Within the lizard genus Anolis, color variation in the dewlap, an important signaling trait, can indicate local adaptation or divergence between populations. Most research on anole dewlaps has taken aim at males rather than females. Despite several publications of unrelated lizard genera with links between female signal color polymorphisms and fecundity, variation in female anole dewlaps has received less inquiry. We compiled dewlap photographs of females from several populations of the Anolis lemurinus group, characterized color variants through visual assignment, and tested for associations of dewlap color to body size and dewlap area. We describe the first case of polymorphic dewlap color in females and relatively monomorphic dewlap color in males within a group of anoles. Our survey found that female dewlap color variation in the group is more similar between geographically proximate northern populations of A. lemurinus and A. bicaorum than between populations ascribed to A. lemurinus from different regions. Additionally, we provide evidence that female body size in this group may correlate with dewlap coloration. Our findings support the need for further taxonomic research within the A. lemurinus group, as well as research into the potential mechanisms driving and maintaining color polymorphism in female signaling traits.
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Vol. 564 • No. 1