Date of Graduation

Spring 2018

Document Type

Honors Research Project

Degree Name

Bachelor of Science



Research Sponsor

Dr. Peter Niewiarowski

First Reader

Dr. Ali Dhinojwala

Second Reader

Dr. Henry Astley


The gecko adhesive system is composed of multi-branched stalks ending in somewhere between 100 and 1000 small triangular tips. Patterning and dimensions of setal fields in several gecko species have been investigated. These patterns may be important for simultaneous detachment of gecko toe pads during distal-to-proximal peeling of toe pads. Anolis lizards have independently derived adhesive toe pads, but they peel their toes in a proximal-to-distal direction. Anoles generally have single setal stalks ending in one triangular tip, but their patterning and dimensions have not been well-characterized.This study looked at the patterns in setal morphology of Anolis carolinensis. We hypothesized A. carolinensis would have reverse trends in setal field patterning compared to pattern observed in some geckos. However, it was observed that the patterns of setal morphology observed in A. carolinensis were generally similar to those seen in geckos. Based on the similarity in setal patterns between A. carolinensis and geckos, direction of peeling (proximal-to-distal vs. distal-to-proximal) may not be the driving factor in the setal patterning observed in toe pads.