Anolis quercorum Fitch 1978

Köhler, Gunther, Pérez, Raúl Gómez Trejo, Petersen, Claus Bo P., Méndez, Fausto R. & Cruz, De La, 2014, A revision of the Mexican Anolis (Reptilia, Squamata, Dactyloidae) from the Pacific versant west of the Isthmus de Tehuantepec in the states of Oaxaca, Guerrero, and Puebla, with the description of six new species, Zootaxa 3862 (1), pp. 1-210: 85-93

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Anolis quercorum Fitch 1978


Anolis quercorum Fitch 1978  

Anolis quercorum Fitch 1978: 6   ; type locality: “ 26 km SE Nochixtlán (2.5 km NW Cuesta Blanca, Highway 190), Oaxaca, Mexico ”. Holotype: KU 176050 View Materials . Lieb 1981, Fitch & Hillis 1984, Gorman et al. 1984, Flores-Villela 1993, Flores-Villela & Gerez 1994, Lieb 1995, Liner 2007, Fläschendräger & Wijffels 2009, Flores-Villela et al. 2010, Urbina-Cardona & Flores-Villela 2010, Wilson & Townsend 2010, Wilson et al. 2013, Köhler et al. 2014, Köhler 2014

Anolis nebuloides: Gehlbach & Colette 1957  

Norops quercorum: Savage & Guyer 1989   , Nicholson 2002, Castiglia et al. 2010, Nicholson et al. 2012

Diagnosis. A small species (SVL in largest male 46.0 mm, largest female 43.5 mm) of the genus Anolis (sensu Poe 2004)   that differs from all Mexican and Central American anoles except A. carlliebi   and A. sacamecatensis   by having a combination of (1) strongly keeled ventral scales; (2) usually a patch of three greatly enlarged supraocular scales; (3) 12–20 rows of slightly to moderately enlarged dorsal scales that are smaller than ventral scales; (4) short hind legs, longest toe of adpressed hind leg usually reaching to ear opening or to a point between ear opening and eye, ratio shank length/SVL 0.22–0.26; (5) circumnasal usually in contact with first supralabial; and (6) a large pink dewlap in males and a very small pinkish orange-red dewlap in females ( Fig. 65 View FIGURE 65 ). Anolis quercorum   differs from A. carlliebi   and A. sacamecatensis   in the ranges and average values of several morphometric and pholidotic characters (see Table 9 View TABLE 9 ), most obvious in (1) number of middorsal scales in one head length; (2) ratio shank length/ HL; and (3) subdigital lamellae on Phalanges II–IV of Toe IV. Also, Anolis quercorum   differs from A. carlliebi   and A. sacamecatensis   in hemipenis morphology (hemipenis distinctly bilobed in A. quercorum   vs. unilobed in A. carlliebi   and slightly bilobed in A. sacamecatensis   ) and by substantial genetic distances (see above).

Description. Anolis quercorum   is a small anole (maximum recorded SVL 46.0 mm in males, 43.5 mm in females); dorsal head scales in internasal region smooth to weakly keeled, occasionally strongly keeled, unicarinate, other dorsal head scales smooth to weakly keeled in prefrontal region, in parietal region smooth to rugose; shallow to deep prefrontal depression present, shallow parietal depression; 4–7 postrostrals; anterior nasal usually single, exceptionally divided, the lower scale in contact with rostral and first supralabial; 4–8 internasals; canthal ridge sharply defined; scales comprising supraorbital semicircles well defined, smooth to strongly keeled, largest scale in semicircles usually subequal or larger than largest supraocular scale; supraorbital semicircles usually broadly in contact, occasionally separated by a complete row of scales; 1–4 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 subequal to ear opening; enlarged supraoculars usually a patch of 3 greatly enlarged scales in a single row (occasionally a patch of 4–7 moderately to greatly enlarged, somewhat irregular arranged scales in two rows) rugose to weakly keeled, separated from supraorbital semicircles by a complete row of small scales, or these scales narrowly in contact (broadly in contact in SMF 96456 View Materials ); 2–3 scales between enlarged supraoculars and superciliaries; usually 2 occasionally 3 elongate superciliaries, anterior one longest, followed posteriorly by a series of 3–4 rounded or squarish keeled scales of moderate size; usually 3 enlarged canthals, the second canthal largest; 4–9 scales between second canthals; 6–10 scales between posterior canthals; loreal region slightly concave, 11–29 mostly keeled (some smooth to rugose) loreal scales in a maximum of 3–5 horizontal rows; 5–7 supralabials to level below center of eye; suboculars keeled, broadly in contact with supralabials (2–3 suboculars in contact with 2–4 supralabials); ear opening vertically oval; scales anterior to ear opening keeled, juxtaposed, about four times larger than granulars posterior to ear opening; 5–8 infralabials to level below center of eye; 3–5 postmentals (usually 4), outer pair slightly to distinctly larger than adjacent median postmental scales; 0–3(commonly 0 or 1) enlarged sublabials in contact with infralabials on each side; keeled granular scales present on chin and throat; male dewlap of large size extending onto chest; 7–8 horizontal gorgetal-sternal rows with 14–18 scales per row; modal number of marginal pairs 2–3;female dewlap very small or small; a nuchal crest and a dorsal ridge present in males; scales on middorsum weakly to strongly keeled, subimbricate with rounded posterior margins; 12–20 middorsal scale rows slightly to moderately enlarged, with a gradual transition to lateral scales; lateral scales keeled, more or less homogeneous; 48–67 dorsal scales along vertebral midline between levels of axilla and groin in males, 49–71 in females; 22–36 dorsal scales along vertebral midline contained in one head length in males, 22–38 in females; ventral scales on midsection larger than largest dorsal scales; scales on midventer usually strongly keeled, imbricate, usually mucronate, occasionally weakly keeled, subimbricate, non-mucronate; 33–52 ventral scales along midventral line between levels of axilla and groin in males, 33–49 in females; 22–40 ventral scales contained in one head length in males, 18–28 in females; 106–140 scales around midbody in males, 100–126 in females; tube-like axillary pocket absent; precloacal scales smooth to weakly keeled; males with a pair of greatly enlarged postcloacal scales; tail moderately compressed in cross section, tail height/tail width 1.15–1.79 in males, 1.11–1.54 in females; all caudal scales strongly keeled, homogeneous, although an indistinct division in segments is discernible; dorsal medial caudal scale row hardly enlarged, strongly keeled, not forming a crest; scales on anterodorsal surface of brachium subimbricate to imbricate, strongly keeled, unicarinate, non-mucronate; scales on dorsal surface of antebrachium strongly keeled, unicarinate, subimbricate to imbricate, some slightly mucronate; 19–26 subdigital lamellae on Phalanges II–IV of Toe IV of hind limbs; 5–7 subdigital lamellae on distal phalanx of Toe IV of hind limbs; digital pads dilated, slightly more than twice the size of distal phalanx. In all specimens examined, the longest toe of the adpressed hind leg reaches to level of tympanum or to a point between shoulder and tympanum. Of 14 individuals, the longest toe of adpressed hind leg reaching almost to ear opening in 3.3%, to ear opening in 60.0%, and to a point slightly beyond ear opening in 10.0%. For variation in selected scalation and morphometric characters see Table 9 View TABLE 9 .

The coloration in life of an adult male from 2 km SE Cuesta Blanca ( SMF 96457 View Materials ) was recorded as follows: Dorsal ground color of body, head, limbs and tail Drab (19); limbs with Tawny Olive (17) bands; tail with Olive Brown (278) bands; ventral surfaces of body, limbs and tail Light Buff (2); dewlap Pale Purple (223) with Pale Pinkish Buff (3) gorgetals; iris Dark Drab (45).

The coloration in life of an adult female from 2 km SE Cuesta Blanca ( IBH 26982 View Materials ) was recorded as follows: Dorsal ground color Mikado Brown (42) with a suffusion of Cinnamon Brown (43) on head; vertebral line Dark Salmon Color (59) grading into Orange-Rufous (56) on tail and edged by Cinnamon Brown (43) on dorsum; ventral surface of head Light Buff (2) ventral surface of limbs Drab (19); ventral surface of tail Salmon Color (58); dewlap Spinel Pink (235) with Pale Pinkish Buff (3) gorgetals; iris Sprout´s Brown (47). The coloration in life of another adult female from 2 km SE Cuesta Blanca ( IBH 26983 View Materials ; Fig. 66d View FIGURE 66 ) was recorded as follows: Dorsal ground color Drab (19) with a weakly defined Medium Fawn Color (257) zigzag band; dorsal surface of limbs True Cinnamon (260) with Cinnamon Drab (259) bands; ventral surface of head and body Pale Buff (1); ventral surface of limbs Pale Pinkish Buff (3); ventral surface of tail Beige (254); iris Sprout´s Brown (47).

The almost completely everted hemipenis of SMF 96439 View Materials ( Fig. 70 View FIGURE 70 ) is a bilobate organ; sulcus spermaticus bordered by well developed sulcal lips and opening into two apical fields void of ornamentation, one on each lobe; a large finger-like asulcate processus and a weak asulcate ridge present; apex strongly calyculate, truncus with transverse folds.

Natural History Notes: The habitat of Anolis quercorum   is leaf litter in oak forest. Here this typical ground anole can be found in amazing population densities. In the vicinity of the type locality of this species (2 km SE Cuesta Blanca, 17.33065°N, 97.158420°W, 2250 masl), we saw at least 50 individuals within one hour of searching in a relatively small area (<1 ha). When disturbed, these lizards darted a meter or so across the leaf litter and then usually froze and were well camouflaged against the vivid background colors.

Geographic Distribution and Conservation. As currently known, Anolis quercorum   is distributed on the Pacific versant of the western central and northwestern portions of the Mexican State of Oaxaca at elevations between 1616 and 2250 masl ( Fig. 71 View FIGURE 71 ). Given its usual abundance wherever this species occurs, it seems justified to classify A. quercorum   as Least Concern based on the IUCN Red List Categories and Criteria ( IUCN 2012).

Specimens examined— Mexico: Oaxaca: 0.9 mi N (by road) El Cerezal, Sierra Aloapaneca (N of city of Oaxaca) Mex Hwy 175: UTA R-8421; 2 km SE Cuesta Blanca   , 2250 m: IBH 26973–76 View Materials , 26982–83 View Materials , SMF 96441–55 View Materials , 96457–58 View Materials , 96747–51 View Materials , 98021 View Materials , 98735 View Materials ; 1.7 mi SE Nochixtlán   : MCZ R-133097–98; 26 km SE Nochistlán   ,

2.5 km NW Cuesta Blanca : KU 176051 View Materials –57   ; 3.5 WSW Tlaxiaco : UTA   R-3568–71; 32 mi NW Oaxaca, 2164 m: UMMZ 115057 View Materials   ; 32.5 mi NW Oaxaca, 2134 m: UMMZ 112636 View Materials (12 specimens)   ; 3.1 km NW Llano Verde : UTA   R- 11502–03; 5.6 km E Llano Verde : KU 193181 View Materials , 193188–89   ; 12.8 km W Llano Verde : MCZ   R-171142–44; 52 mi N Oaxaca on MEX 190   2.4 mi N El Cumbre: UMMZ 131485 View Materials (nine specimens); Hotel Victoria , 1616 m: UTA   R- 25789; Oaxaca: FMNH 108789-92 View Materials   ; Oaxaca Motor Court: Oaxaca City : MCZ   R-86374–75; grounds of Oaxaca Port Motel : MCZ   R-79562–64; 3 mi N La Heradura : MCZ   R-177946–49, 54954–58; Tamazulapán del Progreso , 1990 m: IBH 26977, SMF 96438 –40, 96456 View Materials   ; Cerro San Felipe : MCZ   R-93671–72; 15 km NW (on road) San Juan del Estado, distrito Etla : MVZ 144181 View Materials   ; El Tejocote, 2078 m: UTA   R-25788, 52818–23.

Taxonomy of the Mexican anoles related to Anolis boulengerianus Thominot 1887  

Thominot (1887) described Anolis boulengerianus   based on three specimens (now MNHN 6554, 1994.1670–71; Fig. 72 View FIGURE 72 and 73 View FIGURE 73 ), examined by GK, from “Téhuantépec ( Mexique).” For most of the time since its original description, this nominal species had remained in the synonymy of A. nebulosus   or A. nebuloides   (e.g., Barbour 1934, Smith and Taylor 1950 a, Guibé 1954, Brygoo 1989). Davis (1954) described A. subocularis   from “one mile southwest of Tierra Colorado, 900 ft., Guerrero ” (holotype now TCWC 8675, Fig. 74 View FIGURE 74 ), examined by GK. In 1978, Fitch described A. isthmicus   based on specimens from “ 19.5 km WNW Tehuantepec, Oaxaca, Mexico ” and nearby localities. In his comparisons, he differentiated it from a selection of anole species from southern Mexico, but did not include A. boulengerianus   in his considerations. Recently, Nieto Montes de Oca et al. (2014) demonstrated that the type material of A. boulengerianus   is conspecific with that of A. isthmicus   and therefore synonymized the latter with A. boulengerianus   . Because of priority, A. boulengerianus   is the valid name for the species previously known as A. isthmicus   .

For our analysis, we defined three OTUs in this complex: OTU1 is formed by specimens from south-central and southeastern Guerrero; OTU2 by specimens from the coastal plain between Huatulco and Puerto Escondido in south-central Oaxaca; and OTU 3 by specimens from the hills west and northwest of Tehuantepec in southeastern Oaxaca. The analysis of the CO1 and 16s gene fragments revealed the existence of three genetic clusters ( Fig. 75 View FIGURE 75 ). Genetic distances between our OTUs 2 and 3 are low in both genes (5.7–7.7% in CO1; 1.5–2.8 in 16s). In contrast, our OTU1 has a genetic distance to OTU 2 and 3, respectively, of 13.9–17.6 (CO1) and 6.9–7.8 (16s), respectively. We observed differences in male dewlap coloration between OTUs 2 and 3: in OTU 2, the male dewlap is pinkish red without paler areas around gorgetals whereas in OTU 3 the male dewlap is orange yellow with paler areas around gorgetals. Also, the eastern populations (our OTU 3) occur in a much more arid habitat than the western populations (our OTU 2). These findings are evidence for the existence of three species in this complex. Our OTU 1 contains the type locality of A. subocularis   and therefore this name has to be applied to this species. The type localities of A. boulengerianus   and A. isthmicus   , respectively, are both contained in our OTU3; thus the older name (i.e., A. boulengerianus   ) is the valid name for this species and the nominal species A. isthmicus   remains in the synonymy of A. boulengerianus   . No scientific name is available for our OTU 2, and we therefore describe it as a new species below.


University of Texas at Arlington


Museum of Comparative Zoology


Biodiversity Institute, University of Kansas














Anolis quercorum Fitch 1978

Köhler, Gunther, Pérez, Raúl Gómez Trejo, Petersen, Claus Bo P., Méndez, Fausto R. & Cruz, De La 2014

Anolis quercorum

Fitch, H. S. 1978: 6