Published May 6, 2023. Updated December 22, 2023. Open access.

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Bottlenose Anole (Anolis festae)

Reptiles of Ecuador | Sauria | Anolidae | Anolis festae

English common names: Bottlenose Anole, Veronica’s Anole, Festa’s Anole.

Spanish common names: Anolis trompudo, anolis de Festa.

Recognition: ♂♂ 19.9 cmMaximum distance from the snout to the tip of the tail. Snout–vent length=6.4 cm. ♀♀ 16.7 cmMaximum distance from the snout to the tip of the tail. Snout–vent length=5.8 cm..1 Anoles are easily distinguishable from other lizards by their diurnal habits, extensible dewlap in males, expanded digital pads, and granular scales on the dorsum and belly.2,3 The Bottlenose Anole (Anolis festae) can be differentiated from other co-occurring anoles by having a long snout, blue iris, a uniformly greenish to grayish brown dorsum, and white dewlap with a black basal stripe in males (Fig. 1).4 The most similar co-occurring anole is A. peraccae, a species having a distinct blackish postocular blotch and an entirely whitish dewlap.4

Figure showing variation among individuals of Anolis festae

Figure 1: Individuals of Anolis festae from Ecuador: Canandé Reserve, Esmeraldas province (); Centro Científico Río Palenque, Los Ríos province (); Cerro de Hayas, Guayas province (). j=juvenile.

Natural history: Anolis festae is a locally common diurnal lizard that inhabits evergreen lowland forests and seasonally dry forests.1,4,5 This species also occurs in semi-open human-modified habitats such as teak plantations,6 cacao plantations,1 roadside vegetation,1 and border of pastures.1 During the day, Bottlenose Anoles prefer to dwell on tree trunks,6,7 but also occur on low understory vegetation or at ground level.1,5,6 At night, they roost on leaves and thin branches at 0.1–4 m above the ground.1,5 Bottlenose Anoles rely primarily on their twig-like camouflage to go unnoticed, but they can also jump to the ground and swiftly run away.1 When grabbed by a predator, they can shed the tail, which remains wiggling on the ground while the lizard escapes.1 Anolis festae is an oviparous species,8 but the clutch size and nesting sites are not known.

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Conservation: Near Threatened Not currently at risk of extinction, but requires some level of management to maintain healthy populations..9 Anolis festae is listed in this category primarily because the species’ habitat is severely fragmented and declining in extent and quality due to deforestation.9 Based on maps of vegetation cover of Ecuador10 and Colombia,11 it is estimated that approximately 70% of the habitat of A. festae (Fig. 2) has already been destroyed. Although it could qualify for threatened category, the species appears well adapted to human-modified environments.

Distribution: Anolis festae is native to an area of ~42,000 km2 on the Pacific lowlands of Ecuador (Fig. 2), extreme northwestern Peru, and extreme southwestern Colombia.

Distribution of Anolis festae in Ecuador

Figure 2: Distribution of Anolis festae in Ecuador. The star corresponds to the type locality: Balzar, Guayas province. See Appendix 1 for a complete list of the presence localities included in the map.

Etymology: The generic name Anolis is thought to have originated from Cariban languages, specifically from the word anoli, which is the name Arawak peoples may have used to refer to this group of lizards.12 The specific epithet festae honors Dr. Enrico Festa (1868–1939), an Italian zoologist who collected the holotype of the species.13

See it in the wild: Although Bottlenose Anoles are less common that other co-occurring anoles,1,6 they can be found with almost complete certainty in Pacoche Reserve and Centro Científico Río Palenque. The best way to find these lizards is to search for them at night along forest borders or in living fences while they sleep on leaves and twigs.

Special thanks to Wybo Zijlstra for symbolically adopting the Bottlenose Anole and helping bring the Reptiles of Ecuador book project to life.

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Author: Alejandro ArteagaaAffiliation: Khamai Foundation, Quito, Ecuador.

Photographer: Jose VieirabAffiliation: Tropical Herping (TH), Quito, Ecuador.,cAffiliation: ExSitu, Quito, Ecuador.

How to cite? Arteaga A (2023) Bottlenose Anole (Anolis festae). In: Arteaga A, Bustamante L, Vieira J (Eds) Reptiles of Ecuador: Life in the middle of the world. Available from: DOI: 10.47051/EAQM2287

Literature cited:

  1. Field notes, Reptiles of Ecuador book project.
  2. Peters JA, Donoso-Barros R (1970) Catalogue of the Neotropical Squamata: part II, lizards and amphisbaenians. Bulletin of the United States National Museum, Washington, D.C., 293 pp.
  3. Castro Herrera F, Ayala SC (1988) Saurios de Colombia. Unpublished, Bogotá, 692 pp.
  4. MECN (2010) Serie herpetofauna del Ecuador: El Chocó esmeraldeño. Museo Ecuatoriano de Ciencias Naturales, Quito, 232 pp.
  5. Cruz García FK (2017) Diversidad y preferencia de microhábitats de la herpetofauna del Bosque Protector Pedro Franco Dávila (Jauneche) y del Área Provincial Natural de Recreación Cerro de Hayas (Naranjal). BSc thesis, Universidad de Guayaquil, 94 pp.
  6. Miyata KI (2013) Studies on the ecology and population biology of little known Ecuadorian anoles. Bulletin of the Museum of Comparative Zoology 161: 45–78.
  7. Medina-Rangel GF, Pinto-E MA, Calderón-Espinosa ML (2018) First record of the Veronica’s Anolis Anolis festae Peracca, 1904 (Squamata, Dactyloidae) in Colombia. Herpetology Notes 11: 725–728.
  8. Uetz P, Freed P, Hošek J (2021) The reptile database. Available from:
  9. Cisneros-Heredia DF, Almendáriz A, Velasco J, Arteaga A (2021) Anolis festae. The IUCN Red List of threatened species. Available from: DOI: 10.2305/IUCN.UK.2021-3.RLTS.T178706A18976070.en
  10. MAE (2012) Línea base de deforestación del Ecuador continental. Ministerio del Ambiente del Ecuador, Quito, 30 pp.
  11. IDEAM (2014) Mapa de cobertura de la tierra adaptada para Colombia.
  12. Allsopp R (1996) Dictionary of Caribbean English Usage. Oxford University Press, Oxford, 776 pp.
  13. Peracca MG (1897) Viaggio del Dr. Enrico Festa nell’Ecuador e regioni vicine. Bolletino dei Musei di Zoologia ed Anatomia Comparata della Università di Torino 12: 1–20. DOI: 10.5962/bhl.part.4563

Appendix 1: Locality data used to create the distribution map of Anolis festae in Ecuador (Fig. 2). Go to the section on symbols and abbreviations for a list of acronyms used. Asterisk (*) indicates type locality.

ColombiaNariñoEl PalmichalPinto-Erazo et al. 2020
ColombiaNariñoTangareal del MiraiNaturalist; photo examined
ColombiaNariñoVía Pasto–TumacoMedina-Rangel et al. 2018
EcuadorBolívarTierras bajas de BolívarReyes-Puig & Ríos-Alvear 2017
EcuadorChimborazoMayaguanMedina-Rangel et al. 2018; Ayala-Varela and Carvajal-Campos 2017
EcuadorEl OroArenillasiNaturalist; photo examined
EcuadorEl OroBuenavista, 3 km W ofMCZ 147041; VertNet
EcuadorEl OroFinca Jose FernandoiNaturalist; photo examined
EcuadorEl OroLa AvanzadaiNaturalist; photo examined
EcuadorEl OroLa PazmiñoiNaturalist; photo examined
EcuadorEl OroMachalaWilliams 1965
EcuadorEl OroPiñas, 24 km SW ofMedina-Rangel et al. 2018; Ayala-Varela and Carvajal-Campos 2017
EcuadorEl OroReserva Militar ArenillasGarzón-Santomaro et al. 2019
EcuadorEl OroSanta RosaiNaturalist; photo examined
EcuadorEsmeraldasBorbónMedina-Rangel et al. 2018; Ayala-Varela and Carvajal-Campos 2017
EcuadorEsmeraldasBosque Protector La ChiquitaMHNG 2526.046; not examined
EcuadorEsmeraldasCaimitoReptiles of Ecuador book database
EcuadorEsmeraldasCanandéThis work; Fig. 1
EcuadorEsmeraldasEl AguacateVázquez et al. 2005
EcuadorEsmeraldasEstero ChipaVázquez et al. 2005
EcuadorEsmeraldasEstero InésVázquez et al. 2005
EcuadorEsmeraldasMolinaiNaturalist; photo examined
EcuadorEsmeraldasPartidero-Poza HondaVázquez et al. 2005
EcuadorEsmeraldasPichiyacuMedina-Rangel et al. 2018; Ayala-Varela and Carvajal-Campos 2017
EcuadorEsmeraldasQuinindé, 10 km W ofiNaturalist; photo examined
EcuadorEsmeraldasQuinindé, 4 km N ofiNaturalist; photo examined
EcuadorEsmeraldasReserva ItapoaReptiles of Ecuador book database
EcuadorEsmeraldasReserva Tesoro EscondidoPhoto by Simon Maddock
EcuadorEsmeraldasRío CanandéiNaturalist; photo examined
EcuadorEsmeraldasSameiNaturalist; photo examined
EcuadorEsmeraldasTundaloma LodgeMedina-Rangel et al. 2018; Ayala-Varela and Carvajal-Campos 2017
EcuadorGuayasAntenas de Cerro AzuliNaturalist; photo examined
EcuadorGuayasBalao ChicoiNaturalist; photo examined
EcuadorGuayasBalzar*Peracca 1904
EcuadorGuayasBosque Protector Cerro BlancoMedina-Rangel et al. 2018; Ayala-Varela and Carvajal-Campos 2017
EcuadorGuayasCerro de HayasReptiles of Ecuador book database
EcuadorGuayasDos BocasiNaturalist; photo examined
EcuadorGuayasDurán, 40 km E ofUF 84146; VertNet
EcuadorGuayasGuayaquilWilliams 1965
EcuadorGuayasHacienda La SoledadAyala-Varela & Carvajal-Campos 2022
EcuadorGuayasIsla PunáNavarrete 2011
EcuadorGuayasIsla SantayPhoto by Birds Santay
EcuadorGuayasNaranjalMHNG 2515.060; not examined
EcuadorGuayasQuinta CaobaAyala-Varela & Carvajal-Campos 2022
EcuadorGuayasRancho AlemánOnline multimedia
EcuadorGuayasReserva al pie del Cerro El MateAyala-Varela & Carvajal-Campos 2022
EcuadorGuayasRío PescadoAMNH 23434; examined
EcuadorLojaBosque Petrificado PuyangoAguirre et al. 2017
EcuadorLojaLas PailitasiNaturalist; photo examined
EcuadorLos RíosBosque Protector Pedro Franco DávilaCruz García 2017
EcuadorLos RíosCentro Científico Río PalenqueReptiles of Ecuador book database
EcuadorLos RíosHacienda Cerro ChicoMiyata 2013
EcuadorLos RíosHacienda María JoseiNaturalist; photo examined
EcuadorLos RíosHostería El Senor de los CaballosReptiles of Ecuador book database
EcuadorLos RíosQuevedoMHNG 2521.057; not examined
EcuadorLos RíosQuevedo, 39 km N ofMCZ 147022; VertNet
EcuadorManabíCerro San SebastiánCisneros-Heredia et al. 2021
EcuadorManabíEl AromoMedina-Rangel et al. 2018; Ayala-Varela and Carvajal-Campos 2017
EcuadorManabíEl Carmen Cuadrado Saldarriaga 2020
EcuadorManabíPacoche LodgeReptiles of Ecuador book database
EcuadorManabíPileiNaturalist; photo examined
EcuadorManabíReserva AyampeCisneros-Heredia et al. 2021
EcuadorManabíReserva Jama CoaqueiNaturalist; photo examined
EcuadorManabíReserva Lalo LoorReptiles of Ecuador book database
EcuadorManabíRío Muchacho farmiNaturalist; photo examined
EcuadorManabíThree Forests TrailPhoto by Paul Maier
EcuadorSanto Domingo de los TsáchilasEl EsfuerzoMedina-Rangel et al. 2018; Ayala-Varela and Carvajal-Campos 2017
PeruTumbesCampamento El CauchoMedina-Rangel et al. 2018; Ayala-Varela and Carvajal-Campos 2017