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The lizard Anolis longitibialis is a species of anole found on Hispaniola, a Caribbean island comprised of the countries of Haiti and the Dominican Republic. Anoles are a diverse group of small, primarily arboreal, insectivorous lizard species found in the New World from North Carolina all the way to central South America and on the Caribbean islands. This species is a member of a Hispaniolan clade of anoles that are all considered members of the “trunk-ground” ecomorph class. Trunk-ground anoles are so named because they use low perches, such as tree trunks and large rocks, and will actively forage on the ground. Members of this ecomorph, which are similar in ecology and morphology, have evolved independently on several Caribbean islands, including Hispaniola. Anolis longtibialis belongs to the cybotoid radiation of anoles, which is a monophyletic group containing A. cybotes and roughly half a dozen other trunk-ground species. This species is primarily a rock dweller; it is at home on large boulders or perched along limestone cliff walls. Its distribution is relatively restricted in comparison with the other species in this clade. Anolis longitibialis was first identified on Isla Beata, a small satellite island off the southern coast of the Dominican Republic, where it is quite abundant. On Isla Beata it perches on broad cliff walls, and will use the crevices to hide. Schwartz (1979) reported a distinct subspecies discovered in the Jaragua National Park, in the southwestern Dominican Republic. Jaragua is composed mainly of dry forest, and there are patches of limestone rocks scattered throughout. This species perches on those rocks, as well as the surrounding vegetation.


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© Juanita M. Hopwood and Martha M. Muñoz

Source: The Harvard University Herpetology Course - OEB 167

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