Overview

Brief Summary

The Ecuadorian Horned Anole (Anolis proboscis) is one of three species of anole lizards known as "proboscis anoles". This group, which is also known as the A. laevis group (Williams 1979), consists of A. laevis, A. proboscis, and A. phyllorhinus. Members of all three species have a striking scaly anterior (forward) extension of the snout (Poe et al. 2012).

All three species of proboscis anoles were originally described based on extremely few specimens, all of which were males, and for many decades there were no reported observations of living specimens. The first females of any of these three species were reported by Rodrigues et al. (2002, cited in Losos et al. 2012), who described females of A. phyllorhinus from Amazonian Brazil. Prior to 2005, when a group of birders encountered and photographed a male A. proboscis crossing a road in Mindo, Ecuador (Almendáriz and Vogt 2007), A. proboscis had not been reported since the last specimen was collected in 1966 (Losos et al. 2012). Subsequently, there have been a small number of additional records. Yánez-Muñoz et al. (2010, cited in Losos et al. 2012) described variation in five specimens of A. proboscis (including the first females of this species) that were located in 2007 and 2008 in two areas 11 to 13 km north of previous records. In August and December of 2009, Poe et al. (2012) found and collected 11 additional specimens along a paved road within 5 km of Cunuco, the type locality for this species. Losos et al. (2012) captured 20 individuals as part of their field study in and near Mindo.

Poe et al. (2012) note that the scarcity of specimens of A. laevis and A. phyllorhinus is perhaps unsurprising given their ranges: The single specimen of A. laevis (collected in the mid-19th century) was from a mountain trail connecting two lower elevation towns in Peru and A. phyllorhinus is an Amazonian forest form with an apparently narrow distribution. The scarcity of A. proboscis in collections may be a bit more surprising since the type locality is in a populated area within a 3 hour drive of Quito along a well-traveled, paved road and is frequented by both ecotourists and scientists. However, Losos et al. (2012) attribute the fact that these anoles are rarely observed to their morphology and behavior. They are cryptic in pattern and coloration, move very slowly, and appear to spend most of their time in dense vegetation high off the ground where they are almost impossible to observe.

Based on field observations and measurements, Losos et al. (2012) concluded that, except for its striking proboscis, A. proboscis closely matches the "twig ecomorph" that has evolved multiple times on islands in the Greater Antilles: among other similarities, these anoles are cryptically colored, small, and short-limbed with a narrow head and a tail that is at least somewhat prehensile. The proboscis that gives this group of anoles its name is absent in females of both A. phyllorhinus and A. proboscis (A. laevis females are still unknown). Losos et al. note that although the function of the male's proboscis has not been studied, it is extremely flexible and would clearly not be an effective weapon, although it seems likely that it serves to intimidate other males and/or help attract potential mates.

Poe et al. (2012) reported morphological data from both newly collected and previously preserved specimens of the species, including some characters not previously scored for this species; discussed the results of a phylogenetic analysis aimed at determining the placement of this species within Anolis; and presented new information on the color, behavior, and ecology of A. proboscis in life. Losos et al. (2012) described the results of their behavioral and ecological field study of this species near Mindo, Ecuador.

Although much about A. proboscis remains unknown, much has been learned about this species since its rediscovery, making it by far the best studied of the proboscis anoles. Anolis phyllorhinus remains poorly known and A. laevis is still known from just the preserved specimen from Peru described in 1876. The phylogenetic relationships of all proboscis anoles remain poorly understood (Poe et al. 2012; Losos et al. 2012).

  • Almendáriz, A. and C. Vogt. 2007. Anolis proboscis (Sauria: Polychrotidae), una lagartija rara pero no extinta. Politécnica 27 (Biología series 7): 157–159.
  • Losos, J.B., M.L. Woolley, D.L. Mahler, et al. 2012. Notes on the natural history of the little-known Ecuadorian Horned Anole, Anolis proboscis. Breviora 531: 1-17.
  • Poe, S., F. Ayala, I.M. Latella, et al 2012. Morphology, phylogeny, and behavior of Anolis proboscis. Breviora 530: 1-11.
  • Rodrigues, M.T., V Xavier, G. Skuk, and D. Pavan. 2002. New specimens of Anolis phyllorhinus (Squamata, Polychrotidae): the first female of the species and of proboscid anoles. Papéis Avulsos de Zoologia (Saõ Paulo) 42: 363–380.
  • Williams. E.E. 1979. South American anoles: the species groups. 2. The proboscis anoles (Anolis laevis group). Breviora 449: 1-19.
  • Yánez-Muñoz, M.H., M.A. Urgilés MA, M. Altamirano, and S.R. Cáceres. 2010. Redescripción de Anolis proboscis Peters & Orcés (Reptilia: Polychrotidae), con el descubrimiento de las hembras de la especie y comentarios sobre su distribución y taxonomía. Avances 2: 7-15.
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Distribution

Range Description

This species is known from mid-altitudes of western slopes of the Andes in Pichincha, Ecuador, from four localities around the town of Mindo, Pichincha province (S. Poe pers. comm. 2010, J.B. Losos pers. comm. 2010, Yánez-Muñoz et al. 2010). The furthest localities are only 13 km away from each other. Searches for the species in other areas around Mindo, including areas of better forest habitat, have not yet found any new localities (S. Poe pers. comm. 2010). However, the theoretically probable range of this species may be much larger, but confirmation of this depends on individuals being found in new localities. For example, it may also occur further north in the province of Imbabura and further south in the provinces of Cotopaxi and Santo Domingo de los Tsachilas (Yánez-Muñoz et al. 2010). Its currently known area of occupancy was estimated as 33 km2 (Yánez-Muñoz et al. 2010), and the estimated extent of occurrence is no more than 200 km2 (based on a maximum distance of 13 km between the furthest localities). All known individuals of this species are found in fewer than five locations. It has been found from altitudes ranging between 1,200 and 1,650 m above sea level (S. Poe pers. comm. 2010, Yánez-Muñoz et al. 2010).
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Continent: South-America
Distribution: Ecuador (Pichincha), Peru ?  
Type locality: “Neighbourhood of Cunuco, a small town at 1200 meters elevation, five kilometers northwest of Mindo, on the south bank of the Rio Mindo, a northern tributary of the upper Rio Blanco, in Pichincha Province, Ecuador”
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Ecology

Habitat

Habitat and Ecology

Habitat and Ecology
This species is found in montane forest habitat. The areas around Mindo, where this species has been collected, are made up of pasture land and secondary forest; however this species has been predominantly found in vegetation along a road (S. Poe pers. comm. 2010). It is a slow-moving, cryptically coloured species that occurs high in trees (J.B. Losos pers. comm. 2010). This species is named for its proboscis, an appendage extending from its snout, which is used in courtship.

Systems
  • Terrestrial
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Conservation

Conservation Status

IUCN Red List Assessment


Red List Category
EN
Endangered

Red List Criteria
B1ab(iii)

Version
3.1

Year Assessed
2013

Assessor/s
Mayer, G.C. & Poe, S.

Reviewer/s
Böhm, M., Collen, B. & Ram, M.

Contributor/s
De Silva, R., Milligan, H.T., Wearn, O.R., Wren, S., Zamin, T., Sears, J., Wilson, P., Lewis, S., Lintott, P. & Powney, G.

Justification
Anolis proboscis is a forest specialist with a restricted range. It is listed as Endangered because its known extent of occurrence is no larger than 200 km2, its area of occupancy was estimated as 33 km2 and all individuals are in fewer than five locations, as individuals have so far been found in only four locations, predominantly in vegetation along a single stretch of road. There is a continuing decline in the quality of its habitat due to logging, grazing and other human pressures, which is likely to cause declines in this species. More research is needed on the distribution and population of this species, as it may also be found in provinces to the north and south of Mindo, based on available habitat. Protected areas covering this species' distribution need to be established and population monitoring is recommended.
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Population

Population
There are no population data available for this species. However, the species was found to be relatively abundant at some localities (J.B. Losos pers. comm. 2010).

Population Trend
Unknown
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Threats

Major Threats
The area in which this species is distributed has experienced major habitat loss due to logging, human settlement, agriculture, and grazing. This is likely to cause declines in this species, as due to its small range, it is more vulnerable to habitat alteration (J.B. Losos pers. comm. 2010).
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Management

Conservation Actions

Conservation Actions
No conservation measures are currently in place for this species. Research is required to ascertain whether the species ranges beyond the region of Pichincha, Ecuador, and as this species has a restricted range new protected areas should be established. Research and monitoring is necessary to establish the population trend of the species.
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Wikipedia

Anolis proboscis

The Pinocchio lizard, or Pinocchio anole (Anolis proboscis) is a small lizard belonging to the genus Anolis of the family Polychrotidae. It was discovered in 1953 in Ecuador.
Pinocchio lizard. (Anolis proboscis) Presumed extinct when it was not seen after the 1960s, it was rediscovered in 2005. The species had been officially sighted only three times since that year until 2013 when researchers found evidence of a breeding colony in the remote regions of Ecuador.[2]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Mayer, G.C. and Poe, S. (2009). "Anolis proboscis". IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Version 2011.2. International Union for Conservation of Nature. Retrieved 6 October 2013. 
  2. ^ Main, D. (2013-10-04). "Once 'Extinct' Pinocchio Lizard Pokes His Nose Out". LiveScience.com. Retrieved 2013-10-08. 
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