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Anolis lionotus COPE, 1861

IUCN Red List - Anolis lionotus - Least Concern, LC

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Higher TaxaAnolidae, Iguania, Sauria, Squamata (lizards)
Common NamesE: Lion Anole 
SynonymAnolis (Dracontura) lionotus COPE 1861: 210
Anolis lionotus — BOULENGER 1885: 70
Anolis rixi BOULENGER 1894
Anolis lionotus — TAYLOR 1956
Anolis lionotus — ORTLEB & HEATWOLE 1965
Anolis lionotus — PETERS & OREJAS-MIRANDA 1970: 59
Norops lionotus — VILLA et al. 1988
Anolis lionotus — WILLIAMS et al. 1995
Norops lionotus — KÖHLER 2000: 63
Norops lionotus — NICHOLSON 2002
Norops lionotus — NICHOLSON et al. 2012
Norops lionotus — NICHOLSON et al. 2018 
DistributionC Panama

Type locality: Cucuyas de Veraguas, Panama.  
TypesHolotype: ANSP 7909 
CommentSpecies group: Norops auratus Species Group (fide Nicholson et al. 2012)

Synonymy: Savage (2002: 473) stated ‘‘The presumed differences in scutellation between what may now be called Norops lionotus and N. oxylophus are slight, and C. Guyer and I suspect that the two nominal forms represent a single species.’’ However, unpublished data of Gunther Köhler support the recognition of N. lionotus and N. oxylophus as separate species. The two species differ mostly in dorsal scalation (dorsal scales large, much larger than ventral scales in N. lionotus versus dorsal scales of moderate size and about the same size as largest ventral scales in N. oxylophus) and body pattern (a longitudinal lateral pale stripe usually absent in N. lionotus versus lateral pale stripe always present in N. oxylophus). Until a comprehensive study of the geographic variation in this group of anoles has been published McCranie & Köhler 2015 prefer to recognize N. lionotus and N. oxylophus as separate species. Nicholson et al. (2012) also recognized N. oxylophus as a valid species (from McCranie & Köhler 2015).

Distribution: not in Honduras fide McCranie 2015. Populations from Honduras are now assigned to A. oxylophus.

Habitat: semi-aquatic (Baeckens et al. 2021) 
  • Baeckens, S.; M. Temmerman, S. Gorb, C. Neto, M. Whiting & R. Van Damme 2021. Convergent evolution of skin surface microarchitecture and increased skin hydrophobicity in semi-aquatic anole lizards. Journal of Experimental Biology 224(19): jeb242939 ( - get paper here
  • Boulenger, G.A. 1885. Catalogue of the lizards in the British Museum (Natural History). Vol. 2, Second edition. London, xiii+497 pp. - get paper here
  • Campbell, H. W. 1973. Ecological observations on Anolis lionotus and Anolis poecilopus (Reptilia, Sauria) in Panama. American Museum Novitates 2516: 1-29 - get paper here
  • Cope, E.D. 1861. Notes and descriptions of anoles. Proc. Acad. Nat. Sci. Philadelphia 13: 208-215. - get paper here
  • Cope, E.D. 1875. On the Batrachia and Reptilia of Costa Rica with notes on the herpetology and ichthyology of Nicaragua and Peru. Journal of the Academy of Natural Sciences of Philadelphia N.S. (2) 8: 93-183 [sometimes said to be published 1876 but see Murphy et al. 2007 for clarification]] - get paper here
  • Crandell, Kristen E.; Anthony Herrel, Mahmood Sasa, Jonathan B. Losos, Kellar Autumn 2014. Stick or grip? Co-evolution of adhesive toepads and claws in Anolis lizards. Zoology 117 (6): 363-369 - get paper here
  • Fitch, H. S., & SEIGEL, R. A. 1984. Ecological and taxonomic notes on Nicaraguan anoles. Milwaukee Publ. Mus. Contrib. Biol. & Geol. No. 57, 13 pp. - get paper here
  • Flaschendräger, Axel 1992. Zur Kenntnis des mittelamerikanischen Wasseranolis - Anolis oxylophus Cope, 1875. Herpetofauna 14 (77): 27-32 - get paper here
  • Jungfer, K.-H. 1987. Wasseranolis. Herpetofauna 9 (48): 13 - get paper here
  • Köhler, G. 2000. Reptilien und Amphibien Mittelamerikas, Bd 1: Krokodile, Schildkröten, Echsen. Herpeton Verlag, Offenbach, 158 pp.
  • Köhler, G. 2008. Reptiles of Central America. 2nd Ed. Herpeton-Verlag, 400 pp.
  • McCranie, J.R. 1993. Additions to the Herpetofauna of Honduras. Carib. J. Sci. 29 (3/4): 254-25
  • Montgomery, Chad E.; Edgardo J. Griffith Rodriquez, Heidi L. Ross, and Karen R. Lips 2011. Communal Nesting in the Anoline Lizard Norops lionotus (Polychrotidae) in Central Panama. Southwestern Naturalist 56 (1): 83-88 - 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., R. E. Glor, J. J. Kolbe, A. Larson, S. B. Hedges, and J. B. Losos 2005. Mainland colonization by island lizards. Journal of Biogeography 32: 929–938 - get paper here
  • 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
  • Ortleb, Edward; Heatwole, Harold 1965. Comments on some Panamanian lizards with a key to the species from Barro Colorado Island, C.Z. and vicinity. Carib. J. Sci. 5 (3-4):141-147.
  • Poe, S. 2013. 1986 Redux: New genera of anoles (Squamata: Dactyloidae) are unwarranted. Zootaxa 3626 (2): 295–299 - 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.
  • Solís, J. M., L. D. Wilson, and J. H. Townsend. 2014. An updated list of the amphibians and reptiles of Honduras, with comments on their nomenclature. Mesoamerican Herpetology 1: 123–144 - get paper here
  • Taylor, E. H. 1956. A review of the lizards of Costa Rica. Univ. Kansas Sci. Bull. 38 (part 1): 3-322 - get paper here
  • Vitt, L. J.; Zani, P. A.;Durtsche, R. D. 1995. Ecology of the lizard Norops oxylophus (Polychrotidae) in lowland forest of southeastern Nicaragua. Canadian Journal of Zoology 73: 1918-1927. - get paper here
  • Williams E E 1984. New or problematic Anolis from Colombia. 3. Two new semiaquatic anoles from Antioquia and Choco, Colombia. Breviora (478): 1-22 - get paper here
  • Williams, E.E.; Rand, H.; Rand, A.S. & O’Hara, R.J. 1995. A computer approach to the comparison and identification of species in difficult taxonomic groups. Breviora (502): 1-47 - get paper here
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