Dewlaps are kind of a thing for anoles. Primarily dewlaps are studied through the lens of male signals, but in many species of anoles, the females also posses them. In some species the males and females have similarly developed dewlaps and in others the females have reduced dewlaps or lack dewlaps. In our new publication we tested three alternative hypotheses (two non-adaptive and one adaptive) to try to understand the phylogenetic patterns of of sexual dewlap dimorphism. We found that female dewlaps are associated with greater speciation rates and that their presence is labile across the anole phylogeny, with gains and losses of these ornaments. We further recovered support for a complex mix of adaptive and non-adaptive dynamics underlying female ornamentation. There is so much more to learn!
M. L. Yuan, E. Westeen, G. O. U. Wogan, and I. J. Wang. 2022. Female dewlap ornaments are evolutionarily labile and associated with increased diversification rates in Anolis lizards. Proceedings of the Royal Society, B 289:20221871