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Green Anole

Green Anole

11.28.2006 - The Green Anole, (Anolis carolinensis) is also called the Carolina Anole. It lives in the southeast US and throughout Florida. This small lizard can grow to about eight inches. Males are larger than females and have a throat fan, or dewlap. This lizard can change color to match its background, and they eyes can move independently, like a chameleon. They eat a variety of small prey, mostly insects. If attacked, they can detach their tail in hopes that a predator will go for that as opposed to the more vital parts. They can live up to seven years in captivity, but probably don't live more than three years in the wild.

This lizard is popular as a pet. They are easy to keep and care for. My little sister had one for a few years. She named it Sticky, because it could stick to any surface. It's true. They have excellent gripping capability, and can run right up walls and almost any surface. Eventually Sticky found himself stuck on the bottom of a shoe, and that was the end of him.

These things are everywhere in Florida. They are just about the most common vertebrate. I've played a game in which I step outside my door with eyes closed, and then I open them and count the number of seconds it takes before I spot one. It's usually about two. I also see how many I can spot within my single field of vision at any given time, and the record is eight. They are often quite skittish, however, and aren't the easiest to grab or photograph. However, this older one stayed still long enough for me to get up close and take a high-detailed photo. It's in a boring tan phase, but they can be bright green, or almost black, smooth, checkered, etc.

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