No need for artificial light: nocturnal activity by a diurnal reptile under lunar light

Species are commonly described as either diurnal or nocturnal, with rare reports of deviations outside their normal activity period. Observations of nocturnal activity by diurnal Anolis are limited to lizards utilizing anthropogenic light sources (night-light niche) to prolong their daily activity period. Here, we report nocturnal activity by Anolis cristatellus facilitated solely by natural moonlight and discuss implications for when this behavior would be recognized as common in the future. The identification of nocturnal activity in Anolis is particularly noteworthy given, in contrast to other taxa, our extensive knowledge of this study system which will allow for future ecological studies to better test hypotheses.


Referenced in BioNews 40 article "Diurnal reptile is found to be active during full moon"

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