Invasive Anoles Getting Around: A Sweet Story

We’ve talked about anoles stowing away in potted plants and in wood shipments, and hitch-hiking on planes, but here’s a new one. AA reader Justin Sponholz writes: “My father used to work at Federal Bakers, a food shipment company up here in Buffalo, NY. In a sealed bucket of sugar there was an adult female A. sagrei. My dad brought it to me and she lived for 4+ years. It was in the mid-90s. I know she wouldn’t have survived in the wild but yea she still made it here.

BTW… pretty sure the sugar came from Florida, but I dont know for sure.”

About Jonathan Losos

Professor and Curator of Herpetology at the Museum of Comparative Zoology at Harvard University. I've spent my entire professional career studying anoles and have discovered that the more I learn about anoles, the more I realize I don't know.

One thought on “Invasive Anoles Getting Around: A Sweet Story

  1. Thanks for sharing that story Jonathan. It is fascinating how animals get disbursed through human activities; this has been going on for thousands of years with numerous species. If they are “invasive” then we are definitely their vector organism. Because of their close physical relationship with us, I am sure that every year dozens if not hundreds of sagrei get transported out of Florida in orange crates and cardboard containers. The overwhelming majority get transported into areas where they could not possibly survive and simply perish, others transported into warmer areas live out their relatively short lives without finding a mate. However some make it into the most unexpected of places. If I remember correctly several years ago there was purportedly a small sagrei breeding colony in the green area within the Mall of America in Minnesota!

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