Saturday, August 16, 2008

Maldito Fowleri

The rarest anole in the Dominican Republic has been spotted once more! Anolis fowleri is a montane species found only in the Dominican Republic's Cordillera Central that has been seen alive by less than twenty naturalists. The last sighting was six years ago when Steve Poe, Paul Hime and I found three animals south of Constanza. I've tried to find it a few times since, most recently in 2006 with a group that included the Dominican naturalist and photographer Eladio Fernandez, who was left cursing "maldito fowleri" when our efforts failed. A few nights ago, Luke Mahler of Harvard University snagged another animal from the type locality. Seen in these pictures is Luke with his prize, as well as our new friend Miguel Landestoy with the same animal. Miguel is the first Dominican of his generation to see this species and will hopefully be posting some beautiful photos on his Flickr pages soon. Almost nothing is known of fowleri's ecology or life history, a deficiency that Luke hopes to remedy by spending a few weeks on the hunt this summer.

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