Anolis polylepis Peters

Köhler, Gunther, Dehling, Matthias & Köhler, Johannes, 2010, Cryptic species and hybridization in the Anolis polylepis complex, with the description of a new species from the Osa Peninsula, Costa Rica (Squamata: Polychrotidae), Zootaxa 2718, pp. 23-38: 27-28

publication ID 10.5281/zenodo.199772


persistent identifier

treatment provided by


scientific name

Anolis polylepis Peters


Anolis polylepis Peters  

Anolis polylepis Peters, 1873: 738   ; syntypes ( ZMB 7825 -26, 7830, 58002 -09) from “Chiriqui”. Barbour (1934), Dunn (1930), Slevin (1942), Taylor (1956), Etheridge (1959), Poe (2004; in part.), Köhler et al. (2008).

Diagnosis. A medium-sized species (SVL in largest specimen 59.4 mm) of the genus Anolis   (sensu Poe 2004) that differs from all other Lower Central American beta anoles (sensu Etheridge 1967) except Anolis apletophallus   , A. cryptolimifrons   , and A. limifrons   in that it is long-legged (longest toe of adpressed hind leg reaches to at least center of eye), has smooth ventral scales, and a slender habitus, often delicate. Anolis polylepis   differs from the species in the cluster listed above by having two elongate, overlapping superciliaries (one such scale in A. apletophallus   , A. cryptolimifrons   , and A. limifrons   ), usually two anterior prenasal scales (versus one elongate prenasal scale) and dewlap coloration (usually orange with a darker orange basal portion in A. polylepis   versus dirty white with a basal orange-yellow blotch in A. cryptolimifrons   and A. limifrons   , almost uniformly orange-yellow in A. apletophallus   ). Additionally, A. polylepis   differs from A. limifrons   , the only species of this cluster with which it occurs sympatrically, by having a bilobed hemipenis (unilobed in A. limifrons   ). For a comparison with the somewhat similar species A. tropidogaster   and A. cupreus   see Diagnosis section of A. osa   . For variation in selected morphometric and scalation characters of A. polylepis   see Table 3.

Description. Norops polylepis   is a medium sized anole (maximum recorded SVL 59.4 mm in males, 53.5 mm in females); dorsal head scales in internasal region keeled ( Fig. 8), in prefrontal, parietal, and frontal areas rugose to tuberculate; deep frontal depression present, parietal depression absent; 7–11 (7.90 ± 0.87) postrostrals; anterior nasal divided in most individuals, usually in contact with rostral and first supralabial, for variation in nasal region see also Table 2 View TABLE 2 and Figure 1 View FIGURE 1 ; 7–11 (8.52 ± 1.19) internasals; canthal ridge sharply defined; scales comprising supraorbital semicircles weakly keeled, largest scale in semicircles about same size as largest supraocular scale; supraorbital semicircles well defined; 1–5 (2.69 ± 0.83) scales separating supraorbital semicircles at narrowest point; 2–7 (3.80 ± 1.03) scales separating supraorbital semicircles and interparietal at narrowest point; interparietal well defined, greatly enlarged relative to adjacent scales, surrounded by scales of moderate size, longer than wide, usually larger than ear opening; 5–22 enlarged, keeled supraocular scales on each side, in 2–4 rows; enlarged supraoculars not in contact with supraorbital semicircles; 2 elongate supraciliaries, posterior one much shorter than anterior one; 3–6 enlarged canthals; 7–16 (1.46±1.66) scales between second canthals; 12–18 (14.4 ± 1.9) scales present between posterior canthals; loreal region slightly concave, 37–92 (57.69 ± 11.38) mostly keeled (some smooth or rugose) loreal scales in a maximum of 6–10 (8.06 ± 1.05) horizontal rows; 6–9 (7.17 ± 0.65) supralabials to level below center of eye; suboculars keeled, suboculars usually in broad contact with supralabials; ear opening vertically oval; scales anterior to ear opening granular, similar in size to those posterior to ear opening; 6–9 (6.82 ± 0.96) postmentals, outer pair usually largest; keeled granular scales present on chin and throat; male dewlap large, extending onto chest; 6–8 horizontal gorgetal-sternal rows with 26–38 scales per row, rows somewhat irregular, some of them with pairs or triplets of scales, apical portion of dewlap between marginal pairs and last gorgetal-sternal row free of scales; modal number of marginal pairs 4–5; female dewlap absent; no nuchal crest or dorsal ridge; 2 middorsal scale rows slightly enlarged, weakly keeled, dorsal scales lateral to middorsal series gradually larger than granular lateral scales; no enlarged scales scattered among granular laterals; 62–118 (87.3 ± 13.18) dorsal scales along vertebral midline between levels of axillae and groin in males, 66–111 (95.1 ± 11.2) in females; 35–68 (51.7 ± 6.9) dorsal scales along vertebral midline contained in one head length in males, 39–76 (55.8 ± 7.99) in females; ventral scales on midsection about the same size as largest dorsal scales; ventral body scales smooth, subimbricate; 56–85 (69.9 ± 8.3) ventral scales along midventral line between levels of axilla and groin in males, 57–76 (66.92 ± 5.30) in females; 36–62 (48.9 ± 5.72) ventral scales contained in one head length in males, 36–56 (44.0± 5.12) in females; 134–212 (164.6 ± 14.5) scales around midbody in males, 140–212 (178.5 ± 17.2) in females; tubelike axillary pocket absent; preanal scales not keeled; postcloacal scales usually not enlarged; tail laterally compressed in cross section, tail height/tail width 1.20–1.85 (1.43 ± 0.13); basal subcaudal scales smooth; lateral caudal scales keeled, homogeneous; dorsal medial caudal scale row slightly enlarged, keeled, not forming a crest; most scales on lateral surface of antebrachium weakly keeled, unicarinate; 21–29 (24.66 ± 1.52) subdigital lamellae on Phalanges II–IV of Toe IV of hind limbs; 7–12 (9.4 ±1.0) subdigital scales on Phalanx I of Toe IV of hind limbs; SVL 42.2–59.4 (51.3 ± 3.76) mm in males, 39.6–53.5 (47.3 ± 3.52) mm in females; HL 10.8– 14.4 (12.8 ± 0.88) mm in males, 10.1–13.7 (11.9 ± 0.78) mm in females; TAL 80.1 –117.0 (102.1 ± 10.28) mm in males, 70.0– 101.5 (86.3 ± 8.29) mm in females; SHL 11.6 –16.0 (13.9 ± 1.12) mm in males, 10.5 –14.0 (12.4 ± 0.98) mm in females; TAL/SVL 1.53–2.22 (2.01 ± 0.23) in males, 1.39–2.50 (1.92 ± 0.3) in females; HL/SVL 0.24–0.27 (0.26 ± 0.01) in males, 0.24–0.29 (0.26 ±0.0) in females; SHL/SVL 0.25–0.32 (0.29 ± 0.02) in males, 0.25–0.34 (0.25 ±0.0) in females; SHL/HL 0.98–1.22 (1.14 ± 0.08) in males, 0.97–1.17 (1.06 ± 0.1) in females; longest toe of adpressed hind limb usually reaching to a point between anterior border of eye and tip of snout. Of 45 specimens examined, the longest toe of the adpressed hind leg reached to mid-eye in 3 individuals (6.7 %), to anterior margin of eye in 29 individuals (64.4 %), and to a point between eye and snout in 13 individuals (28.9 %).

Coloration in life of an adult male specimen ( SMF 89509 View Materials ) of Anolis polylepis   from Hacienda Café de Eleta, 8.87157 °N, 82.77099 °W, 1380 m elevation, Chiriquí, Panama, was recorded as follows: Dorsal ground color Citrine (51) suffused with Dark Brownish Olive (129); a narrow Dark Brownish Olive (129) interorbital bar present; lateral longitudinal stripe Cream Color (54); venter Cream Color (54) with a suggestion of Lime Green (59); ventral surfaces of limbs Dark Drab (119 B); dewlap Spectrum Orange (17) with the apical portion more yellowish; gorgetals Raw Umber (23); iris Raw Sienna (136). Coloration in life of the dewlap of an adult male specimen ( SMF 89606 View Materials ) of Anolis polylepis   from near Uvita, Province Puntarenas, Costa Rica, was recorded as follows: Orange Yellow (18) except for dirty white basal portion and a Raw Umber (23) central area; iris Raw Umber (23). For variation in dorsal pattern see also Table 2 View TABLE 2 and Figure 2 View FIGURE 2 .

Geographic distribution. Anolis polylepis   is distributed along the Pacific versant of central Costa Rica to western Panama, exclusive of the Penisula de Osa   , from near sea level to 1615 m elevation.

Anolis osa   A. polylepis  


Museum für Naturkunde Berlin (Zoological Collections)


Forschungsinstitut und Natur-Museum Senckenberg














Anolis polylepis Peters

Köhler, Gunther, Dehling, Matthias & Köhler, Johannes 2010

Anolis polylepis

Peters 1873: 738