Ecomorphology of Anolis lizards of the Choco' region in Colombia and comparisons with Greater Antillean ecomorphs
Faculty of Sciences. Biology
Biological journal of the Linnean Society. - London
, p. 29-39
University of Antwerp
We analysed the ecomorphological relationships in four species of Anolis lizard that occur in the Choco' region in Colombia. The region is one of the most diverse of the Neotropical lowlands. The species were assigned to traditionally recognized Greater Antillean ecomorph categories based on habitat use data. Principal component analyses were carried out to examine correlations between the morphological traits, body size, and habitat use. We found that species are separated in morphological space principally by body size and lamella number. Upon removal of the effect of body size, correlations between morphology and habitat use became apparent. However, when compared with Greater Antillean ecomorphs, we found little evidence of morphological convergence in species occupying similar habitats. The species of the Choco' region are, however, clearly separated in the multidimensional morphological space from the Antillean taxa, and appear to form a separate cluster differentiating principally in body size and the number of lamellae. Mainland species clearly constitute an ecomorphological radiation but apparently this is independent of that of the West Indian fauna. More studies are needed to understand the causes for the independence of evolutionary trajectories on the mainland and the Greater Antilles, and to obtain a better understanding of the ecological and evolutionary processes underlying the radiation of these faunas. (C) 2007 The Linnean Society of London.