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Wednesday, April 26 • 12:30pm - 2:00pm
Variation in Anolis Lizard Scale Size among Habitats and Across Islands

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Anolis lizards in the West Indies are one of the best-studied examples of an adaptive radiation, or the remarkable evolution of various forms from a single ancestral lineage. While most islands in the Caribbean support multiple species of endemic Anoles, the widespread Cuban Brown Anole (Anolis sagrei) is found across the northern Caribbean. Indeed, this species has the widest range of any of the 400+ Neotropical anoles- ranging from the northern Bahamas to Mesoamerica. Our advisor, Dr. Reynolds, has obtained photographic scans of this species from multiple localities across this broad geographic range. For each locality, Dr. Reynolds sampled anoles from 4 distinct habitat types: Mangrove forest, Coppice forest, Coastal Scrub forest, and Secondary Growth forest. We developed transect methods to quantify the number of lizard scales from these photographic scans on both the dorsal and ventral surfaces of each animal. We then analyzed >2000 individual lizards from 12 different localities using the program ImageJ. From these transect counts, we then estimated the relative scale size of these lizards, a meristic trait which is thought to be under strong selection in certain microhabitats based on the ambient moisture availability. We hypothesized that animals from mesic closed-canopy forests would exhibit smaller scales than those from xeric open habitats, which would be related to water loss rates. We further hypothesized that these habitat/scale size correlations would be deterministic, or repeatable, on islands across the range of Anolis sagrei.


Wednesday April 26, 2017 12:30pm - 2:00pm
Concourse - Wilma Sherrill Center

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