Territorial displays of male Anolis carolinensis: an analysis and critique

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Virginia Tech


Anolis carolinensis was found to have three stereotyped and distinct territorial headbob patterns, referred to as Types A, B, and C. Each type had two variants, one in which the dewlap appeared mid-display and a second in which dewlap extension was absent. Use of these signals was examined in two contexts: a "male-alone” or advertisement context and a "male-male" or aggressive context. Context accounted for only minor amounts of the variability while display type explained the majority of unit variability. Display rate in advertisement was 0.3 displays/ min, half the displays were solitary, and half occurred in volleys of 2-6 displays. Dewlap extension accompanied 97% of the displays, and all three types of displays were used. Display rate was eightfold greater in male-male context, and the rate doubled again as males came within 20 cm of each other. At large separation distances (>60 cm), long volleys (4-9 displays) were common, Type C displays predominated, and dewlap extension accompanied 92% of the displays. At smaller separation distances (<20 cm), single displays predominated, volleys had fewer displays, displays were more evenly divided among the three types, and 93% of the displays had no dewlap extension.