Phenotypic traits may be linked to speciation in two distinct ways: character values may influence the rate of speciation or diversification in the trait may be associated with speciation events. Traits involved in signal transmission, such as the dewlap of Anolis lizards, are often involved in the speciation process. The dewlap is an important visual signal with roles in species recognition and sexual selection, and dewlaps vary among species in relative size as well as colour and pattern. We compile a dataset of relative dewlap size digitized from photographs of 184 anole species from across the genus' geographical range. We use phylogenetic comparative methods to test two hypotheses: that larger dewlaps are associated with higher speciation rates, and that relative dewlap area diversifies according to a speciational model of evolution. We find no evidence of trait-dependent speciation, indicating that larger signals do not enhance any role the dewlap has in promoting speciation. Instead, we find a signal of mixed speciational and gradual trait evolution, with a particularly strong signal of speciational change in the dewlaps of mainland lineages. This indicates that dewlap size diversifies in association with the speciation process, suggesting that divergent selection may play a role in the macroevolution of this signalling trait.
Electronic supplementary material is available online at https://dx.doi.org/10.6084/m9.figshare.c.3593729.
- Received October 9, 2016.
- Accepted November 17, 2016.
- © 2016 The Author(s)
Published by the Royal Society. All rights reserved.