Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Hasta Luego

Yesterday was our last day at Snake Cay. We had a productive morning. However the afternoon brought another storm (see picture), with wind speed at 15 m/s and the lizards decided to go to bed early. Overall we collected approximately 100 videos of male A. sagrei. Kudos to Chivo for another GREAT performance and to his helper, who prefers to stay anonymous, for keeping all the equipment organized and spotting lizards. The REAL fun is about to begin. In a few months we should know if the physical properties of the advertise displays have changed due to predation pressure. Our next stop will be Puerto Rico and more research with anoles. Hasta la proxima!!!!

Sunday, June 6, 2010


Today was a HOT one. As we say back home "el sol estaba que pelaba." By 8:00 am we were drench in sweat, as illustrated by Dave's picture. Even the lizards are having a difficult time with the oppressing heat, limiting most of their activity to early morning and late afternoon.

Saturday, June 5, 2010

Sandflies and Videotapes

Summer is finally here, which means heavy showers and the arrival of a thick cloud of sandflies to Snake Cay. The last two days have been particularly bad. It is easy to see hundreds of sandflies swarming over Dave's head while he is trying to videotape lizards. The land crabs (Cardisoma guanhumi) are also getting excited with the rain, and beginning their migration. Today we found a nice size male, picture above, on Cay 5.

Friday, June 4, 2010

iButtons & New Wheels

An update on the iButtons or what Dave eloquently described as pantyhose pouches on the previous post. I finished placing them in the cays. The iButtons will be collecting temperature data for the next 6 months. Time will tell if this was another great idea, or if the birds will enjoy using the pantyhose as nesting material. I just began looking at the data collected by the iButtons from October (2009) to May (2010) and there are some interesting differences between perch types. Finally a friend of the lab recently got new wheels, picture above. The car is a perfect match for her. We are looking forward to having a joy ride when we get back.

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Pantyhose Pouches

The weather (wind & rain) failed us again, so we occupied ourselves by preparing for another small project. We will be measuring more daily temperatures throughout the year on the cays using penny-sized temperature recorders (or iButtons). To attach them to vegetation & rocks, Manuel decided that we should place them in pantyhose pouches that are breathable and will not influence temperature. This meant that we had to a.) purchase pantyhose, and b.) wrap ~50 iButtons in said pantyhose. Both tasks proved difficult. We had to search 4 stores, including one shop that specializes in "undergarments and 'butt boosters'," before locating the necessary materials. Despite the pain of driving around town, I must say that it was a pleasure to watch Manuel attempt to explain to each and every (disturbed) clerk why a grown man so desperately needed pantyhose in the Bahamas. And then we spent an indeterminate amount of time wrapping our iButtons, which is much trickier than one would imagine. Hopefully the pouches work ...

Monday, May 31, 2010

How many videos???

At Snake Cay, the weather continues to be HOT and WINDY and the anoles are not doing much, or at least not displaying at all while we are collecting videos. Today we were unable to collect a single video on two of the cays. Back in Marsh Harbour Dave found what seems to be a specimen of Ramphotyphlops braminus, the asiatic parthenogenetic typhlopid that has been introduced in many places. Please take look at the picture of the GIANT snake.

Sunday, May 30, 2010


Today we had a very difficult time filming lizards. I am willing to go out on a limb and speculate that it was partially due to the windy conditions; wind speed was constant around 3.5 m/s with intervals of up to 7.5 m/s. The highpoint of the morning came courtesy of three curly tails which we observed sharing a fruit. The more time I spend watching these lizards the more convinced I am they are more social than anoles. Take a look at the video. The lizards are sharing the fruit showing very little, if any, sign of aggression. Kudos to Dave for recording such a nice video, I can see National Geographic calling to offer a cameraman position.

Saturday, May 29, 2010


The moment of the day courtesy of a curly on One Pine, who climbed up my leg --perch height 65cm, perch diameter 15cm -- and used me as a lookout for a possible meal. This individual climbed all the way to my waist and literally used me as a perch for approximately 5 minutes. Enough time to allow me to search for my camera and snap a few pictures. In other news, taking videos of male sagrei on curly's islands is more challenging than expected. Dave keeps using "*&*(^*&^*&^*&" to vent his frustrations in trying to videotape anoles that seem to either not display at all, or move to a really cluttered spot and then give what Dave likes to call a "wimpy" display.

Thursday, May 27, 2010


Jonathan and Jason left yesterday. Dave joined the team to begin conducting real science. Dave will be videotaping male A. sagrei to investigate if predation pressure can have an impact on the physical attributes of head-bob displays. He is also taking charge as the captain of The Leaping Lizard.

Monday, May 24, 2010


Our brave leader proudly showing his badges. Although it is unclear if this is a honest signal, or just another example of deception. Also, the X-ray machine is officially done for this trip. I have to admit, I was skeptical about the functionality of JBL's new toy. However, after collecting data on 361 lizards I can honestly say this is a very COOL piece of equipment.

Saturday, May 22, 2010


Yesterday JBL sold me into the idea that testing the repeatability of his new toy (i.e. X-rays' machine) was a GREAT IDEA. Today we spent a little over 8 hours measuring lizards. Each individual was measured in multiple ways: hand measurements, digital images, scans, and X-rays. We both had a GREAT time, and I am looking forward for his next GREAT IDEA.

Wednesday, May 19, 2010


Today we reached our first milestone. Everyone on the team reached the three digits mark on the same day, putting us over the 300 lizards benchmark at this stage of the trip. We are feeling very optimistic on reaching our goal of double digits per cay. As a side note, the moment of the day happen on Cay 6 where a male lizard (picture above) disappeared in plain sight causing extremely anxiety to our leader who was under the impression that a curly was the culprit of the event.

Tuesday, May 18, 2010


Jonathan taking his daily dosage of Goombay Punch, as he likes to say "a goombay a day to keep his lizard catching abilities at a 110%" A little known fact about goombay is that goombay provides twice the energy and ten times the visual acuity of an energy drink. What better proves that Jonathan's performance on W2, X10, or A5, where he has collected the whopping amount of 4 lizards.

Sunday, May 16, 2010

Passing The Baton

Tom and Jonathan leaving Cay # 1 and having a deep conversation, although in very shallow water, on what to do next. In my humble opinion, the past, present, and future of experimental evolutionary ecology.

Saturday, May 15, 2010


Day 9: The weather keeps hurting Jonathan's ability to catch lizard. Today he scored a BIG ZERO on three of the islands. By the end of the day his productivity was limited to ONLY FOUR, YES FOUR, lizards. Needless to say we are extremely concerned with the possible repercussions of such a low score. Marta had a similar problem yesterday, when she scored a ZERO "BLANQUEADA" for the day. In other news the X-ray machine is working great and is providing valuable information, including insights on the diet. A few individuals show evidence of what appears to be seeds and small snails as part of their diet.

Thursday, May 13, 2010

Curly Tail

Finally we had some decent weather and thus a successful lizard's catching day. Today Jonathan broke another record. He is currently holding the record for catching the smallest lizard; a record not to be proud off. The best moment of the day came due to courtesy of a curly tail that nearly caught an anole that was moving toward the ground on Y5. Clearly, curly tail islands' are very dangerous places for sageri.

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Is not DiGiorno!!!!!!

Day 7, Not any exciting news from the field. The weather has been miserable, extremely windy, which is not good for lizard catching. Our leader scored a shutout or as we said back home "una dona" on two of the cays.
Yesterday, we had a pizza night and a solid portion of "tostones" thanks to my cooking skills

Monday, May 10, 2010

Another Day in Paradise

Day 5: Today we had some minor boat problems. The engine stop working approximately 100m from shore. Tom and Jonathan gave plenty of suggestions(?) on how to fix the problem. At the end, I took one for the team and pulled the boat to shore. After fixing the boat we went out collecting. For the first time in the history of this project I didn't get a single lizard. An extremely sad moment. I am positive that Jonathan was making aerial cartwheels in celebration of my poor performance.

Sunday, May 9, 2010

How many lizards?????

Jason and Manuel had a another solid day, double digits collecting. However, our leader is having difficulties. Today his production was limited to SOLAMENTE OCHO lagartijos. In other news JBL's new toy is working great (see picture), plenty of morphological data to be analyzed in the near future.

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Back in Field 2010

Today we began another exciting field season. The group is getting ready to learn how strong selection can be. Also, we are setting up to begin measuring lizards, which we will be doing for the next 3 weeks. Hasta Manana, M.L.