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Pacific Island Anoles

There are 435 species in the genus Anolis (sometimes divided into Norops and Dactyola) and while they are one of the most heavily studied lizard clades most of the work has been done on Caribbean species. However, there are seven eastern Pacific Islands species that remain poorly studied. The seven species are known from the Islas Cocos, Gorgona, and Malpelo. Anoles occupying these islands span the extreme ends of the dactyloid phylogeny and are highly variable in their ecology and natural history. In a new paper, Phillips et al. (2019) present a phylogenetic analysis of eastern Pacific island anoles considering the greater anole phylogeny and estimate the timing of divergence from mainland lineages for each species. They found two species of solitary anoles (D. agassizi and N. townsendi) diverged from mainland ancestors prior to the emergence of their respective islands. They also present population-wide morphological data that suggests that both display sexual size dimorphism, …

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