Anolis occultus, a member of the twig ecomorph group, is one of the most secretive species of lizard found in Puerto Rico. However, today I was lucky enough to observe a male A. occultus drinking water from the surface of a leaf. It was an amazing few minutes; after a very light rain, the individual began to search for water droplets on the surface of leaves. This was done by slowly walking while searching for the droplets. Once a water droplet was found, the individual would approach it and very deliberately protrude his tongue to lick the droplet as shown by the picture below.
|Anolis occultus drinking water|
As an "Experimental Natural Historian" these are the moments that remind me, why it is critical to be in the field as much as possible. It only took a few tiny rain droplets to elicit the behavior, immediately raising the question of how a lizard can sense such a few rain droplets.