PRGAP

Scientific name: Anolis cristatellus

Spanish Common Names: Lagartijo Común English Common Names: Puerto Rican crested anole Synonyms: Ctenonotus cristatellus

Taxonomy:

Author: Duméril and Bibron
  • Class: Reptilia
    • Order: Squamata
      • Family: Select
        • Genus: Anolis
          • Species: Cristatellus

Conservation Status

  • USECA Status: Not Listed
  • IUCN Category: Least Concern
  • DNER Status: Uncategorized
Resident Status
  • In Puerto Rico: Resident
  • In USVI:  Resident

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Summary:

The Crested Anole has an extensive distribution in mainland Puerto Rico and many of its off shore islands, including Vieques, Culebra and Culebrita. A. cristatellus is mostly associated to open areas such as open forests, fields and mostly deforested areas. It is commonly found in roadsides, poles, and fences. It has been observed in both shaded and sunny coffee plantations.

Introduction

The Crested Anole has an extensive distribution in mainland Puerto Rico and many of its off shore islands, including Vieques, Culebra and Culebrita. A. cristatellus is mostly associated to open areas such as open forests, fields and mostly deforested areas. It is commonly found in roadsides, poles, and fences. It has been observed in both shaded and sunny coffee plantations.

Geographic Distribution

This species has an extensive distribution in mainland Puerto Rico and off-shore islands including Vieques, Culebra, and Culebrita (Schwartz and Henderson 1991; Rivero 1998). It has been reported for all forested areas of Sabana Seca (Ríos 2002). It occurs in Maricao (Rivero 1998). It has been observed in coffee plantations of barrios Sabana Grande, Vivi Arriba, and Mameyes in the municipality of Utuado, and in barrios Fronton, Cialitos, and Pozas in Ciales (Borkhataria 1993). It is present on St. Thomas, St. John, Water Island and most of the adjacent cays (Platenberg et al. 2005).

Habitat Associations

A. cristatellus is principally associated to open areas such as open forests, fields, and deforested areas (Schwartz and Henderson 1991), as well as pastures and herbaceous wetlands (Ríos 2002). A. cristatellus uses to perch intermediate to large trees close to the ground (Rivero 1998). It has been reported for mangroves,Pterocarpus officinalis forests, and forested karst valleys. However, it is not found in the deep forest (Perez-i-Gorgoy 2004). It can be found on trees, shrubs, and fence posts along the margin of roads (Ríos 2002). It is commonly found in roadsides, post, fences and at the crown of coconuts trees (Schwartz and Henderson 1991), and has adapted to the human modification of its natural habitat. It has been observed in both shaded and sunny coffee plantations (Borkhataria 1993). It has been found under rocks at night although individuals have been observed sleeping on leaves (Rivero 1998). It is associated with mesophitic to semi-xerophitic habitats (Schwartz and Henderson 1991). Its altitudinal distribution ranges from sea level to 2800 feet (Schwartz and Henderson 1991), although River limits its upper range to 1800 feet (Rivero 1998). It has been identified up to 980 meters of elevation in Tres Picachos Elfin Woods (Miranda-Castro et al. 2000).

Natural History

The species hunts insects and arthropods but will frequently complement these with other anoles (Perez-i-Gorgoy 2004). According to Schwartz and Henderson, it feeds on beetles, cockroaches, grasshoppers, crickets, mantis, ants, caterpillars, cicada, flies, spiders, and bright colored seeds (Schwartz and Henderson 1991). It usually has diurnal patterns of activity but may be active at night depending on the presence of artificial light (Schwartz and Henderson 1991).They lay one or two eggs during the rainy season, which lasts from April to September (Perez-i-Gorgoy 2004). The eggs are deposited under the rims of logs and stones, and in the debris at the bases of banana plants (Schwartz and Henderson 1991).

Conservation

Acknowledgements

"This research has been supported by the USDA Forest Service International Institute of Tropical Forestry (IITF) GIS and Remote Sensing Laboratory, the U.S. Geological Survey Biological Resources Division Gap Analysis Project: Puerto Rico Gap Analysis Project (agreement no. 01HQPG0031), USVI Gap Analysis Project (06HQ0G0014), and Integrated Gap Analysis Project (G09PG00201), and the Puerto Rico Department of Natural and Environmental Resources Gap Analysis Project and Sportfish Gap Project (F-57). Kevin Gergely, program manager of the USGS Biological Resources Division, National Gap Program has supported this work. In addition a large number of individuals and institutions have helped the project through contributions of data, analyses, and review of products. Thanks to the expertise of many scientists and students at the University of Puerto Rico Río Piedras and Mayaguez campuses, Metropolitan University (UMET) in Río Piedras, and The University of the Virgin Islands. Thanks to Jaime Collazo and his staff at North Carolina State University. Thanks the USFS IITF scientists for expertise and contributions, particularly Dr. Joe Wunderle. Thanks to the members of the Ornithological Society of Puerto Rico (SOPI). The following also contributed time and expertise in many aspects of the project: Brick Fevold, Sebastián Martinuzzi, Jose Salgeuro, Alberto López, Javier Mercado, Ivan Vicens, Tomas Carlo, Ariel Lugo, José Berrios, José Chabert, Jocelyn Aycrigg, Jill Maxwell, Anne Davidson, Nicole Coffey, Thomas Brandeis, Michael Jiménez, Eddie Ventosa, Maria Camacho, Nilda Jiménez, Milagros González, Caryl Alarcón, Jessica Acosta, Isabel Pares, and Angelica Vega. All research at IITF is done in collaboration with the University of Puerto Rico."

Literature Cited

Ashton, R. E., Jr., and P. S. Ashton. 1985. Handbook of reptiles and amphibians of Florida. Part two. Lizards, turtles & crocodilians. Windward Pub., Inc., Miami. 191 pp.

Behler, J. L., and F. W. King. 1979. The Audubon Society field guide to North American reptiles and amphibians. Alfred A. Knopf, New York. 719 pp.

Borkhataria, R.R. 1993. Ecological and political implications of conversion from shade to sun coffee in Puerto Rico. Thesis (MS). North Carolina State University.

Philibosian, R. 1975. Territorial Behavior and Population Regulation in the Lizards, Anolis acutus and A. cristatellus. Copeia  1975(3): 428-444.

Platenberg, R. J., F. E. Hayes, D. B. McNair, and J. J. Pierce. 2005. A Comprehensive Wildlife Conservation Strategy for the U.S. Virgin Islands. Division of Fish and Wildlife, St. Thomas. 251 pp.

Suggested citation

Gould WA, Alarcón C, Fevold B, Jiménez ME, Martinuzzi S, Potts G, Solórzano M, and Ventosa E. 2007. Puerto Rico Gap Analysis Project – Final Report. USGS, Moscow, ID and the USDA Forest Service International Institute of Tropical Forestry, Río Piedras, PR. 159 pp. and 8 appendices.