Crossing the Rio Bani in Search of Anolis distichus

In the Dominican Republic, there are few anole hunting localities more famous than the Recodo Road, a road running along the Rio Bani just west of Bani (you can get some background on this locality from several previous blog posts 1, 2, 3).  Anthony Geneva, Shea Lambert, and I arrived here on Sunday to continue our studies of speciation in the distichus species group.  One feature of this road familiar to anyone who’s visited are the river crossings that are necessitated by the absence of bridges.  With a 4×4, these crossings are a piece of cake when the water is low, but completely impossible when  the water is high.  After a recent tropical storm, both of the two required crossings are on the verge of uncrossability.  We made it through the first one (see photos above), but have decided to hold off on attempting the second until the river settles a bit more.  Note the beautiful Kapok (Ceiba) tree at the first crossing, which is one of the oldest and most beautiful native trees in the region (it’s also from a genus with rather remarkable transatlantic dispersal capabilities [Dick et al. 2007]).  More soon on the lizards we’re seeing so far!

About Rich Glor

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