Lizards of Ecuador

Our research investigates two genera of lizards from Ecuador: Anolis and Microlophus.  Anolis lizards are diurnally active arboreal lizards found in the Caribbean and northern South America. They are characterized by the presence of a flap of skin beneath the chin of males (and females of some species) called the dewlap, which varies in shape, size and colour patterns across species. This is a well-studied group but much of the work has focussed on Caribbean species, with work on South American species focussed on taxonomy and classification. We are studying the Anolis lizards from Ecuador, which are found on both sides of the Andes mountains – from the Amazonian tropical forests to mountain and cloud forests. Microlophus lizards are also known as lava lizards. Two species are found on the mainland, with at least 9 species located on the Galapagos Islands. For each group, we are examining various aspects of their ecology and behaviour, with a particular interest in communication.