Culebra Island giant anole

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Culebra Island giant anole
Anolis roosevelti.jpg

Critically endangered, possibly extinct (IUCN 3.1)[1]
Scientific classification edit
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Reptilia
Order: Squamata
Suborder: Iguania
Family: Dactyloidae
Genus: Anolis
A. roosevelti
Binomial name
Anolis roosevelti
Grant, 1931
  • Xiphosurus roosevelti

The Culebra Island giant anole (Anolis roosevelti ) is an extremely rare or possibly extinct species of lizard of the genus Anolis in the family Dactyloidae.

Taxonomy and etymology[edit]

The Culebra Island giant anole was first described in 1931 by American zoologist Chapman Grant, grandson of U.S. President Grant. It is named in honor of Theodore Roosevelt Jr., who was the governor of Puerto Rico at that time.[2] It was initially described as Anolis roosevelti but some have suggested it should be transferred into the genus Xiphosurus in 2012.[3] However, this new classification system is highly controversial because it creates polyphyletic groups in the genus Anolis. Therefore, the new classification system of Anolis has not been universally accepted.[4]

Geographic range[edit]

Anolis roosevelti is endemic to Culebra Island in Puerto Rico.


A. roosevelti can reach a snout-to-vent length (SVL) of 160 mm (6.3 in). The color of the body is brown-grey, while the tail has a yellow-brown hue and the abdomen is whitish. The throat fan varies from gray on the upperparts to yellow on the underparts, and the eyelids are yellow. A further feature are two long drawn-out lines on both sides of the body; one starts at the ear, the other at the shoulder.


A. roosevelti lives in forested zones on the slopes of Mt. Resaca.


Though A. roosevelti was only observed again in 1932 after its discovery, there have been unconfirmed sightings since 1973 (the last one in 1978). Some experts believe that it might still exist. It preferred a habitat with gumbo-limbo and ficus trees because it fed from the fruits of the trees. Due to human activities the habitat was almost destroyed; only a few specimens of the Culebra Giant Anole can be seen in museums. It was listed as federally endangered in the Endangered Species Act in 1977.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ de Queiroz, K. & Mayer, G.C. (2011). "Anolis roosevelti". The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. IUCN. 2011: e.T1319A3418702. doi:10.2305/IUCN.UK.2011-1.RLTS.T1319A3418702.en. Retrieved 4 December 2017.
  2. ^ Beolens B, Watkins M, Grayson M. (2011). The Eponym Dictionary of Reptiles. Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press. xiii + 296 pp. ISBN 978-1-4214-0135-5. (Anolis roosevelti, p. 226).
  3. ^ Nicholson KE, Crother BI, Guyer C, Savage JM (2012). " It is time for a new classification of anoles (Squamata: Dactyloidae)". Zootaxa 3477: 1–108.
  4. ^ Poe S (2013). "1986 Redux: New genera of anoles (Squamata: Dactyloidae) are unwarranted". Zootaxa 3626 (2): 295-299.

Further reading[edit]

  • Grant C (1931). "A New Species and Two New Subspecies of the Genus Anolis ". J. Dept. Agri. Porto Rico 15 (3): 219-222. (Anolis roosevelti, new species, p. 219).
  • Schwartz A, Thomas R (1975). A Check-list of West Indian Amphibians and Reptiles. Carnegie Museum of Natural History Special Publication No. 1. Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania: Carnegie Museum of Natural History. 216 pp. (Anolis roosevelti, p. 99).

External links[edit]