Slender Anole

The Slender Anole (Norops limifrons or Anolis limifrons) is one of the most common anoles of the lowland tropical rainforests of Costa Rica. Slender Anoles are usually found on vegetation in the forest understory, where they hunt for insects and other invertebrates. However, Slender Anoles are not just found on leaves and trees, and I spotted this one on the balcony of my hotel room in Manuel Antonio, Costa Rica.

Slender Anole (Norops limifrons or Anolis limifrons)

Slender Anoles are small, very slender, brown in color (darker above and lighter below), and have a variably patterned back and a long, slender, banded tail.

Slender Anole (Norops limifrons or Anolis limifrons)

Male Slender Anoles have an orange to white dewlap on their throat, which they can fan out in displays to attract females or intimidate rival males in their territory.

Slender Anoles have relatively small territories and their dispersal rates are low because their mortality rates are very high. Many species of birds, snakes, and even large spiders will prey on these small, slender lizards.

Predation is not the only thing negatively affecting Slender Anoles. Like many other lizards (and even some snakes), Slender Anoles can be infected with reptilian malaria parasites (Plasmodium spp.). A number of studies have focused on Slender Anoles to better understand lizard malaria and the associated species of Plasmodium, which are different than the Plasmodium species that can infect humans and cause human malaria. Among its other possible effects, lizard malaria can result in the lizard becoming less energetic and losing weight.