Most lizard communities are characterized by having one or two dominant species and a handful of other species that occur at relatively low densities. However, Soroa, a site in the Sierra del Rosario of western Cuba, is home to 11 sympatric species of Anolis, of which nine are found in high abundance. In this study, we evaluate how interspecific differences in structural niche, thermal niche, body size, and behavior might allow the extraordinarily high anole species diversity at this site. We found that all pairs of species differ in at least one of the following niche axes: vegetation types occupied, substrates used, perch height, irradiance at occupied perch sites, and body temperature. Interspecific differences across these axes might serve to reduce competition, allowing the 11 species to live sympatrically within a relatively small geographic area.
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Vol. 520 • No. 1