Have any of you witnessed a female anole biting a male anole without provocation and without preceding dewlap displays or bobbing? In my 20+ years experience with anole husbandry, I have never observed the following behavior by a female Anolis carolinensis.
To make room for a new baby A. carolinensis, this two-year-old gravid female was moved from her solitary home in a 20 gallon aquarium to a 40 gallon aquarium with a roommate. Her roommate was not new to her as she had previously lived peacefully (and copulated) with this old male A. carolinensis. Immediately, I noticed bite marks on the female’s head which I assumed were a result of the old male “missing” her neck during breeding attempts (he is pretty old at 7 years of age after all). What drew my attention; however, were the bite marks on the male’s head, neck, and leg. Later, I observed this female biting while bobbing and pulling on the neck of the male. Even after I moved her to another aquarium to live with a different male, I found similar wounds on his neck, leg, and tail. Now she lives alone again and I thought this would end the attacks but today, while she was out of her aquarium, she ambushed another male, firmly biting his neck, and did not release until I intervened. I captured a portion of her attack in the video below:
As you can see, she is clearly stressed as evidenced by the black patches behind her eyes and she seems intent on causing as much damage as possible to the male. I’m interested to know if others have observed this type of “Guerrilla warfare” by female anoles. Any insight into its etiology or purpose?