Odd Anole Seen on Saba

This letter was just received from Dr. Jennifer Rahn (jlrahn@gmail.com):

Hi Anole friends,
We think we have some strange anole behavior on Saba (Dutch Caribbean) this week. No one has seen the indigenous Saba Anole (Anolis sabanus) with this blue belly before. Have any of you heard of it in other species? We think it may be a stray species from a nearby island, unless of course it is some alpha male or other strange but infrequent anolis behavior.
Please let us know if you can explain this to us.
Curious Sabans

Any thoughts?  It’s definitely A. sabanus (sometimes called the “panther anole” in the pet trade, and one of my favorite species).

About Jonathan Losos

Author and Professor at Harvard University
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3 Responses to Odd Anole Seen on Saba

  1. Neil Losin says:

    Here in FL, we sometimes see anoles with patches of skin missing (lost, I assume, during fights or during predation attempts by larger lizards or birds). When skin is lost without damaging the underlying tissue, the underlying tissue has a distinctly blue appearance. Given the blackened skin around the edge of the blue patch — this often happens around wounds — and the visibility of what could be ribs in the blue area, this male could just have a very large patch of skin torn off.

  2. Jonathan Losos says:

    I brought this to an attention of a lizard scholar, who opined “the visibility of the ribs males me think that this is the melanin of the peritoneal lining viewed through the essentially skinless flank.”

  3. Joe Burgess says:

    I agree, this is an injury.

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