Tuesday, July 24, 2012

A Dissertation Must Be Brewing

Hola from St. Croix. Today we were out collecting habitat spectral data for Anolis acutus. Acutus has a beautiful dewlap, nice body color, and elegant body shape. Such a combination of traits would give bragging rights to any lizard. However, their social structure has my head spinning. As pointed out in a series of papers by Ruibal and Philobosian in the early 1970's, you can easily find multiple males in close proximity -- it is common to see a tree with 5 to 8 males -- and to observe relatively little, if any, fighting. It's quite surprising to see males walking by each other and not witnessing any signs of aggression! Clearly, these guys have not read the chapter on territoriality by J. Stamps!!!! It seems that the time is ripe to revisit some of the ideas proposed by Rubial and Philibosian about A. acutus's relatively "strange" social behavior with a fresh pair of eyes.
"another day at the tree"

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