Date of Award

12-2016

Degree Type

Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Science

Major

Ecology and Evolutionary Biology

Major Professor

Arthur C. Echternacht

Committee Members

Benjamin M. Fitzpatrick, Daniel Simberloff

Abstract

Understanding color polymorphism and associated ecological and morphological divergence is important to improving out knowledge of diversity and speciation; anoles are a model clade for addressing these questions. Anolis conspersus (the Grand Cay- man blue-throated anole) is endemic to a small island and has color variants (green, blue, and brown morphs) that are spatially arranged despite a lack of wider environmental gradients. I examined aspects of ecological and morphological variation among and within A. conspersus populations throughout Grand Cayman to evaluate potential divergence between color morphs. No substantial differences in habitat use or morphology were detected. The blue and green morphs were difficult to categorize, suggesting the A. conspersus color system is more complicated than previously believed.

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