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Data on assessing the effects of genetic divergence and morphology on Anolis lizard mating

Cite this dataset

D'Agostino, Emmanuel; Donihue, Colin; Losos, Jonathan; Geneva, Anthony (2020). Data on assessing the effects of genetic divergence and morphology on Anolis lizard mating [Dataset]. Dryad.


The brown anole (Anolis sagrei) is a widespread neotropical lizard found on many islands in the West Indies as well as the coast of Central America. Across their range, brown anole populations show extensive ecomorphological trait variation and substantial genetic divergence. It is unclear, however, whether this genetic and morphological divergence results in reproductive isolation between populations. We investigated variation in mating behavior across populations by analyzing four hours of video of each of 234 captive male-female A. sagrei pairs encompassing all 36 possible pairings from six sampled islands. For each pair of individuals, we tested for an association between the occurrence of mating, morphological traits, and genetic relatedness of their populations. We found no support for the hypotheses that ecological and/or non-ecological divergence is driving premating reproductive isolation in A. sagrei. We did find that males with relatively short heads tend to mate more quickly and hypothesize potential explanations that warrant future investigation.


For the matings_dryad dataset:

Mating data: Adult A. sagrei were collected in the summer of 2016 from the Bahamian islands of Abaco, Bimini, Conception, and Staniel Cay and from the Caymanian islands of Cayman Brac and Little Cayman in the Cayman Islands. Female A. sagrei, which can store sperm from previous matings and store sperm in the absence of fertilization, were kept isolated from males until <1% of eggs were fertile. Males were placed in individual 15-L cages and given over one month to acclimate, at which point one female was added to each cage and a GoPro was turned on. Mating, defined as cloacal alignment, occurs when the male is on the female’s dorsum and curves his tail underneath hers, toward her ventrum. Matings were recorded if they occurred in the first four hours.

Skeletal data: Specimens were scanned using the INSPEX 20i digital x-ray system in the Harvard University Museum of Comparative Zoology’s Digital Imaging Facility. Heads and limbs were taped to the surface of the x-ray plate to control for foreshortening effects; if a limb is was not orthogonal to the x-rays and in the same plane as the scale bar, the captured image can misrepresent relative sizes between individuals. X-ray images were traced in ImageJ.

Dewlap data: We photographed male dewlaps for a subset of the each population using a tripod-mounted Olympus EM-5mkII digital camera with a 60 mm macro lens. To determine surface area, dewlaps were traced from these photographs using the ImageJ plugin ObjectJ.

For the locations_dryad dataset:

Geographic coordinates of locations of collection were recorded.

For the island_sagrei_dryad.fasta dataset:

We sequenced NADH dehydrogenase subunit 2 (ND2) in five individuals from each of the six populations.

Further details about data collection for all three datasets are available in the associated manuscript.

Usage notes

The dataset "matings_dryad" is a CSV file containing outcomes of four-hour-long mating trials of pairings of Anolis sagrei and morphological data about the individuals used.

The dataset "locations_dryad" contains sites of collection of populations.

The dataset "island_sagrei_dryad.fasta" is a multi-FASTA file containing ND2 sequences from the individuals.

The file "README_dryad" is a Word document that gives detail about these sequences.

Missing morphological data in "matings_dryad" is due to some traits not being measured. All files are explained in the README_dryad file.


John Templeton Foundation, Award: 52287