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Anolis altae DUNN, 1930

IUCN Red List - Anolis altae - Least Concern, LC

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Higher TaxaAnolidae, Iguania, Sauria, Squamata (lizards)
Common NamesE: High Anole 
SynonymAnolis altae DUNN 1930: 22
Anolis achilles TAYLOR 1956: 153
Anolis altae — PETERS & DONOSO-BARROS 1970: 47
Anolis achilles — PETERS & DONOSO-BARROS 1970: 47
Norops altae — GUYER & SAVAGE 1986
Norops altae — KÖHLER 2000: 59
Norops altae — NICHOLSON 2002
Norops altae — NICHOLSON et al. 2012
Norops altae — NICHOLSON et al. 2018 
DistributionCosta Rica, elevation 1500-2230 m

Type locality: Finca Acosta, Volcán Barba, Costa Rica, 7000 ft. elevation [= in the Cantón de Santa Barbara, Provincia de Heredia, at 2,133 m elevation on the southwestern slope of Volcán Barba on main road from Alajuela to Varablanca via the Desengaño pass].

achilles: Costa Rica; Type locality: La Palma, Provincia San José, Costa Rica.  
TypesHolotype: MCZ 29385
Holotype: KU 40634 [achilles] 
DiagnosisDiagnosis: A medium-sized species (SVL in largest specimen 50.2 mm) of the genus Anolis (sensu Poe, 2004) that differs from all Lower Central American anoles except Anolis carpenteri, Anolis fortunensis, Anolis fuscoauratus, Anolis gruuo, Anolis kemptoni, Anolis pseudokemptoni in that it is short-legged (longest toe of adpressed hind leg reaches only to tympanum), usually has a single elongated prenasal scale, smooth to slightly keeled ventral scales, and a slender habitus, often delicate. Anolis altae differs from the species in this cluster listed above by the following characteristics: bilobate hemipenis (unilobate in A. carpenteri, A. fortunensis, A. fuscoauratus, A. kemptoni); body reddish- to greyish-brown in life (greenish in A. carpenteri); male dewlap more or less uniformly reddishorange (posterior portion of greenish-beige, anterior portion reddish-orange in A. fortunensis, posterior portion rose pink, anterior portion burnt orange, small cream-colored basal blotch in some populations in A. kemptoni, posterior portion vinaceus, anterior portion orange, anterodorsal corner cream color in A. pseudokemptoni); tail without contrasting banding (such banding present in A. gruuo); a small dirty white dewlap in females (a small orange dewlap in females in A. pseudokemptoni); ratio tail length: SVL 1.81–2.30 (1.73–1.74 in A. gruuo); ratio HL : HW 1.50–1.82, mean 1.66 (1.68–1.98, mean 1.81, in A. kemptoni, 1.82–1.86, mean 1.85, in A. pseudokemptoni); maximum SVL 50.2 mm (57 mm in A. kemptoni, 55 mm in A. pseudokemptoni); total number of loreal scales 24–58 (75–88 in A. pseudokemptoni); SPL 5–8, mean 6.8 (7–9, mean 8.3, in A. gruuo). For variation in selected morphometric and scalation characters of A. altae see Table 1.
The dewlap scalation of an adult male specimen (SMF 85555) of A. altae from 3 km on road north of Vara Blanca, Province of Heredia, was recorded as follows: eight horizontal gorgetal-sternal rows with 24–27 scales per row on basal portion, rows breaking up into scattered scales towards tip; about 50 scales in marginal series, modal number of anterior marginal pairs 2; about 35 apicogorgetals, about 20 apicosternals.
Coloration in life of an adult male specimen (SMF 86917) of A. altae from near Coliblanco (eastern slope of Volcán Irazú, 1,630 m, Province of Cartago) was recorded as follows: Dorsal ground color Sayal Brown (223C of Smithe 1981) with a Raw Umber (123) interorbital bar and a dirty white longitudinal lateral stripe along body; dorsal surfaces of hind limbs and tail with ill-defined Verona Brown (223) crossbands; ventral surface of body dirty white; dewlap uniform Chrome Orange (16); iris Orange Rufous (132C). Coloration in life of an adult female specimen (SMF 86918) from the same locality was recorded as follows: Dorsal ground color Buff (124); ventral surface of body Surphur Yellow (57), paler toward center; iris Orange Rufous (132C). Coloration in life of another adult female specimen (SMF 86922) from near Zapote at bridge of Rio Tapesco (western slope of Volcán Porvenir, 1,680 m, Province of Alajuela) was recorded as follows: iris Mahogany Red (123B); a small dirty white dewlap present. 
CommentAccording to KÖHLER 2009, no characteristics, except geographic location, are known to separate females of A. altae and A. monteverde, but male dewlap coloration and particularly hemipenis morphology readily separates these two otherwise cryptic species.

Species group: Norops auratus Species Group (fide Nicholson et al. 2012) 
EtymologyMaybe named after the high altitude at which it was found. Dunn does not comment on the etymology. 
  • Acosta-Chaves, Víctor J.; Gerardo Chaves, Juan G. Abarca, Adrián García-Rodríguez, Federico Bolaños 2015. A checklist of the amphibians and reptiles of Río Macho Biological Station, Provincia de Cartago, Costa Rica. Check List 11 (6): 1784 - get paper here
  • Dunn, E. R. 1930. Notes on Central American Anolis. Proc. New England Zool. Club 12: 15-24
  • Echelle,A.A.; Echelle,A.F. & FITCH,H.S. 1971. A new anole from Costa Rica. Herpetologica 27: 354-362 - get paper here
  • Guyer, C., & J. M. SAVAGE 1986. Cladistic relationships among anoles (Sauria: Iguanidae). Systematic Zoology 35: 509-531 [1987] - get paper here
  • Köhler, G. 2000. Reptilien und Amphibien Mittelamerikas, Bd 1: Krokodile, Schildkröten, Echsen. Herpeton Verlag, Offenbach, 158 pp.
  • Köhler, G. 2003. Reptiles of Central America. Herpeton Verlag, 367 pp. [review in Copeia 2004: 429] - get paper here
  • Köhler, G. 2008. Reptiles of Central America. 2nd Ed. Herpeton-Verlag, 400 pp.
  • Kohler, G. 2011. A new species of anole related to Anolis altae from Volcán Tenorio, Costa Rica (Reptilia, Squamata, Polychrotidae). Zootaxa 3120: 29-42 - get paper here
  • Nicholson KE, C. Guyer, and JG Phillips 2017. Biogeographic Origin of Mainland Norops (Squamata: Dactyloidae). Assumptions Inhibiting Progress in Comparative Biology (eds. Crother and Parenti), pp. 169–184
  • Nicholson, K.E. 2002. Phylogenetic analysis and a test of the current infrageneric classification of Norops (beta Anolis). Herpetological Monographs 16: 93-120 - get paper here
  • NICHOLSON, KIRSTEN E.; BRIAN I. CROTHER, CRAIG GUYER & JAY M. SAVAGE 2012. It is time for a new classification of anoles (Squamata: Dactyloidae). Zootaxa 3477: 1–108 - get paper here
  • NICHOLSON, KIRSTEN E.; BRIAN I. CROTHER, CRAIG GUYER & JAY M. SAVAGE 2018. Translating a clade based classification into one that is valid under the international code of zoological nomenclature: the case of the lizards of the family Dactyloidae (Order Squamata). Zootaxa 4461 (4): 573–586 - get paper here
  • Peters, James A. & Donoso-Barros, Roberto 1970. Catalogue of the Neotropical Squamata: Part II. Lizards and Amphisbaenians. Bull. US Natl. Mus. 297: 293 pp. - get paper here
  • Poe, S. 2004. Phylogeny of anoles. Herpetological Monographs 18: 37-89 - get paper here
  • Poe, S. 2013. 1986 Redux: New genera of anoles (Squamata: Dactyloidae) are unwarranted. Zootaxa 3626 (2): 295–299 - get paper here
  • Ponce, M. & Köhler, G. 2008. Morphological variation in anoles related to Anolis kemptoni in Panama. Salamandra 44 (2): 65-83 - get paper here
  • Savage, J. M. & C. GUYER 1998. A new species of anole lizard, genus Norops (Squamata: Polychrotidae), from the Cordillera de Talamanca, Costa Rica. Revista de Biologia Tropical 46 (3): 805-809. - get paper here
  • Savage, J. M., & VILLA, J. 1986. An Introduction to the Herpetofauna of Costa Rica. Soc. Stud. Amphib. Rept. Contrib. Herpetol. No. 3, viii + 207 pp.
  • Savage, J.M. 2002. The Amphibians and Reptiles of Costa Rica: A Herpetofauna Between Two Continents, Between Two Seas. University of Chicago Press, 934 pp. [review in Copeia 2003 (1): 205]
  • SMITHE, F. B. 1981. Naturalist’s Color Guide. Part I. Color Guide. 182 color swatches. American Museum of Natural History, New York
  • Taylor, E. H. 1956. A review of the lizards of Costa Rica. Univ. Kansas Sci. Bull. 38 (part 1): 3-322 - get paper here
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