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Because predator and prey each see the world in different ways – with different color perceptions and visual acuities – whether colorful traits of animals arise as a result of camouflage or social signaling is not always readily apparent. Water anoles (Anolis aquaticus) are Central American lizards that use visual signals in conspecific interactions. We compared lizard and avian visual models to examine lizard conspicuousness to conspecifics and predators. Using the image processing software ImageJ and the plug-in micaToolbox, visual system models of lizard predators and conspecifics were applied to photos of A. aquaticus and their substrates obtained from a field survey in Costa Rica. Our results suggest that predators may detect water anoles more conspicuously than water anole conspecifics. Rapid body color change, which was not examined in this study, could help to mitigate the high conspicuousness of anoles to their avian predators.



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For Your Eyes Only: Do Visual System Differences Between Predators and Conspecifics Influence Perception of Lizard Body Coloration?