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Journal Article

Skin Pigments and Coloration in the Jamaican Radiation of Anolis Lizards

Joseph M. Macedonia, Sarah James, Lawrence W. Wittle and David L. Clark
Journal of Herpetology
Vol. 34, No. 1 (Mar., 2000), pp. 99-109
DOI: 10.2307/1565245
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/1565245
Page Count: 11
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Skin Pigments and Coloration in the Jamaican Radiation of Anolis Lizards
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Abstract

The colorful dewlaps of Anolis lizards have long attracted the attention of biologists interested in the evolution of animal signals. Work on the North American green anole (Anolis carolinensis) and the anoles of Puerto Rico has shown that skin coloration results from the combined effects of pigments-pteridines, carotenoids, and melanin-and structural colors produced by reflecting platelet arrays in dermal iridophores. We conducted a study of skin pigments in the Jamaican radiation of anoles, known as the 'grahami series', to examine how these anoles compare with those previously studied. We also wished to determine the histological basis for a strongly UV reflective dewlap that occurs in the only non-Jamaican member of the seven-species radiation, Anolis conspersus from Grand Cayman. We used thin layer chromatography to identify pteridines, spectrophotometry to detect carotenoids, and histology to reveal patterns of melanin in the skin of the study species. Our results are discussed in light of previously published work on Anolis coloration, and we describe a pigmentary novelty that is unique to A. conspersus within the grahami series.

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