Thermal Biology of Anolis Lizards in a Complex Fauna: The Christatellus Group on Puerto Rico

Thermal Biology of Anolis Lizards in a Complex Fauna: The Christatellus Group on Puerto Rico
Raymond B. Huey and T. Preston Webster
Ecology
Vol. 57, No. 5 (Late Summer, 1976), pp. 985-994

Abstract: 
To describe the thermal biology of the three trunk-ground species of the Anolis cristatellus group on Puerto Rico, an island with 10 species of Anolis, we obtained samples of air and body temperatures of A. gundlachi (shady perches, montane forests), A. cristatellus (shady or sunny perches in open or closed forests, lowlands to mid-elevations), and A. cooki (sunny perches in open, xeric lowlands). Average body temperatures parallel altitudinal and habitat association (lowest for A gundlachi, highest for A. cooki). Within a species, body temperatures are strongly correlated with air temperatures and thus vary with altitude, time of day, habitat, and weather. Observed differences between sympatric species in body temperatures and habitat probably reflect physiological requirements, but may be magnified by competition. Relative thermal niche breadth of individuals of these species is approximated and compared with data on species from simple anole faunas to evaluate hypotheses on the evaluation of thermal niche breadth. Extent of basking behavior is inversely related to associated costs for these species. In closed forests where costs of raising body temperatures are high, A. gundlachi and A. cristatellus rarely bask and seemingly are routinely passive to ambient conditions. In open habitats where costs are low, A. cristatellus and A. cooki frequently bask.