Japanese Anole Toy

Anole Annals correspondent and skink biologist Matt Brandley recently sent me a padded envelope. When I pulled out its contents, above, I was bummed–crushed in transited. But I opened the bag and laid out the pieces.

Not crushed! Just disassembled.

The end result, perched on my computer monitor:

Note the purple dewlap, like some Anolis carolinensis from Hawaii.

Here’s the info from the company. Can anyone translate? There’s a whole zoo of different animals in their product line, but no other anoles.

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.

5 thoughts on “Japanese Anole Toy

  1. Perhaps we have an insider at a Japanese toy factory who we can encourage to create a different toy for each anole species? Imagine how happy kids all over the country will be if they each get an anole species in their Christmas stocking!

  2. According to my mother, whose Japanese is rusty, it says:
    Furuta green airu (or ayle or aisle) [I would guess “anole”]
    Check egg (?) lizard iguana
    Japanese animal something about American chameleon
    collection of ……..mura, Shinobu (person’s name)
    Apparently there are also some Chinese characters, which she couldn’t translate. I may be able to get a better translation from someone here in DC.

  3. Hi, I’m studying morphology of anole in Japanese graduate school.

    This toy is one of the free gift inside the chocolate shaped like egg, “choco egg.”
    Please see these referential pictures.

    Left sentence is profile of designer who made the toy, named Shinobu Matsumura.

    Right sentence is details of Green anole, Anolis carolinensis.
    It says,
    This is a species of lizards that had been settled in Ogasawara islands from north America. It is sometimes referred to as “American chameleon” because it can change in color, green or brown. Males have dewlap on their throat for defending territory or courting to female.

  4. Here is a better translation courtesy of Ai Nonaka (Smithsonian):

    Furuta  Choco-egg Animals in Japan By Shinobu Matsumura
    Green Anole (Anolis carolinensis) Sauria Iguanidae
    This species occurs in Chichi-jima, Haha-jima in the Bonin Islands (Ogasawara group) in Japan even though it is native to North America. It is sometimes called “America chameleon ” since it is arboreal and able to change its color from green to brown. Males have a “throat fan (dewlap)” used for keeping their territory or courting.

  5. My old college roommate, Montana Higo, is completely fluent in Japanese and humored me by translating this. Her translation is very similar to what is posted above except for the last sentence, which she translated as “The male has a sort of pouch in its throat called a ??? which it can display in a show of power or to court females.” I was highly amused by the phrase “show of power”, if the translation is accurate. At any rate, it’s a very cool toy.

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