A striking green lizard with an orange–banded dewlap from the lowlands of Western Panama (Anolis ibanezi) has been named in honor of Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute herpetologist Roberto Ibañez. In a recent paper in the journal Phyllomedusa, author Steven Poe and his colleagues bestowed the honor on Ibañez in recognition of his contributions to herpetology and his role in assisting visiting researchers in Panama.
Ibañez continues to provide leadership in herpetology and is currently the director of the Panama Amphibian Rescue and Conservation Project, a partnership between eight institutions, including STRI, the Smithsonian’s National Zoo in the United States, Panama’s Environmental Authority (ANAM) and Summit Nature Park.
The initiative was established to create assurance colonies and captive breeding programs for Panama’s threatened amphibians and to facilitate research into a possible probiotic cure for the invasive pathogen Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis. This fungal pathogen, commonly known as chytrid, is responsible for the extinction of nearly 100 amphibian species, including the Splendid Poison Frog (Oophaga speciosa) and the Chirique Harlequin Frog (Atelopus chririquensis) from Western Panama.
Steven Poe, Ian M. Latella, Mason J. Ryan, and Eric W. Schaad 2010 “A new species of Anolis lizard (Squamata, Iguania) from Panama” Phyllomedusa 8 (2) 81-87
Posted: 15 April 2010