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The lizard Anolis marcanoi 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 descend to capture prey on the ground. Members of this ecomorph, which are similar in ecology and morphology, have evolved independently on several Caribbean islands, including Hispaniola. Anolis marcanoi belongs to the cybotoid radiation of anoles, which is a monophyletic group containing A. cybotes and roughly half a dozen other trunk-ground species. Anolis marcanoi species is xero- to mesophilic, and can be found on rocks and boulders, as well as on rock walls and tree trunks, along the banks of the Ocoa River in the Cordillera Central, a broad mountain chain in central Dominican Republic. This species is morphologically quite similar to A. cybotes, a closely related trunk-ground species also found on Hispaniola, and the two species differ primarily in throat fan (dewlap) color.


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© Juanita M. Hopwood and Martha M. Muñoz

Source: The Harvard University Herpetology Course - OEB 167

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