Information Wanted On Three-Legged Lizards

3 legged marsh harbour 2013 clinging dataPeriodically, AA has featured reports on finding three-legged lizards in nature (1,2). And here’s another one, briefly detained on a recent field trip to Abaco. Loss of her hindfoot doesn’t seem to be troubling her too much; heck, she’s even gravid!

Turns out that three-legged lizards pop up all the time. I’ve decided to put together a compilation of the little tricyclers. If you have any information on a three-legged lizard–a photo or more, such as measurements of mass, survival, or sprint performance–I’d love to know about it. Please contact me at

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.

6 thoughts on “Information Wanted On Three-Legged Lizards

  1. I’ve seen three-legged lizards several times while working on side-blotched lizards, Uta stansburiana. This one I caught in the fall of 2010 as a young-of-the-year lizard. Never saw it again.

  2. I used to have a three- legged anole. The process was: broke his wrist. It heals up. A huge, deep cut appears so deep you can see the bone. Shedding problems occur, so his whole hand falls off almost to the elbow.

  3. I’ve come across only one 3 legged anole in over 1200 from Puerto Rico. He did not survive the 4 month period between marking and recapturing, although the stump looked pretty well healed at the time of capture. I can send along X-ray, mass etc. if still interested in this.

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