Data from: Use of a rostral appendage during social interactions in the Ecuadorian Anolis proboscis
Quirola, Diego R. et al. (2018), Data from: Use of a rostral appendage during social interactions in the Ecuadorian Anolis proboscis, Dryad, Dataset, https://doi.org/10.5061/dryad.pk84p
The use of sexually selected characters in inter- and intra-sexual interactions has long been of interest to evolutionary biologists. Recently, a distinction between sexually selected traits as ornaments versus weapons has been advanced. We investigated the behaviour of an enigmatic lizard with a prominent sexually dimorphic trait in an effort to describe whether the trait was the product of sexual selection and further whether it functioned as a weapon or an ornament. The subject of our study was the Ecuadorian proboscis anole (Anolis proboscis), a slow-moving cryptic species endemic to the north-western slopes of the Andes in Ecuador. Males, but not females, of this species bear a rostral appendage that has been described as an exaggerated trait resulting from sexual selection. However, a thorough description of the use of the rostral appendage in social interactions is lacking. Here, we describe social interactions of this species during 11 male–female courtships and mating interactions, as well as three male–male agonistic interactions. We describe four types of displays by males, many involving the rostral appendage. We found that the rostral appendage is used as an ornament in social displays but not as a weapon in combat. We also show that, unlike other lizards with rostral appendages, male A. proboscis hatch with this structure already developed.