I saw the recent posts about orange/red sagrei and I thought I might contribute another observation of orange-colored brown anoles. A few years ago while assisting another grad student with his dissertation work I spotted a few orange-colored brown anoles in a suburban yard in S. Florida. What I thought was most interesting about the observation was that: 1) there were multiple males (2-3) with orange color, and 2) many of the palms on which lizards were perched were a similar orange color. It got me thinking that it could be more than a coincidence.
The orange color on the trees, sidewalks, and other hard substrates in the area is from ground water with a high concentration of iron. When sprayed on the surface with sprinklers it mixes with oxygen and leaves an orange color. Many houses, signs, sidewalks, and even cars in S. Florida are graced with an arc or two of orange residue. I’ve yet to revisit this lawn or surrounding houses, but I bet there are quite a few more houses with orange lizards. For what it’s worth, I see and catch a lot of brown anoles further south in the Miami area and this is the only case of red/orange brown anoles I’ve seen yet. It’s possible that these lizards were covered in rust, but it didn’t look like it when I got one in my hand. It’s also interesting that all of the photos I’ve seen of orange-colored brown anoles are male, however I’ve only seen about 4 cases including this observation. Oh, and the dewlaps on these males were normal(ish), not like the cool one recently posted by Joe Burgess.