Meeting Abstract

P1-13  Sunday, Jan. 4 15:30  Use of the proboscis during social interactions in the Ecuadorian Horned Anole, Anolis proboscis QUIROLA, D/*; MARMOL, A/; TORRES-CARVAJAL, O/; MOORE, I/T; Pontificia Universidad Católica del Ecuador; Pontificia Universidad Católica del Ecuador; Pontificia Universidad Católica del Ecuador; Virginia Tech

Sexual selection has resulted in numerous examples of exaggerated traits that often are the focus of investigation. These traits are typically used in mate choice, intra-sexual competition, or both. In males this can result in the evolution of exaggerated secondary sexual characters, which may be indicative of the animal performance. Anolis proboscis is a slow-moving cryptic species, endemic to the western slopes of the Andes in Ecuador that was rediscovered in 2005 after it was believed extinct for nearly four decades. Despite its rediscovery, most of the natural history of this species remains almost completely unknown. The males of the species (adults and neonates) have a laterally compressed, soft, flexible, fleshy nasal appendage which they can move at their will. We investigated use of the nasal appendage in social interactions. We captured free-living A. proboscis in the area surrounding the town of Mindo, Pichincha Provence, located on the western slopes of the Andes in Ecuador and conducted behavioral trials approximately 5 km away from the collecting sites. For each trial, two lizards (two males, or one male and one female) were placed on branches of a tree with two video cameras recording the interactions. We were able to observe and videotape 11 copulations and 2 male-male combat. The nasal appendage was not used as a weapon in these interactions but was used as part of the social displays. Further, the appendage is lifted during the social interactions although what role this movement plays is unclear. Our studies are providing new insights of the social behavior of this species as well as providing clues into the use of exaggerated sexually selected traits.