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Open AccessArticle

Biogeography, Systematics, and Ecomorphology of Pacific Island Anoles

Department of Biology, Central Michigan University, 2100 Biosciences, Mount Pleasant, MI 48859, USA
Department of Biological Sciences, University of Idaho, 875 Perimeter Dr., Moscow, ID 83844, USA
Department of Fisheries and Wildlife, Michigan State University, 480 Wilson Rd., East Lansing, MI 48824, USA
3612 Woodley Rd NW, District of Columbia, Washington, DC 20016, USA
3759 Farm to Market Rd. 1488 #175, The Woodlands, TX 77382, USA
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Diversity 2019, 11(9), 141;
Received: 1 July 2019 / Revised: 12 August 2019 / Accepted: 15 August 2019 / Published: 21 August 2019
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Systematics and Conservation of Neotropical Amphibians and Reptiles)
Anoles are regarded as important models for understanding dynamic processes in ecology and evolution. Most work on this group has focused on species in the Caribbean Sea, and recently in mainland South and Central America. However, the Eastern Tropical Pacific (ETP) is home to seven species of anoles from three unique islands (Islas Cocos, Gorgona, and Malpelo) that have been largely overlooked. Four of these species are endemic to single islands (Norops townsendi on Isla Cocos, Dactyloa agassizi on Isla Malpelo, D. gorgonae and N. medemi on Isla Gorgona). Herein, we present a phylogenetic analysis of anoles from these islands in light of the greater anole phylogeny to estimate the timing of divergence from mainland lineages for each species. We find that two species of solitary anoles (D. agassizi and N. townsendi) diverged from mainland ancestors prior to the emergence of their respective islands. We also present population-wide morphological data suggesting that both display sexual size dimorphism, similar to single-island endemics in the Caribbean. All lineages on Isla Gorgona likely arose during past connections with South America, and ecologically partition their habitat. Finally, we highlight the importance of conservation of these species and island fauna in general. View Full-Text
Keywords: Dactyloidae; ecomorphology; Iguania; Isla Cocos; Isla Gorgona; Isla Malpelo; island biogeography; lizards; neotropics; overwater dispersal Dactyloidae; ecomorphology; Iguania; Isla Cocos; Isla Gorgona; Isla Malpelo; island biogeography; lizards; neotropics; overwater dispersal
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Phillips, J.G.; Burton, S.E.; Womack, M.M.; Pulver, E.; Nicholson, K.E. Biogeography, Systematics, and Ecomorphology of Pacific Island Anoles. Diversity 2019, 11, 141.

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