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Ecological and Ethological Parameters in Anolis bahorucoensis, a Species Having Rudimentary Development of the Dewlap

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image of Amphibia-Reptilia

Anolis b. bahorucoensis is a slender lizard, endemic to Hispaniola, that inhabits the deep shade of the forest understory. Unlike most anoles, the male has only a weakly developed dewlap, an organ important in courtship and territorial displays (and species' recognition). At least some populations of A. b. bahorucoensis are brilliantly colored with a gaudy, contrasting pattern. Experiments conducted in the field indicate that A. b. bahorucoensis is subject to intense predation pressure from at least two large common predatory congeners, A. coelestinus and A. cybotes. These two species occurring in syntopy with A. b. bahorucoensis probably assure that every individual of the latter species is constantly in danger, from several directions simultaneously, and can only survive by instantaneous escape responses, and other anti-predator strategies, that demand priority over every other kind of activity.

Affiliations: 1: Dept. of Systematics and Ecology, University of Kansas, Lawrence, KS 66045, U.S.A.; 2: Section of Vertebrate Zoology, Milwaukee Public Museum, Milwaukee, WI 53233, U.S.A.


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