Striped Anole, Displaying

July 14th, 2012 - 10:22 PM | Filed under Featured Photos | No comments

April 23, 2012 | Arikok National Park, Aruba

The Striped Anole, Anolis lineatus, was probably the species of lizard I most encountered in Aruba. I assume the common and scientific names refer to those dark broken lateral stripes, but it’s known locally as Waltaka.

Here’s another one, a female perhaps.

Female? Or a young male?

My earlier post of the lizard on a tree is also one.

After a good bit of googling, I came across a good free resource on the reptiles and amphibians of Aruba, link below.

Reference:

Amphibians and Reptiles of Aruba
by R. Andrew Odum
PDF hosted at WildAruba

Aruban Lizard on Tree

July 5th, 2012 - 9:01 PM | Filed under Featured Photos | 1 Comment

April 23, 2012 | Arikok National Park, Aruba

Aruba could easily be called “Lizard Island”. You can’t take a step without seeing a few scurrying away. I don’t think there’s a square inch of sand that doesn’t have a lizard track in it.

Anole

July 4th, 2011 - 10:04 AM | Filed under Featured Photos | No comments

 

January 21, 2011 | Finca La Isla, Limon Province, Costa Rica

 

Anoles were abundant everywhere I went in Costa Rica. They are difficult to identify though, and I gave up trying to figure out which species this might be.

 

Anole

 

 

Female Yellow-headed Gecko

June 19th, 2011 - 1:21 PM | Filed under Featured Photos | No comments

January 21, 2011 | Finca La Isla, Limon Province, Costa Rica

Compared to the male, this female Gonatodes albigularis is quite drab.

She looks as if she has suffered some unfortunate incident. Not only does she appear to be regrowing the tip of her tail, but one of her hind feet seems a bit mangled.

Bronze-backed Climbing Skink

June 7th, 2011 - 7:35 AM | Filed under Featured Photos | No comments

January 20, 2011 | Armonia Nature Preserve, Limon Province, Costa Rica

I thought it would be difficult to identify this skink, but it turns out there are only three skinks in Costa Rica. Only two of those occur in the area I was in. And only one, Mabuya unimarginata, is bronzed like this one.

Chiefly arboreal, this one was nonetheless basking on a log near the ground.

Showing more of the body

See more images of this species here.

Reference:

A Guide to Amphibians and Reptiles of Costa Rica
by Twan Leenders

Slender Anole

June 5th, 2011 - 8:39 AM | Filed under Featured Photos | No comments

 

January 20, 2011 | Armonia Nature Preserve, Limon Province, Costa Rica

 

I photographed this slender anole, Norops limifrons, not long after sunset. This species is common and abundant in Costa Rica. It ranges from Mexico to Panama.

According to Leenders, observations suggest that this species mates for life, a rare behavior for a lizard. Energy otherwise spent by the male on defending a territory against other males is instead spent on maintaining the relationship with the female. The male and female stick together, usually never more than a few meters apart. If I’d known this at the time, I’d have looked around for this one’s mate.

References:

A Guide to Amphibians and Reptiles of Costa Rica
by Twan Leenders
The Amphibians and Reptiles of Costa Rica:
A Herptofauna between Two Continents, between Two Seas

by Jay Mathers Savage

 

Yellow-headed Gecko

May 3rd, 2011 - 6:53 PM | Filed under Featured Photos | 1 Comment

January 19, 2011 | Armonia Nature Preserve, Limon Province, Costa Rica

This species, Gonatodes albigularis, can usually be found on surfaces two to three meters above the ground. Not surprisingly then, I spotted this male just above eye-level on the side of a tree, shortly after dark.

Male coloration as shown here is distinctive among Costa Rican lizards. Interestingly though, coloration changes after dark. The head darkens a bit and the body lightens somewhat. Both still remain distinct from each other. What you see above then is the night color phase, or perhaps a transitional phase between the two. Males also have that white-tipped tail.

As the round pupils suggest, this is a diurnal lizard.

I didn’t measure this one, but they generally grow to around 9cm.

Reference:

A Guide to Amphibians and Reptiles of Costa Rica
by Twan Leenders