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We describe a new species of Anolis lizard from the Pacific slopes of the Andes of southwestern Ecuador at elevations between 372–1,000 m. The new species belongs to the Dactyloa clade and may be distinguished from other Anolis by size, external anatomy, mitochondrial DNA divergence, and dewlap color. Based on phylogenetic analyses of mitochondrial and nuclear DNA sequence data, we found that the new species is sister to A. fraseri in a clade composed primarily of large Dactyloid species. The new species is known from a protected area in southern Ecuador, Buenaventura Reserve, which suggests that at least some its populations are well protected.
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ISSN 1175-5326 (print edition)
ISSN 1175-5334 (online edition)
Accepted by L. Avila: 24 May 2021; published: 24 Jun. 2021 295
Zootaxa 4991 (2): 295–317
Copyright © 2021 Magnolia Press Article
A new giant anole (Squamata: Iguanidae: Dactyloinae)
from southwestern Ecuador
1Museo de Zoología, Departamento de Ciencias Biológicas, Pontificia Universidad Católica del Ecuador, Avenida 12 de Octubre 1076
y Roca, Apartado 17-01-2184, Quito, Ecuador.
5Department of Biology, University of New Mexico, Albuquerque, NM, 87131, USA.;
6Facultad de Ciencias Naturales, Universidad de Guayaquil, Av. Raúl Gómez Lince s/n Av. Juan Tanca Marengo, Guayaquil, Ecuador.;
7Department of Ecology, Environment and Evolution, La Trobe University, Bundoora, Australia.
8Unidad de Investigación, Instituto Nacional de Biodiversidad. Rumipamba 341 y Av. de los Shyris. Apartado 17-07-8976, Quito, Ec-
*Corresponding author.
We describe a new species of Anolis lizard from the Pacific slopes of the Andes of southwestern Ecuador at elevations
between 372–1,000 m. The new species belongs to the Dactyloa clade and may be distinguished from other Anolis by size,
external anatomy, mitochondrial DNA divergence, and dewlap color. Based on phylogenetic analyses of mitochondrial
and nuclear DNA sequence data, we found that the new species is sister to A. fraseri in a clade composed primarily of
large Dactyloid species. The new species is known from a protected area in southern Ecuador, Buenaventura Reserve,
which suggests that at least some its populations are well protected.
Key words: Andes, Anolis, phylogeny, South America, systematics, taxonomy
The Pacific versant of Ecuador and southern Colombia is one of the most herpetologically diverse regions of the
world. Anolis lizards (anoles) in particular have flourished here, with 28 of the 43 species known from Ecuador
restricted to the Pacific versant. This diversity has resulted in large multispecies assemblages such as the 11 species
of Anolis found sympatrically at Rio Palenque field station in Los Rios province. Cryptic species pairs such as A.
aequatorialis Werner 1894 and A. dracula Yánez-Muñoz, Reyes-Puig, Reyes-Puig, Velasco, Ayala-Varela & Torres-
Carvajal 2018, or A. poei Ayala-Varela, Troya-Rodríguez, Talero-Rodríguez & Torres-Carvajal 2014 and A. otongae
Ayala-Varela & Velasco 2010 differentiated in this region, as did mini radiations such as the lineage of A. peraccae
Boulenger 1898, A. anchicayae Poe, Velasco, Miyata & Williams 2009a, A. fasciatus Boulenger 1885, A. festae
Peracca 1904, A. chloris Boulenger 1898, and A. gorgonae Barbour 1905. The proliferation of Pacific versant anoles
has produced striking offshoots such as the rostrally endowed A. proboscis Peters & Orcés 1956, the ecologically
unusual semiaquatic A. lynchi Miyata 1985, and the vibrantly colored giant A. fraseri Günther 1859.
Anolis fraseri appears morphologically distinct among anoles due to its large size, brilliant color pattern, short
hindlimbs, broad toepads, and variably keeled venter. The evolutionary roots of A. fraseri were sufficiently mysteri-
ous that ultimate anole expert Ernest Williams (1966) judged its most reasonable systematic comparison to be with
A. biporcatus Wiegmann 1834, a species that has been shown to be a very distant evolutionary relative (Etheridge
1959; Poe et al. 2017). More recent work has grouped A. fraseri with two other enigmatic species, A. parilis Wil-
296 · Zootaxa 4991 (2) © 2021 Magnolia Press
liams 1975 and A. kunayalae Hulebak, Poe, Ibáñez & Williams 2007, with the divergence of these three species
from other anoles some 12 million years ago (mya; Prates et al. 2020). Although A. parilis and A. kunayalae share
large size and a colorful (but distinctly patterned) dorsum with A. fraseri, these species nevertheless are quite mor-
phologically distinct from A. fraseri. Anolis parilis and A. kunayalae share a toe morphology that is very unusual in
anoles and absent in A. fraseri, namely a narrow toepad with few lamellae coupled with a very large claw. Although
its evolutionary history has become less obscure, A. fraseri has remained a singularly unusual species in Pacific
During exploratory fieldwork in the southern aspect of the Pacific Andes of Ecuador we collected a series of
anoles composed of individuals that were both clearly distinct from other anole species and more similar to Anolis
fraseri than any known species. Subsequent detailed molecular and morphological work confirmed this distinctness,
and we here describe this form as a new species.
Material and methods
Data sampling. Voucher specimens of the new species described in this paper were deposited in the Museo de Zo-
ología, Pontificia Universidad Católica del Ecuador, Quito (QCAZ), Herpetological Collection of Instituto Nacional
de Biodiversidad (DHMECN), and Universidad San Francisco de Quito (JMG field numbers). Other specimens
examined are listed in Appendix 1. We followed terminology for external characters by Williams et al. (1995),
Poe (2004) and Kӧhler (2014), as well as Savage (1997) and D’Angiolella et al. (2016) for hemipenial characters.
Morphological measurements were taken with digital calipers to the nearest 0.1 mm; tails were measured with a
ruler; regenerated or broken tails were not measured. Scale counts were made on the left side if applicable. Sex was
determined by the presence of everted hemipenes and dewlap color. The right hemipenis of specimens DHMECN
7687 (Anolis sp. nov.) and QCAZ 10212 (A. fraseri) were removed with a subcaudal incision and prepared using the
method described by Pesantes (1994), with the modifications proposed by Betancourt et al. (2018).
In addition to describing color in life, we measured spectral reflectance of the dewlap of seven individuals of the
new species (two males, five females) and 14 individuals of Anolis fraseri (eight males, six females). We measured
reflectance using a bifurcated fiber optic probe connected to a portable Jazz spectrometer (Ocean Optics) following
Fleishman et al. (2009) and used a tubular holder of 3.5 mm diameter cut at 45 relative to the surface. Measurements
were taken in five sections of the dewlap: close to head (DH), close to base of sac (DB), close to abdomen (DA),
approximate center of sac (DM), and uttermost edge of sac (DE).
Statistical analyses. Because the new species described herein is very similar in morphology to Anolis fraseri,
we used the t-test for independent samples to evaluate quantitative differences in morphometric characters with
normal distributions, as well as the Mann-Whitney U test to assess differences in scale counts. We used the Shapiro-
Wilk normality test to assess the distribution of the data. Statistical analyses were performed in IBM SPSS Statistics
19.0 (SPSS Inc.).
DNA sequence data and phylogenetic analyses. Muscle or liver tissue samples were mixed with Proteinase
K and lysis buffer and digested overnight. Total genomic DNA was extracted using a guanidinium isothiocyanate
extraction protocol. DNA samples were quantified using a Nanodrop ND-1000 (NanoDrop Technologies, Inc.), re-
suspended and diluted to 25 ng/ul in ddH2O prior to amplification.
We obtained eight new DNA sequences—three individuals each of the new species described below and A.
fraseri, and two of A. parilis,—representing the nuclear recombination-activating gene 1 (RAG1, up to 1,092 nu-
cleotides), as well as the mitochondrial genes cytochrome c oxidase I (COI, 617) and a continuous fragment of up
to 1,392 nucleotides including the NADH dehydrogenase subunit 2 (ND2), tRNATrp, tRNAAla, tRNAAsn, tRNACys, and
the origin of the light-strand replication (Ol). Primers and amplification protocols were taken from the literature
(Folmer et al. 1994; Kumazawa & Nishida 1993; Macey et al. 1997; Schulte & Cartwright 2009). We added the
new sequences to previous datasets of Dactyloa (Torres-Carvajal et al. 2018; Yánez-Muñoz et al. 2018) to produce
a matrix of 125 taxa and 3,221 aligned nucleotides. Gene regions of taxa sequenced in this study along with their
GenBank accession numbers are shown in Table 1.
Data were assembled and aligned in Geneious Prime 2020.2.2 ( under default settings
for MUSCLE 3.8.425 (Edgar 2004). Protein-coding sequences were translated into amino acids for confirmation of
alignment. After partitioning the concatenated dataset by codon position for each gene and all tRNA genes + Ol as a
single partition (i.e., 10 partitions total), we chose the best partitioning scheme using PartitionFinder v2 (Guindon et
NEW GIANT ANOLE FROM ECUADOR Zootaxa 4991 (2) © 2021 Magnolia Press · 297
al. 2010; Lanfear et al. 2017) under the Bayesian Information Criterion (BIC). The “greedy algorithm” (Lanfear et al.
2012) was used with branch lengths of alternative partitions linked to search for the best-fit scheme.
TABLE 1. Vouchers, locality data, and GenBank accession numbers of taxa and gene regions sequenced in this study.
Taxon Voucher and locality Coordinates Genbank accession number
Lat Long COI ND2 RAG1
Anolis fraseri QCAZ 3441.
borazo: La Victoria,
-2.098 -78.975 MW514056 MW512710 MW512702
Anolis fraseri QCAZ 8025.
topaxi: San Francis-
co de Las Pampas.
-0.433 -78.966 MW514057 MW512711 MW512703
Anolis fraseri QCAZ 14393.
topaxi: S of Pucayacu.
-0.755 -79.025 MW514058 MW512712 MW512704
Anolis parilis QCAZ 15058.
meraldas: Reserva
Tesoro Escondido.
0.494 -79.136 MW514059 MW512713 MW512705
Anolis parilis QCAZ 15386.
aldas: Durango, 20
km SE Tundaloma
1.034 -78.623 MW514060 MW512714 MW512706
Anolis sp. nov. QCAZ 14317.
13.2 km SW Piñas.
-3.662 -79.760 MW514061 MW512715 MW512707
Anolis sp. nov. QCAZ 14431.
13.2 km SW Piñas.
-3.662 -79.760 MW514062 MW512716 MW512708
Anolis sp. nov. QCAZ 14596.
Oro: Buenaventura
-3.654 -79.777 MW514063 MW512717 MW512709
We used a maximum likelihood inference method to obtain the optimal tree topology of the combined, parti-
tioned dataset using the program RAxML v8.2.10 (Stamatakis 2014). This analysis was performed under separate
GTRGAMMA models for each partition, with 1,000 rapid bootstrap inferences (Stamatakis et al. 2008) followed by
a thorough ML search. In addition, we used MrBayes v3.2.1 (Ronquist et al. 2012) to perform a Bayesian analysis
with three independent runs, each with four MCMC chains, set for 107 generations sampling every 1,000 genera-
tions. Results were analyzed in Tracer v1.7 (Rambaut et al. 2018) to assess convergence and effective sample sizes
(≥ 200) for all parameters. Additionally, we verified that the potential scale reduction factor of all the estimated
parameters approached values of 1. Of the 10,000 trees resulting per run, 1,000 were discarded as “burn-in. We
used the resulting 27,000 trees to calculate posterior probabilities (PP) for each bipartition on a Maximum Clade
Credibility Tree in TreeAnnotator (Rambaut & Drummond 2016). Phylogenetic trees were rooted with Polychrus
marmoratus, Pristidactylus scapulatus, and Urostrophus gallardoi as outgroups (Poe et al. 2017). Phylogenetic
analyses were performed in the CIPRES Science Gateway (Miller et al. 2010). Additionally, uncorrected genetic
distances among species of the clade Megaloa were calculated in PAUP 4.0a (Swofford 2002) for ND2 and COI.
298 · Zootaxa 4991 (2) © 2021 Magnolia Press
The taxonomic conclusions of this study are based on the study of external morphological features and color pattern,
as well as inferred phylogenetic divergences. We consider this information as species delimitation criteria following
the evolutionary species concept (de Queiroz 1998, 2007; Simpson 1951, 1961).
Anolis nemonteae sp. nov.
(Figs 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6)
Proposed standard English name: Star anoles
Proposed standard Spanish name: Anolis de las estrellas
Holotype. QCAZ 14595 (Figs 1, 2, 3), adult female, Ecuador, El Oro province, Buenaventura Reserve, 3.654 S,
79.777 W, WGS84, 417 m, 30 January 2016, collected by Andrea Narváez, Sebastián Valverde, Keyko Cruz, and
David Reyes.
Paratypes (N=12, Figs 3, 4). ECUADOR: El Oro: QCAZ 14317 (adult female), 14318 (juvenile female),
14431 (juvenile female), 14432 (adult female), 13.2 km SW Piñas on highway, 3.662 S, 79.760 W, 754 m, 11 Janu-
ary 2016, collected by Fernando Ayala, Steven Poe, and Chris Anderson; QCAZ 14596 (adult male), same collection
data as holotype; QCAZ 14597 (juvenile male), Buenaventura Reserve, 3.650 S, 79.780 W, 372 m; QCAZ 14660
(female hatchling), Buenaventura Reserve, 3.653 S, 79.766 W, 578 m, 30 January 2016; DHMECN 4132 (juvenile
male), Buenaventura Reserve, 3.645 S, 79.763 W, 800 m, 7 February 2006, collected by Mery Juiña; DHMECN
7687 (adult male), same collection data as DHMECN 4132, 18 January 2010, collected by Marco Reyes-Puig, and
Michael Harvey; DHMECN 11543 (juvenile male), Buenaventura Reserve, 3.667 S, 79.766 W, 1,000 m, 31 De-
cember 2014, collected by Juan Carlos Sánchez, Karem López, Luis Oyagata, and Paúl Guerrero; JMG 0484 (adult
male), 0485 (adult female), Buenaventura Lodge, 3.653 S, 79.768 W, 520 m, 6 January 2017, collected by Paulina
Diagnosis. The new species belongs to the Megaloa clade of the latifrons series of Dactyloa (Castañeda & de
Queiroz 2013; Prates et al. 2020) based on the phylogenetic tree presented in this study. Anolis nemonteae sp. nov.
differs from most species of the punctatus, heterodermus, and nasofrontalis series (Castañeda & de Queiroz 2013;
Prates et al. 2020) in having relatively smaller head scales; from the roquet series (Castañeda & de Queiroz 2013) in
possessing supraorbital semicircles separated from each other and the interparietal separated from the supraorbital
semicircles; and from the aequatorialis series (Castañeda & de Queiroz 2013; Prates et al. 2020) in having wider
toepads and larger dorsal head scales.
The new species is most similar in external morphology to the other members of the latifrons series (A. agas-
sizi Stejneger 1900, A. apollinaris Boulenger 1919, A. brooksi Barbour 1923, A. casildae Arosemena, Ibáñez & de
Sousa 1991, A. danieli Williams 1988, A. fraseri, A. frenatus Cope 1899, A. ginaelisae Lotzkat, Hertz, Bienentreu
& Köhler 2013, A. ibanezi Poe, Latella, Ryan & Schaad 2009b, A. insignis Cope 1871, A. kathydayae Poe & Ryan
2017, A. kunayalae, A. latifrons Berthold 1846, A. limon Velasco & Hurtado-Gómez 2014, A. maculigula Williams
1984a, A. maia Batista, Vesely, Mebert, Lotzkat & Köhler 2015, A. microtus Cope 1871, A. mirus Williams 1963,
A. parilis, A. princeps Boulenger 1902, A. propinquus Williams 1984b, A. purpurescens Cope 1899, A. savagei Poe
& Ryan 2017, and A. squamulatus Peters 1863). Anolis nemonteae can readily be distinguished from A. agassizi,
A. apollinaris, A. casildae, A. frenatus, A. ginaelisae, A. ibanezi, A. latifrons, A. limon, A. maculigula, A. maia, A.
princeps, A. purpurescens, and A. squamulatus by having shorter legs not reaching ear when adpressed against body
(legs reaching to ear or beyond when adpressed against body); from A. purpurescens, A. ibanezi, A. maia and A.
limon further by having a green-brown dorsal background (green); from A. danieli and A. propinquus by lacking
elongated superciliaries (one elongated superciliary); from A. brooksi, A. insignis, A. microtus, A. savagei, and A.
kathydayae, all from Costa Rica and Panama, by possessing weakly keeled ventral scales (smooth); from A. ginaeli-
sae (Panama) by lacking enlarged postcloacal scales in males (present); from A. kunayalae, A. mirus and A. parilis
by having a wide toe pad on fourth toe (narrow toe pad), subdigital pad under phalanx III projecting above the
proximal end of phalanx IV (subdigital pad continuous or indistinct), 21–23 lamellae under phalanges II and III of
NEW GIANT ANOLE FROM ECUADOR Zootaxa 4991 (2) © 2021 Magnolia Press · 299
fourth toe (11–15 lamellae), and distal phalanx including claw equal or smaller than phalanges II and III combined
(longer distal phalanx; see Fig. 1 of Williams 1963).
FIGURE 1. Head of the preserved holotype (QCAZ 14595) of Anolis nemonteae sp. nov. in dorsal (top), lateral (middle), and
ventral (bottom) views. Photographs by M. Masache. Scale bar = 10 mm.
Anolis nemonteae sp. nov. is most similar morphologically to A. fraseri in having a large body size (SVL > 85
mm), a green-brown dorsal background, reddish brown iris, smooth head scales, weakly keeled ventral scales, and
21–23 (18–24 in A. fraseri) lamellae under phalanges II and III of fourth toe. The new species can be distinguished
from A. fraseri (character states in parentheses) by having a creamish white dewlap skin with black blotches longitu-
300 · Zootaxa 4991 (2) © 2021 Magnolia Press
dinally arranged along yellow stripes in females (female dewlap orangish yellow anteriorly, without black blotches);
bluish white dewlap skin with yellowish white scales and gold apicogorgetal scales in males (creamish white skin
with yellow or greenish white scales; Fig. 5); dark brown dots on neck laterally and dorsally (neck dots absent,
large dark blotches might be present; Figs 3 and 5); 7–11, mean = 9.29±1.25 SD scales between second canthals,
(6–10, 7.72±1.02, z = 2.737, p = 0.006); 3–4, 3.29±0.49 scales between supraorbital semicircles (2–4, 2.68±0.57,
z = -2.281, p = 0.023), 7–10, 8.86±1.07 supralabials counted to a point below center of eye (7–9, 7.69±0.55, z =
2.845, p = 0.004); 21–23, 21.71±0.95 lamellae under phalanges II–III of fourth toe (18–23, 20.32±1.09, z = -2.799,
p = 0.005), snout length/SVL, 0.116–0.122, 0.119±0.002 (0.112–0.133, 0.123±0.005, t = 2.664, p = 0.013) interpa-
rietal length/SVL, 0.016–0.028, 0.023±0.004 (0.011–0.027, 0.018±0.004, t = -2.750, p = 0.011), humerus length/
SVL, 0.131–0.184, 0.159±0.016 (0.155–0.204, 0.171±0.011, t = 2.380, p = 0.025), foot length/SVL 0.259–0.282,
0.272±0.009 (0.262–0.310, 0.287±0.014, t = 2.627, p = 0.014), and fourth toe length/SVL 0.151–0.177, 0.162±0.009
(0.168–0.203, 0.181±0.010, t = 4.287, p < 0.001). Furthermore, Anolis nemonteae sp. nov. differs from A. fraseri
in lacking enlarged postcloacals in males (present, sometimes inconspicuous), and genetic distances between these
species range between 0.03–0.05 (ND2) and 0.05–0.06 (COI). In addition to the above diagnostic traits, the unique
male and female dewlap color patterns of A. nemonteae sp. nov. distinguish it from all other Ecuadorian Anolis of
the Megaloa clade (Fig. 5).
Description of the holotype (scores for paratypes in parentheses). Snout to vent length 92.4 mm (88.4−115.2
mm); tail length 191.5 mm (200.6−263.1 mm); head length 23.9 mm (23.6−31.3 mm); head width 14.7 mm
(14.8−16.9 mm); head height 11.9 mm (12.1−14.4 mm); snout length 11.3 mm (10.4−13.4 mm); interorbital length
4.8 (4.4−5.8 mm); interparietal length 2.3 mm (1.8−2.9 mm); ear height 2.1 mm (1.7−2.5 mm); femur length 22.6
mm (20.5−27.4 mm); tibia length 18.6 mm (17.1−22.7 mm); foot length 25.6 mm (24.2−29.8 mm); humerus length
17.0 mm (13.5−19.2 mm); ulna length 13.3 mm (11.6−16.0 mm); hand length 14.5 mm (13.7−16.5 mm); fourth toe
length 16.4 mm (14.3−19.2 mm); fourth toe width 1.8 mm (1.9−2.6 mm); dewlap length 28.8 mm (29.5−49.9 mm);
and dewlap height 9.8 mm (6.3−15.2 mm).
Head scales in supraocular disc and frontal region smooth (smooth or rugose); eleven (7−10) scales between
second canthals; seven (6−9) scales bordering the rostral posteriorly; circumnasal separated by one (1−2) scale from
rostral; supraorbital semicircles separated by three (3−4) scales; supraocular disc with four (3–4) enlarged scales;
supraocular edge continuous; superciliaries in two series: first series without rectangular superciliary anteriorly
(sometimes present) followed by gradually smaller scales, and second series with squarish scales; five (6−7) loreal
rows; >15 loreal scales; midsnout without parallel scale rows (absent or weakly present); rostral with smooth dorsal
edge; frontal region of head with a depression; rostral even with mental (even or slight overlapping); interparietal
larger (smaller or larger) than ear opening, separated by three (1−3) scales from semicircles; ear oval with normal
edge; transparent scales in lower eyelids absent; preoccipital scale absent; suboculars in contact with supralabials;
ten (7−9) supralabials counted up to a point below center of eye; six (5−7) postmentals; no enlarged sublabials in
contact with infralabials; mental divided partially; mental extending farther back posteriorly than rostral along edge
of mouth (even or rostral extending farther than mental or mental extending farther back posteriorly than rostral);
and posterior edge of mental straight (straight or slight concave).
Low nuchal crest formed by continuous series of small conical scales; low middorsal crest formed by continu-
ous series of triangular scales (crest present in adults of both sexes); dorsal scales slightly keeled anteriorly and
smooth posteriorly (smooth or keeled anteriorly and keeled or smooth posteriorly); two (absent or two) vertebral
rows slightly larger than flank scales; eight (9−11) middorsal scales in a longitudinal segment representing 5% of
SVL; flank scales smooth (smooth, rugose or weakly keeled), homogeneous in size, and barely separated by skin;
ventral scales smaller than dorsals (ventrals larger than dorsals), slightly keeled, subimbricate, with round posterior
edge (round or rectangular), and arranged in diagonal rows; ten (7−9) midventral scales in a longitudinal segment
representing 5% of SVL; inconspicuous axillary pocket present (present or absent).
Toepads slightly overlapping distal phalanx in all toes; twenty-one (22−23) lamellae under phalanges II and III
of fourth toe; supradigitals with multiple keels; tail crest absent; tail round (round or laterally compressed), with a
single row of middorsal scales; insolitus tail (Poe 2004) absent; enlarged postcloacal scales absent (in males and
females); hindlimb reaching posterior to ear when adpressed against body.
Nuchal and dorsal folds present; dewlap large, extending posteriorly behind forelimbs (in males and females),
with five (4−6) longitudinal rows of four (3–5) elongate scales each, smaller than ventrals, and separated by naked
NEW GIANT ANOLE FROM ECUADOR Zootaxa 4991 (2) © 2021 Magnolia Press · 301
FIGURE 2. Preserved holotype of Anolis nemonteae sp. nov. (QCAZ 14595) in dorsal (A), lateral (B), and ventral (C) views,
with close-ups of dewlap (D), pelvic region (E), and right foot (F). Photographs by M. Masache. Scale bars = 10 mm (A, B, C)
and 5 mm (D, E, F).
Inter- and intraspecific variation in morphological characters in Anolis nemonteae is presented in Tables 2 and
3, respectively.
Color in life. Holotype, adult female QCAZ 14595 (Fig. 3A, B, C, undisturbed color pattern): dorsum of head,
body, limbs and tail pale yellowish green; dorsum of body with three broad, dark brown transverse bands extending
onto flanks; dorsal surfaces of limbs and tail with dark brown transverse bands; palpebral scales yellowish green;
flanks of neck and body with dark brown spots; ventral aspect of head, body, limbs, and tail cream; iris pale reddish
brown; throat lining black; tongue yellow; edge of mouth including jaw hinges white; dewlap skin cream with black
blotches, mostly arranged more or less longitudinally along yellow stripes (Fig. 5B); scales of dewlap yellowish
302 · Zootaxa 4991 (2) © 2021 Magnolia Press
TABLE 2. Summary of lepidosis, ratios, measurements (mm) and color patterns of Anolis nemonteae sp. nov. and A. fraseri. For each quantitative character, the t-value, z-value, and corresponding
p-values (p < 0.05 in bold and *; p < 0.01 in bold and **) are given. Range and sample size (N) followed by mean±standard deviation are given.
Character A. nemonteae sp. nov. A. fraseri t-value pz-value p
Scales between second canthals 7–11 (7) 9.29±1.25 6–10 (25) 7.72±1.02 - - -2.737 0.006**
Postrostrals 6–9 (7) 7.14±1.07 5–9 (22) 7.05±1.05 - - -0.027 0.978
Scales between supraorbital semicircles 3–4 (7) 3.29±0.49 2–4 (22) 2.68±0.57 - - -2.281 0.023*
Loreal rows 5–7 (7) 5.57±0.79 4–7 (22) 5.73±0.77 - - -0.634 0.526
Scales between interparietal and semicircles 2–3 (7) 2.86±0.38 2–5 (22) 3.36±0.73 - - -1.778 0.075
Supralabials to below center of eye 7–10 (7) 8.86±1.07 7–9 (26) 7.69±0.55 - - -2.845 0.004**
Postmentals 5–7 (7) 6.00±0.58 4–8 (26) 5.96±0.82 - - -0.151 0.880
Lamellae under phalanges II–III of fourth toe 21–23 (7) 21.71±0.95 18–23 (22) 20.32±1.09 - - -2.799 0.005**
Middorsals in 5% SVL 8–11 (7) 9.71±1.11 8–12 (26) 9.31±1.05 - - -0.964 0.335
Midventrals in 5% SVL 7–10 (7) 8.86±1.07 7–10 (26) 8.42±0.86 - - -1.172 0.241
Head length/SVL 0.247–0.272 (7) 0.260±0.009 0.246–0.295 (22) 0.272±0.014 1.984 0.057 - -
Head width/SVL 0.143–0.172 (7) 0.156±0.010 0.142–0.175 (22) 0.155±0.007 -0.092 0.927 - -
Head height/SVL 0.123–0.148 (7) 0.130±0.009 0.113–0.146 (22) 0.131±0.007 0.302 0.765 - -
Snout length/SVL 0.116–0.122 (7) 0.119±0.002 0.112–0.133 (22) 0.123±0.005 2.664 0.013* - -
Interorbital length/SVL 0.040–0.061 (7) 0.053±0.007 0.048–0.062 (22) 0.054±0.004 - - -0.102 0.919
Interparietal length/SVL 0.016–0.028 (7) 0.023±0.004 0.011–0.027 (22) 0.018±0.004 -2.750 0.011* - -
Ear height/SVL 0.017–0.024 (7) 0.020±0.003 0.012–0.027 (22) 0.020±0.003 -0.182 0.857 - -
Humerus length/SVL 0.131–0.184 (7) 0.159±0.016 0.155–0.204 (22) 0.171±0.011 2.380 0.025* - -
Ulna length/SVL 0.120–0.144 (7) 0.134±0.009 0.114–0.157 (22) 0.134±0.011 0.152 0.880 - -
Hand length/SVL 0.135–0.162 (7) 0.146±0.010 0.122–0.165 (22) 0.146±0.011 -0.015 0.988 - -
Femur length/SVL 0.229–0.245 (7) 0.236±0.006 0.211–0.265 (22) 0.235±0.014 -0.269 0.790 - -
Tibia length/SVL 0.188–0.216 (7) 0.201±0.009 0.180–0.239 (22) 0.206±0.012 1.012 0.321 - -
Foot length/SVL 0.259–0.282 (7) 0.272±0.009 0.262–0.310 (22) 0.287±0.014 2.627 0.014* - -
Fourth toe length/SVL 0.151–0.177 (7) 0.162±0.009 0.168–0.203 (22) 0.181±0.010 4.287 0.000** - -
Fourth toe width/SVL 0.019-0.023 (7) 0.021±0.001 0.015–0.025 (22) 0.020±0.002 -0.117 0.908 - -
Tail length/SVL 2.039–2.515 (7) 2.249±0.189 2.154–2.518 (18) 2.336±0.097 1.156 0.284 - -
Snout-vent length 88.4–115.2 (7) 100.49±8.72 93.4–120.5 (28) 105.79±8.35 1.49 0.145 - -
Dewlap color in males Solid bluish white skin; yellowish white
scales; golden apicogorgetals.
Solid creamish white skin; yellowish or
greenish white scales.
- - - -
Dewlap color in females Cream with black blotches longitudi-
nally arranged along yellow stripes;
yellowish white scales.
Cream without black blotches, orangish
yellow skin anteriorly; greenish yellow
- - - -
Maximum SVL 115 120 - - - -
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TABLE 3. Sexual variation in lepidosis, ratios, and measurements (mm) in Anolis nemonteae sp. nov.; range followed by
mean and standard deviation are given.
Character Males
N = 3
N = 4
Scales between second canthals 9, 9.00±0.00 7–11, 9.50±1.73
Postrostrals 6–9, 7.00±1.73 7–8, 7.25±0.50
Scales between supraorbital semicircles 3, 3.00±0.00 3–4, 3.50±0.58
Loreal rows 5–6, 5.33±0.58 5–7, 5.75±0.96
Scales between interparietal and semicircles 3, 3.00±0.00 2–3, 2.75±0.50
Supralabials to below center of eye 8–10, 9.00±1.00 7–10, 8.75±1.26
Postmentals 5–6, 5.67±0.58 6–7, 6.25±0.50
Lamellae under phalanges II–III of fourth toe 21–23, 22.33±1.16 21–22, 21.25±0.50
Middorsals in 5% SVL 10–11, 10.67±0.58 8–10, 9.00±0.82
Midventrals in 5% SVL 9–10, 9.33±0.58 7–10, 8.50±1.29
Head length/SVL 0.250–0.272, 0.263±0.012 0.247–0.267, 0.258±0.008
Head width/SVL 0.143–0.162, 0.153±0.009 0.146–0.172, 0.158±0.011
Head height/SVL 0.123–0.126, 0.125±0.002 0.123–0.148, 0.134±0.011
Snout length/SVL 0.116–0.120, 0.119±0.002 0.118–0.122, 0.120±0.002
Interorbital length/SVL 0.040–0.055, 0.049±0.008 0.052–0.061, 0.056±0.004
Interparietal length/SVL 0.016–0.022, 0.020±0.004 0.023–0.028, 0.026±0.003
Ear height/SVL 0.017–0.024, 0.020±0.004 0.017–0.023, 0.020±0.002
Humerus length/SVL 0.158–0.167, 0.161±0.005 0.131–0.184, 0.158±0.022
Ulna length/SVL 0.120–0.139, 0.128±0.010 0.131–0.144, 0.138±0.006
Hand length/SVL 0.141–0.149, 0.145±0.004 0.135–0.162, 0.147±0.014
Femur length/SVL 0.229–0.238, 0.233±0.004 0.232–0.245, 0.238±0.008
Tibia length/SVL 0.188–0.203, 0.196±0.007 0.193–0.216, 0.205±0.010
Foot length/SVL 0.259–0.276, 0.270±0.010 0.260–0.282, 0.273±0.009
Fourth toe length/SVL 0.151–0.167, 0.159±0.008 0.152–0.177, 0.164±0.011
Fourth toe width/SVL 0.019–0.023, 0.021±0.002 0.019–0.021, 0.020±0.001
Tail length/SVL 2.039–2.515, 2.247±0.244 2.073–2.497, 2.251±0.179
Snout-vent length 98.4–115.2, 106.07±8.49 88.4–102.9, 96.30±7.03
Maximum SVL 115 103
Dewlap color Solid bluish white skin; yellowish
white scales; gold apicogorgetal
Creamish white skin with black
blotches arranged longitudinally
on yellow stripes; yellowish white
When stressed, adult females QCAZ 14594 and JMG0485 (Fig. 3D) turned dorsal background of head, body,
limbs and tail yellowish brown or dark brown, respectively.
Juvenile female QCAZ 14431 (Fig. 3E, stressed specimen): general color pattern similar to holotype, but dew-
lap skin dirty white with broad yellow stripes and elongate black blotches; gorgetals, sternals and marginals yellow-
ish white; ventral aspect of head, body, limbs, and tail grayish cream with brown dots.
Hatchling female QCAZ 14660 (Fig. 3F, stressed specimen): general color pattern similar to female QCAZ
14594, but dorsum of head, body, limbs and tail pale brown; dorsum of body with four dark brown transverse bands
extending onto flanks.
Adult male QCAZ 14596 (Fig. 3G, H, I, undisturbed color pattern): dorsum of body, limbs, and tail brown; dor-
sum of head light grayish turquoise with orange and red spots; dorsum of body with four broad, dark brown trans-
verse bands extending onto flanks, of which the two posteriormost merge ventrally; second anteriormost broad band
bordered anteriorly by yellowish cream line; dorsum of limbs and tail with dark brown transverse bands; palpebral
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scales yellow; flanks of neck and body with dark brown spots; ventral aspect of head, body, limbs, and tail cream;
iris reddish brown; throat lining black; tongue yellow; edge of mouth including jaw hinges white; dewlap skin solid
bluish white with yellowish white scales and golden apicogorgetals (Fig. 5A). When stressed, adult male JMG 0484
(Fig. 3J, K) turned background of body, limbs, and tail light brown.
Color in preservative. In preservative, the holotype (QCAZ 14595) has a light brown background (Figs 1, 2);
otherwise, the color patterns in life (see above) and preservative are similar. Adult male QCAZ 14596 (Fig. 4 A,
B, left side): dorsum of body, limbs, and tail brown; dorsum of body with four dark brown transverse broad bands
extending onto flanks; dorsum of limbs and tail with dark brown transverse bands; flanks of neck and body with
dark brown spots; ventral aspect of head, body, and limbs grayish cream; tail dark brown with cream base; dewlap
skin solid white with cream scales.
Adult males JMG 0484 and DHMECN 7687 (Fig. 4 A, B, center and right side): general color pattern similar
to male QCAZ 14596, but vertebral region of dorsum with dark brown spots; dorsum of DHMECN 7687 with three
brown transverse bands of which the second one is bordered anteriorly by a cream stripe, which is discontinuous
medially, where each half projects anteriorly.
FIGURE 3. Variation of color in life of Anolis nemonteae sp. nov. Adult female QCAZ 14595 (holotype, A, B, C); adult female
JMG 0485 (D); juvenile female QCAZ 14431 (E); hatchling female QCAZ 14660 (F); adult male QCAZ 14596 (G, H, I); adult
male JMG 0484 (J, K). Photographs by AEN (A, B, C, G, H, I), FAV (E), P. Pintanel (F) and P. Romero (D, J, K).
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FIGURE 4. Variation of color in preservative of Anolis nemonteae sp. nov. Dorsal (A) and ventral (B) views of males (SVL =
98.4 mm, QCAZ 14596 left; SVL = 104.6 mm, JMG 0484 center; SVL = 115.2 mm, DHMECN 7687 right); and dorsal (C) and
ventral (D) views of females (SVL = 35.5 mm, QCAZ 14660 left; SVL = 88.4 mm, JMG 0485 center; SVL = 101.5 mm, QCAZ
14432 right). Photographs by M. Masache. Scale bars = 10 mm.
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FIGURE 5. Dewlaps of males and females in five species of the Megaloa clade from Ecuador. Anolis nemonteae sp. nov. adult
male (QCAZ 14596, A) and adult female (QCAZ 14595, B); A. fraseri adult male (QCAZ 6862, C) and adult female (QCAZ
11864, D); A. parilis adult male (QCAZ 15047, E) and adult female (QCAZ 15052, F); A. purpurescens adult male (QCAZ
4734, G) and adult female (QCAZ 10557, H); A. princeps adult male (QCAZ 16895, I) and adult female (QCAZ 6892, J). Pho-
tographs by AEN (A, B), FAV (C, J), D. Quirola (D, E, F), OTC (G, H), and D. Núñez (I).
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FIGURE 6. Hemipenes of Anolis nemonteae sp. nov. (DHMECN 7687, SVL = 107.7 mm, left column) and A. fraseri (QCAZ
10212, SVL = 111.3 mm, right column) in sulcate (top), asulcate (middle) and lateral (bottom) views. Abbreviations: Ca = caly-
ces, CF = crotch flap, SS = sulcus spermaticus. Photographs by MYM. Scale bars = 5 mm.
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Adult female JMG 0485 (Fig. 4 C, D, center): dorsum of head, body, limbs and tail brown; dorsum of body with
three broad, dark brown transverse bands extending onto flanks; vertebral region of dorsum with dark brown spots;
dorsum of limbs and tail with dark brown transverse bands; flanks of neck and body with dark brown spots; ventral
aspect of head, body, limbs, and tail dirty cream; dewlap skin creamish white with black blotches; scales of dewlap
creamish white.
Adult female QCAZ 14432 (Fig. 4 C, D, right side) differs from JMG 0485 in having faint dorsal transverse
bands and small dark brown spots on limbs ventrally. Female hatchling QCAZ 14660 (Fig. 4 C, D, left side) dif-
fers in having four dark brown transverse bands (discontinuous medially) on ventral aspect of head and dark brown
transverse bands ventrally on limbs.
Hemipenis. Partially everted hemipenis small (7.3 mm total length, 2.9 mm truncus length) and slightly bilo-
bate; sulcus spermaticus unforked, bordered by well-developed lips and opening into a single, smooth apical area;
lobes with small calyces on asulcate side; fleshy projection on lobular crotch (crotch flap) on asulcate surface; trun-
cus with transverse and lateral folds (Fig. 6).
FIGURE 7. Distribution of Anolis nemonteae sp. nov. (red circles) and A. fraseri (blue circles) in Ecuador. The approximate
location of the Jubones river basin is marked with a red ellipse.
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Distribution and natural history. Anolis nemonteae occurs on the Pacific slopes of the Andes in southern
Ecuador, El Oro province, between 372−1,000 m (Fig. 7). This species occurs in the Evergreen Foothills Montane
Forest of Catamayo-Alamor (Ministerio del Ambiente del Ecuador 2013). Specimens of Anolis nemonteae were col-
lected mainly in secondary forest and along the edge of roads (Fig. 8). All individuals were found at night between
20:00 and 01:00 h sleeping horizontally on branches of trees, or leaves of bananas or Panama hat plants, 2.5–6.9 m
above ground. A male and a female (JMG 0484, 0485) were found sleeping on banana leaves 10 m away from each
other, 2.5 m above the ground. Anolis nemonteae occurs in sympatry with A. binotatus Peters 1863 and A. fasciatus
at the type locality (Yánez-Muñoz et al. 2013, Garzón et al. 2019).
FIGURE 8. Entrance to Buenaventura Reserve, type locality of Anolis nemonteae sp. nov., showing its general habitat. Photo-
graph by AEN.
A captive female (QCAZ 14594 [tissue sample], SVL = 93.21 mm) that was subsequently released laid one egg
(22.3 x 14.4 mm) on 30 January 2016. The egg was incubated in perlite at 19°C and 85% of relative humidity. After
an incubation period of 129 days, a female (Fig. 3F; QCAZ 14660, SVL = 32.9 mm, weight = 2.3 g) hatched.
Conservation. The known distribution area of Anolis nemonteae has suffered from dramatic deforestation
(Tapia-Armijos et al. 2015). However, most individuals of A. nemonteae were collected within the Buenaventura
Reserve, which suggests that at least some of its populations are well protected. Because of the small known dis-
tribution (Fig. 7) and lack of additional data, we suggest assigning A. nemonteae to the Data Deficient category
according to IUCN (2012) guidelines.
Etymology. The specific epithet nemonteae is a noun in the genitive case and is a patronym for Nemonte Nen-
quimo, indigenous activist who led a successful campaign and legal action that protected 500,000 acres of Ama-
zonian rainforest and Waorani territory from oil extraction in Ecuador. Nemonte means ‘many stars’ in Wao Tereo
language. Nemonte Nenquimo’s work has been recognized worldwide. In 2020, she was awarded the prestigious
Goldman Prize and was listed among the 100 most influential people of the year by the Time Magazine. Here we
honor Nemonte Nenquimo for her braveness and determination to protect natural forests and their inhabitants.
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FIGURE 9. Phylogeny of the clade Dactyloa, with a close-up of the latifrons series as defined by Castañeda & de Queiroz
(2013) and Prates et al. (2020). Maximum clade credibility tree obtained from a Bayesian analysis of 125 taxa and 3,221 charac-
ters. Numbers above branches are Bayesian posterior probability (PP) values and those below branches are ML bootstrap support
(BS) values. GenBank accession numbers along with locality data are presented in Table 1 for newly sequenced specimens.
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FIGURE 10. Reflectance of the gular sac in males and females of Anolis nemonteae sp. nov. and A. fraseri. Measured regions
are gular sac base ‘DB’, center ‘DM’, and edge ‘DE’, as well as regions close to the head ‘DH’ and the abdomen ‘DA’. Photo-
graphs by AEN (male and female of A. nemonteae sp. nov.), D. Quirola (female of A. fraseri) and FAV (male of A. fraseri).
Phylogenetic relationships. Data partitions and models of evolution are presented in Table 4. Both ML and
Bayesian analyses positioned Anolis nemonteae sp. nov. within a clade highly congruent with the Megaloa clade of
Castañeda & de Queiroz (2013) with maximum support (Fig. 9). The difference to the Megaloa clade as originally
defined is that Anolis ibanezi, A. kunayalae, and A. parilis were also included (Fig. 9). As expected, A. ginaelisae
and A. maia, both described more recently, were also included in this clade (Lotzkat et al. 2013, Batista et al. 2015).
Both ML and Bayesian tree topologies for the Megaloa clade are identical, except for the sister species of A. macu-
ligula (A. casildae and A. apollinaris, respectively). The sister species of A. nemonteae sp. nov. is A. fraseri (PP =
0.98, BS = 65), and together they form a clade sister to A. parilis (PP = 1, BS = 84).
Interspecific genetic distances among sampled species of the Megaloa clade range from 0.02 (A. fraseri/A.
parilis, A. latifrons/A. princeps) to 0.23 (A. latifrons/A. microtus, A. microtus/A. princeps) for ND2 and from 0.02
(A. latifrons/A. princeps) to 0.19 (A. kathydayae/A. fraseri, A. maculigula/A. nemonteae, A. parilis/A. maculigula)
for COI. Genetic distances between Anolis nemonteae and A. fraseri are 0.03–0.05 (ND2) and 0.05–0.06 (COI).
Dewlap reflectance. The dewlap of Anolis nemonteae reflects light in the visible spectrum in both sexes (Fig.
10). Reflectance starts increasing significantly at around 400 nm in males and 500 nm in females, and it reaches a
peak (~50%) at ~530 nm. Light is also reflected near the ultraviolet spectrum (~15% at 320 nm) in females.
Remarks. Anolis nemonteae is most similar in morphology to its sister species A. fraseri. Even their hemipenes
only seem to differ in relative size (smaller in A. nemonteae) and in having more pronounced calyces on the asulcate
side in A. fraseri (Fig. 6), although the variation of these characters should be analyzed with a larger sample size.
However, in addition to the differences presented above, the dewlap of males of the new species is different from
both sexes of A. fraseri in lacking reflectance within the ultraviolet spectrum (Fig. 10). The dewlap of both sexes of
A. fraseri reflects light with a peak near the ultraviolet spectrum (~10% at 350 nm). Although it has been reported
in only a few species of anoles (e.g., Fleishman et al. 2009; Torres-Carvajal et al. 2018), data on reflectance spec-
troscopy of dewlaps seems to be informative for species delimitation and should be explored in more detail.
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TABLE 4. Data partitions used in phylogenetic analyses. Numbers in parentheses indicate codon position. Number of
sites, selected model, number of unique site patterns (USP), variable sites (VS) and parsimony-informative sites (PIS)
are indicated.
Partition sites model USP VS PIS
ND2 (1) 347 GTR+I+G 296 261 227
ND2 (2) 347 GTR+I+G 226 181 149
ND2 (3) 346 GTR+I+G 345 339 329
tRNAs, Ol 412 GTR+I+G 300 238 202
COI (1) 218 SYM+I+G 105 68 57
COI (2) 218 F81+I+G 60 13 8
COI (3) 218 GTR+G 218 217 213
RAG1 (3) 372 HKY+G 268 227 164
RAG1 (1,2) 743 HKY+G 300 238 168
All 3,221 2,118 1,782 1,517
Anolis nemonteae and its sister species A. fraseri occur allopatrically along the Pacific slopes of the Andes and
adjacent lowlands in western Ecuador. Their distributions are markedly separated by the Jubones river basin (JRB)
in southwestern Ecuador (Fig. 7), which extends from sea level to ~4,000 m covering an area of 4,361 km2 (Ochoa
et al. 2014). The JRB has been recognized as the northern limit of the Amotape-Huancabamba Zone, an area with
high levels of diversity and endemism for plants (Weigend 2002). Intensive herpetological sampling has led to the
discovery of five species of reptiles endemic to JRB—Holcosus orcesi Peters, Phyllodactylus leoni Torres-Carvajal,
Carvajal-Campos, Barnes, Nicholls & Pozo-Andrade, Stenocercus rhodomelas Boulenger, Tantilla insulamontana
Wilson & Mena, Leptodeira misinawui Torres-Carvajal, Sánchez-Nivicela, Posse, Celi & Koch—and no records of
A. nemonteae or A. fraseri, which supports the idea that the JRB constitutes a geographical barrier separating these
species of anoles. Similarly, the JRB geographically separates the gymnophthalmid lizard Andinosaura kiziriani
Sánchez-Pacheco, Aguirre-Peñafiel & Torres-Carvajal from its sister clade (A. aurea Sánchez-Pacheco et al., A.
vespertina Kizirian) (Sánchez-Pacheco et al. 2012, 2017), as well as the dipsadine snake Dipsas georgejetti Arteaga,
Salazar-Valenzuela, Mebert, Peñafiel, Aguiar, Sánchez-Nivicela, Pyron, Colston, Cisneros-Heredia, Yánez-Muñoz,
Venegas, Guayasamin & Torres-Carvajal from its sister clade (D. oswaldobaezi Arteaga et al., D. williamsi Car-
rillo de Espinoza) (Arteaga et al. 2018). On the other hand, the JRB does not disrupt the distribution range of many
other species of lizards and snakes, such as Holcosus septemlineatus Duméril & Duméril, Stenocercus iridescens
Günther, Bothrops asper Garman, Dendrophidion brunneum Günther, and Erythrolamprus fraseri Boulenger (Tor-
res-Carvajal et al. 2021). We postulate that the JRB has acted both as a center of endemism and a common geo-
graphical barrier facilitating the speciation process of a few squamate reptiles from the Pacific slopes of the Andes
and adjacent lowlands in Ecuador.
We thank C. Anderson for assistance in the field; J.M. Guayasamin (Universidad San Francisco de Quito), and S.
Padrón (Universidad del Azuay) for specimen loans; K. de Queiroz and Ken Tighe for access to USNM collections;
Fundación de Conservación Jocotoco staff for access permission to Buenaventura Reserve and field support; J.C.
Sánchez-Nivicela, J. Ortega, M. Masache, P. Romero and J.C. Carrión for help with photos, maps, and information.
Special thanks to S. Lotzkat and other anonymous reviewers for their helpful comments, which greatly improved
this manuscript. AEN received funds from National Geographic Society, La Trobe University, and Secretaría de
Educación Superior, Ciencia, Tecnología e Innovación (SENESCYT 2012). Specimens were collected under collec-
tion permits 008-09 IC-FAU-DNB/MA, 001-10 IC-FAU-DNB/MA, 005-12 IC-FAU-DNB/MA, 005-14 IC-FAU-
DNB/MA, 003-15 IC-FAU-DNB/MA, 003-17 IC-FAU-DNB/MA, and MAE-DNB-CM-2015-0025 issued by the
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Ministerio del Ambiente. This work was supported by SENESCYT under the ‘Arca de Noé’ Initiative (PIs: S.R.
Ron and O. Torres-Carvajal).
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APPENDIX 1. Additional specimens examined.
MCZ = Museum of Comparative Zoology, Harvard, United States. QCAZ = Museo de Zoología QCAZ, Pontificia Universidad
Católica del Ecuador, Quito, Ecuador. DHMECN = División de Herpetología, Museo Ecuatoriano de Ciencias Naturales, Quito,
Ecuador. MZUA-RE = Colección de Reptiles, Museo de Zoología, Universidad del Azuay, Cuenca, Ecuador. USNM = Smith-
sonian National Museum of Natural History, Washington DC, United States.
Anolis fraseri—Ecuador: Cañar: Ocaña, 2.472°S, 79.206°W, 1160 m, MZUA-RE 0373. Chimborazo: La Victoria (Pallatanga
- Bucay), 2.098°S, 78.975°W, 1154 m, QCAZ 3439, 3441. Cotopaxi: ca. 30 km E Santo Domingo on road to Reserva de Bosque
Integral Otonga, 0.388°S, 78.929°W, 1363 m, QCAZ 9768; Recinto Galápagos, 0.41°S, 78.966°W, 1738 m, QCAZ 1328, 1344;
Near San Francisco de Las Pampas, 0.414°S, 79.000°W, 1897 m, QCAZ 3119; Near San Francisco de Las Pampas, 0.423°S,
78.967°W, 1554 m, QCAZ 2114–2116, 2118, 2120; San Francisco de Las Pampas, 0.433°S, 78.966°W, 1604 m, QCAZ 7834,
9223, MCZ 176453–176454; San Francisco de Las Pampas, 0.433°S, 78.95°W, 1600 m, QCAZ 56–59. Esmeraldas: Alto Tambo,
5 km by road to Placer, Bosque Integral Otokiki, 0.906°N, 78.605°W, 623 m, QCAZ 8085. Imbabura: Plaza Gutiérrez, 0.35°N,
78.500°W, 1753 m, USNM 234610. Manabí: Estación Biológica Bilsa, 0.347°N, 79.711°W, 528 m, QCAZ 2724; Río Ayampe,
1.656°S, 80.817°W, 47 m, DHMECN 7682. Pichincha: 5 km E Mindo, 0.031°S, 78.760°W, 1566 m, QCAZ 10212; Mindo,
0.041°S, 78.791°W, 1250 m, QCAZ 9755, 9758, 9760; Mindo, on road to Mindo Garden, 0.057°S, 78.774°W, 1256 m, QCAZ
6862; Mindo, 0.061°S, 78.769°W, 1258 m, QCAZ 11864; Mindo, 0.033°S, 78.800°W, 1146 m, USNM 234612; El Cinto-Nam-
billo, 0.065°S, 78.794°W, 1491 m, QCAZ 11866; Nanegal, 0.131°N, 78.676°W, 1165 m, QCAZ 11905; Near Finca Ecológica
Orongo, 0.160°N, 78.662°W, 1478 m, QCAZ 15686; Tandapi, 0.414°S, 78.799°W, 1445 m, QCAZ 94–96; Tandapi, 0.419°S,
NEW GIANT ANOLE FROM ECUADOR Zootaxa 4991 (2) © 2021 Magnolia Press · 317
78.801°W, 1708 m, MCZ 164608; La Unión del Toachi, Centro de Interpretación Ambiental Otongachi, 0.331°S, 78.938°W,
899 m, QCAZ 7990. Santo Domingo de los Tsáchilas: La Unión del Toachi, 0.319°S, 78.958°W, 900 m, QCAZ 6683; Santo
Domingo, 0.25°S, 79.150°W, 576 m, MCZ 127689; 12 km E, 13 km S Santo Domingo, mountains south of Tinalandia, 0.296°S,
79.060°W, 650 m, MCZ 147042. Unknown: San Rafael (probably in Santo Domingo de los Tsáchilas), USNM 60521.
Full-text available
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Full-text available
A new species of Anolis lizard from the Andean slopes of southwestern Colombia and northwestern Ecuador, from between 1187 and 2353 m in elevation, is described. The new species can be distinguished from other Anolis in squamation, cranial osteology, hemipenial morphology, and nuclear and mitochondrial DNA. The new species is sister to Anolisaequatorialis , and it is suggested that previous records of A.aequatorialis in Colombia correspond to the new species described herein.
Full-text available
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A molecular phylogeny of the Neotropical snail-eating snakes (tribe Dipsadini) is presented including 43 (24 for the first time) of the 77 species, sampled for both nuclear and mitochondrial genes. Morphological and phylogenetic support was found for four new species of Dipsas and one of Sibon , which are described here based on their unique combination of molecular, meristic, and color pattern characteristics. Sibynomorphus is designated as a junior subjective synonym of Dipsas . Dipsaslatifrontalis and D.palmeri are resurrected from the synonymy of D.peruana . Dipsaslatifasciata is transferred from the synonymy of D.peruana to the synonymy of D.palmeri . A new name, D.jamespetersi , is erected for the taxon currently known as Sibynomorphuspetersi . Re-descriptions of D.latifrontalis and D.peruana are presented, as well as the first photographic voucher of an adult specimen of D.latifrontalis , along with photographs of all known Ecuadorian Dipsadini species. The first country record of D.variegata in Ecuador is provided and D.oligozonata removed from the list of Peruvian herpetofauna. With these changes, the number of Dipsadini reported in Ecuador increases to 22, 18 species of Dipsas and four of Sibon .
Full-text available
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Full-text available
We describe two new species of Anolis lizard that are sympatric on the Amazonian slopes of the Andes of southern Ecuador at elevations between 1440 and 1970 m. The new species may be distinguished from other Anolis by external anatomy, mitochondrial divergence and dewlap colour. We estimate the phylogenetic positions of the new species using Bayesian analysis of DNA sequence data including all species of Dactyloa-clade Anolis for which DNA data are available. Anolis hyacintogularis sp. nov. is sister to Anolis calimae, whereas Anolis lososisp. nov. is sister to Anolis williamsmittermeierorum, herein reported for Ecuador for the first time. Individuals of both new species were collected within a protected area in southern Ecuador, Podocarpus National Park, which suggests that at least some populations of these species are well protected.
Full-text available
The spectacular giant anole lizard Anolis insignis is widely distributed but infrequently collected outside of northern Costa Rica. We recently collected several individuals similar to Anolis insignis from localities in Panama and southern Costa Rica. These populations differ from type locality A. insignis in male dewlap color and morphology. We associate one set of these populations with Anolis (Diaphoranolis) brooksi Barbour from Darién, Panama, and describe two additional populations as new species.
Full-text available
Riama is the most speciose genus of the Neotropical lizard family Gymnophthalmidae. Its more than 30 montane species occur throughout the northern Andes, the Cordillera de la Costa (CC) in Venezuela, and Trinidad. We present the most comprehensive phylogenetic analysis of Riama to date based on a total evidence (TE) approach and direct optimization of molecular and morphological evidence. Analyses use DNA sequences from four loci and 35 phenotypic characters. The dataset consists of 55 ingroup terminals representing 25 of the 30 currently recognized species of Riama plus five undescribed taxa, including an endemic species from the Sierra Nevada de Santa Marta (SNSM) in Colombia, and 66 outgroup terminals of 47 species. Analysis results in a well supported hypothesis in which Riama is polyphyletic, with its species falling into three clades. The Tepuian Anadia mcdiarmidi nests within one clade of Riama, and the recently resurrected Pantodactylus nests within Cercosaura. Accordingly, we propose a monophyletic taxonomy that reflects historical relationships. Analysis of character evolution indicates that the presence/absence of prefrontals—a cornerstone of the early genus-level taxonomy of cercosaurines—is optimally explained as having been plesiomorphically present in the most recent common ancestor of Cercosaurinae and lost in that of the immediately less inclusive clade. Multiple independent reversals to present and subsequent returns to absent occur within this clade. To evaluate the impact of phenotypic evidence on our results, we compare our TE results with results obtained from analyses using only molecular data. Although phenotypic evidence comprises only 1.2% of the TE matrix, its inclusion alters both the topology and support values of the clades that do not differ. Finally, current phylogenetic evidence reveals a SNSM–CC–Trinidad–tepuis biogeographical link. We hypothesize that an ancient connection facilitated the exchange of species between the SNSM and the CC.
Full-text available
Anolis lizards (anoles) are textbook study organisms in evolution and ecology. Although several topics in evolutionary biology have been elucidated by the study of anoles, progress in some areas has been hampered by limited phylogenetic information on this group. Here we present a phylogenetic analysis of all 379 extant species of Anolis, with new phylogenetic data for 139 species including new DNA data for 101 species. We use the resulting estimates as a basis for defining anole clade names under the principles of phylogenetic nomenclature and to examine the biogeographic history of anoles. Our new taxonomic treatment achieves the supposed advantages of recent subdivisions of anoles that employed ranked Linnaean–based nomenclature while avoiding the pitfalls of those approaches regarding artificial constraints imposed by ranks. Our biogeographic analyses demonstrate complexity in the dispersal history of anoles, including multiple crossings of the Isthmus of Panama, two invasions of the Caribbean, single invasions to Jamaica and Cuba, and a single evolutionary dispersal from the Caribbean to the mainland that resulted in substantial anole diversity. Our comprehensive phylogenetic estimate of anoles should prove useful for rigorous testing of many comparative evolutionary hypotheses.