interesting bit of information:
…”afraid of anolis”?
Scoliodentosaurophobia, apparently, is the scientific expression for “fear of lizards”. It’s a category to the more general Herpetophobia (fear of amphibians and/or reptiles). These sorts of fears might seem a little bit odd to the herpetologist… after all I have heard of colleagues having bite lists for fun (“what was the coolest species that ever had its fangs in you?”). But they are surprisingly present amongst laymen and –women out there. Women in Africa would run screaming when they’d see me handling chameleons – fearing that the chameleon’s stare would prevent them from having babies. In the DR, Miguel Landestoy and I were convinced we could help prevent the slaughtering of Haitiophis snakes out of fear by telling farmers that “the girl (me) is not afraid of them either”, appealing to their machismo. The large Dominican green anole Anolis baleatus (and probably some other large crown giants too) has the nickname Salta cocote because it is supposed to jump at people from the trees, trying to suck their blood (“dice la leyenda que le salta a la gente y le muerde el cocote”). An older gentleman seemed very convinced that the Salta cocote had just sucked to death some of his neighbor’s cattle. It even has its own Merengue song (Caco e maco salta cocote, which literally means “you ugly frog head, lizard”).
Phobophobes, by the way, are afraid of phobias.