(K)night Anoles: Nocturnal Activity Facilitated By Artificial Lights?

An interesting aspect of human activity and urban development is the ability of species to respond to new opportunities that did not previously exist. We have seen previous posts (1, 2) on Anole Annals highlighting nocturnal activity in anoles, which are recognised as a predominantly diurnal group. Here is another short observation that I and Sean Giery (of previous Knight Anole fame) observed a while ago whilst doing some night herping at Fairchild Tropical Botanical Gardens which will be published as a short natural history note in an upcoming edition of Herp Review:

On 18 April 2013 between 22:03-22:15 h, a single adult Cuban knight anole Anolis equestris was observed at Fairchild Tropical Botanical Gardens, Miami FL (25.677°N, 80.276°W, WGS84). This individual was observed consuming Lepidoptera attracted to an artificial light source positioned above a doorway. Nocturnal lizards (Hemidactylus mabouia) were also present around the light source and could represent another potential prey source for nocturnally foraging A. equestris. This is the first documentation of A. equestris using artificial light sources to allow for nocturnal activity.

Cuban knight anole (Anolis equestris) active and foraging at night with the aid of a wall light above a door

Cuban knight anole (Anolis equestris) active and foraging at night with the aid of a wall light above a door

This behavioural plasticity provides not only a fascinating, but also just a really cool new branch of anole research. This could be highlighted particularly well with introduced species which may experience interspecific competition levels along axes which in their native range they may not have been exposed to. Stay tuned!

One thought on “(K)night Anoles: Nocturnal Activity Facilitated By Artificial Lights?

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Optionally add an image (JPEG only)