Captive care information

  Breeding program

    Anolis (Norops) bicaorum KÖHLER, 1996
    1973 Anolis lemurinus - WILSON & HAHN

    General information: 
    Norops bicaorum KÖHLER exclusively occurs on Utila and Roatan, two islets belonging to the Bay Islands (Islas de la Bahia) off the northern coast of Honduras. In 1996 Dr. Gunther Köhler (Forschungsinstitut Senckenbers, Frankfurt/ Main) described this animal (previously thought to be Norops lemurinus) as a new species. The name bica-orum has been assigned in honour to a local conservation agency, the Bay Island Conservation Agency (BICA). 

    Ground color varying between reddish and greyish brown. 
    Males have a snout-to-vent-length (SVL) of maximally 75 mm (3”), a total length (TL) of up to 200 mm (8”), and show a interrupted middorsal line. During mating or territorial behaviour, a rich brown lateral line emerges. The dewlap is proportionally very large, red with a darker-pigmented centre, and multiple rows of white scales. 
    The SVL of females is maximally 65 mm, TL up to 170 mm. Females show dorsal “X”-markings, and have a small, white dewlap. 
    The dorsal markings are a reliable secundary sex characteristic, and are already present in hatchlings. 

    Breeding program 
    Dr. Köhler obtained permission from the Honduran authorities to collect some live specimens, in order to study their behaviour in captivity. Due to sub-optimal housing facilities at the Senckenberg institute, private facilities were approached in 1997.  Through mediation by Leo Wijffels, we received three females in 1997. In 1998, Dr. Köhler reported that in the mean time, he had managed to collect some males, and that he wanted to place one of them in our care. On July 5th, 1998, we collected this animal in Frankfurt. Immediately afterwards, one of our females became anorexic and died on February 22nd 1999, despite all attempts at health improvement. 

    In the mean time, the dominant female had deposited eggs, and the first young (a male) hatched on January 3d, 1999. Subsequently a male hatched on February 2nd, a female on February 24th, and another male on April 10th. Later in 1999, Dr. Köhler reported having one wild-caught male and two wild-caught females remaining in captivity. He was willing to part with these animals, provided that a carefully managed breeding program would be instigated for this species. 
    It was now possible to form five pairs. 

    All interested parties (Anolis Contact Group participants) met up for re-distribution of the animals in Hamm (Germany) on September 18th, 1999. Two pairs – a combination of wild-caught and captive-bred animals- are now in the care of Thomas Lakowitz (Helsingborg, Sweden). One pair was placed with Pascal Eusemann (Germany), and one pair with Wilco Hoogers (Medemblik, Holland). 

    Thomas is a highly experienced anole breeder, and by now has a large number of N. bicaorum offspring. Our own animals, after being relatively inactive for some time, have resumed breeding with a vengeance, and so far some 10 young have hatched this year. The wild-caught females placed with Pascal and Wilco did not survive the transfer, and have by now been replaced by female offspring from Thomas’ colony.  

    We have now registered this species in an official breeding program (“studbook”), with the Overkoepelend Orgaan Stamboeken (Cross-organisation body for studbooks) in the Netherlands. Due to the success of the program so far, (proven!) experienced anole breeders are now sought for expansion of the number of breeding colonies. Candidates are kindly asked to contact Piet van Beest for more information (please write in Dutch, English, or German). 

    Piet van Beest. 
    (Translation/contributions: ZLH).