Meeting Abstract

P1.7  Friday, Jan. 4  Cryptic differences in coloration across four Sceloporus lizard species and implications for visual signal evolution OSSIP-KLEIN, A/G*; OYOLA MORALES, J/R; VITAL, C; ZÚÑIGA-VEGA, J/J; HEWS, D/K; MARTINS, E/P; Indiana University, Bloomington; Cornell University, Ithaca; Universidad Autónoma de Ciudad Juárez; Universidad Autónoma de México; Indiana State University, Terre Haute; Indiana University, Bloomington aossipkl@indiana.edu

Many animal color patterns appear monochromatic from a human visual perspective, but upon closer inspection differ substantially in their reflectance spectra. Here, we analyze the potential for cryptic (i.e. not visible to the human eye) sexual and interspecific differences in chromatism across four Sceloporus lizard species, commonly known as “blue-bellies”. The majority of these species are sexually dichromatic, as males have paired belly patches which are posturally-emphasized during male-male aggressive encounters and females have unornamented, white-bellies. However, there are a handful of independent evolutionary losses of these blue patches in Sceloporus, and in these species both sexes appear to be unornamented and sexually monochromatic. We examine the potential for cryptic sexual dichromatism in two unornamented Sceloporus species that differ in lineage age (time since the blue loss). We find cryptic differences in coloration across females of four Sceloporus species, all with white-bellies. We also find that the evolution of an additional signaling color for males of one species decreases chromatic contrast. Together, these results have interesting implications for visual signal design in Sceloporus lizards.