The Brown Anole (Anolis sagrei) is a polymorphic species, with females often exhibiting one of three distinct pattern morphs. Efforts to correlate female-limited pattern polymorphism in anoles to ecological or physiological factors have largely been unsuccessful, with such correlations being either inconsistent among species or among populations of a single species. To test the hypothesis that morph types would differ in their response to putative predators, we observed escape behavior in 84 female A. sagrei from Cape Eleuthera (Eleuthera, Bahamas) and tested 103 females for sprint speed. We found differences between morph types in hindlimb span and perch height. Differences in sprint speed were not significant, nor did morphs differ in escape responses. We suggest further studies to determine whether differences between morphs in hindlimb span are genetic or plastic, and, if plastic, what factor might be responsible. We conclude that perching at different heights could be selectively advantageous for different morph types, and that differences among individuals in sprint speed are largely consequences of hindlimb length. Because morphs in this population did not differ in escape responses, we suggest that different dorsal patterns are not linked to specific behaviors that could reduce detection by a potential predator.
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Vol. 70 • No. 1