Display behavior of an Hispaniolan anole: Anolis bahorucoensis

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Virginia Tech

Anolis bahorucoensis males were found to possess three species-specific stereotypic displays in their repertoire, referred to as types A, B, and C, and one nonstereotypic headbob movement, the step-bob. Female A. bahorucoensis were found to use one stereotypic display pattern, analogous to the males' type A display. Anolis bahorucoensis also performed eight display modifiers, many of which were typical of the Anolis genus, including: mouth gape/tongue protrusion, gular expansion/dewlap extension, dorsal and nuchal crests, lateral compression, lateral presentation and bow. Two modifiers performed by males were unique to A. bahorucoensis: labeled as "hip-kick" and “head-swing". Use of displays and modifiers was examined for four contexts: malealone, male-male, male-resident-female, and male-strange-female. Anolis bahorucoensis type A, B, and C displays demonstrated extreme minimalization in structure (i.e. low head amplitude, high frequency twitch-nods) and signal use (i.e. low display rates, performed at short inter-lizard separation distances) which are in direct opposition to the display behavior of other anoles. Other atypical anoline characteristics of A. bahorucoensis include reduced dewlap size and infrequent dewlap extension.