Display Patterns of Male and Female Anolis carolinensis

Headbob displays of the green anole (Anolis carolinensis). - A cautionary tale. Both males and females perform the same three headbob patterns and with equal precision. Furthermore, all three patterns are used during each of the following basic social contexts:

Only the frequency of use of the three display types varies between the above contexts. Additionally, dewlap extension with each of the three bob patterns is context sensitive. As examples, courted females rarely extend their dewlaps when headbobbing to males, and dueling males at close distances rarely extend their dewlaps when exchanging displays. Therefore, investigators should not reference the displays of this species (or any species) by functional labeling (i.e., avoid such terms as assertion display, challenge display, threat display, courtship display, submissive nodding) because more than one bob pattern (with and without dewlap extension) frequently occurs in every social context and the same patterns occur across contexts.

A Pattern:

begins with a triple bob series

see video

B Pattern:

begins with a little/big bob series

see video

C Pattern:

begins with a single large bob

see video

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Publications supporting these observations are: