Habitat selection by the Puerto Rican yellow-chinned anole, Anolis gundlachi

Javier A. Rodríguez-Robles, Manuel Leal, Jonathan B. Losos

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

12 Scopus citations


Habitat selection can directly affect the fitness of an individual and the evolutionary dynamics of the population to which that organism belongs. We studied habitat use of the Puerto Rican yellow-chinned anole (Anolis gundlachi Peters, 1876) to examine whether this arboreal lizard uses its environment in a nonrandom manner. Males and females preferred woody vegetation substrates over nonwoody plants and sierra palms (Prestoea acuminata var. montana (Graham) A. Henderson and G. Galeano) as perching sites, and they also selected wider vegetation than what was randomly available. Selection for minimizing conspicuousness to potential predators and for increased locomotion capacity may help explain the preference for woody substrates and broader surfaces, respectively. Anolis gundlachi relies almost exclusively on visual cues for foraging and social interactions, and using wider perches also increases an individual's ability to scan a larger proportion of its territory. Our findings thus indicate that the nonrandom habitat use of free-ranging A. gundlachi leads to the selection of perching substrates that may increase performance of ecologically relevant capabilities.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)983-988
Number of pages6
JournalCanadian Journal of Zoology
Issue number7
StatePublished - Jul 2005


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