On my way to teach biology lab the other day, I ran into this female knight anole (actually, my buddy Zack is the one who spotted it). She was obviously spooked by us and after snapping a few photos I backed off to see if she would continue nesting. After a few seconds she returned to her task. I don’t know why I imagined anoles would dig with their hind legs, but for some reason I did. However, she continued to excavate with alternating strokes of her front feet. Unfortunately I had to run to a meeting, but when I returned a few hours later her hole was still there. Zack had stayed behind to watch her progress and reported that she had aborted the endeavor when a bicyclist whizzed past a bit too close. The hole was about 4 centimeters deep and 5 wide into the mineral soil when she left.
This is the second time I’ve seen nesting knight anoles in Miami. The first was last summer when I found a very healthy looking female at the base of a fig tree. There was dirt on her snout and a small hole where she had been. In both cases, the nesting females were within 1 meter of a tree, and both were excavating with their front feet and possibly their snout. Also, the dates of each observation show that there is a protracted nesting season in South Florida that includes April 10th to July 20th. Such a long season explains the variable size of first year knight anoles that I find during the spring.