Following previous threads documenting nectivory in various Anolis (1, 2, 3), here is another account recently observed in south Florida, from Florida International University’s palm botanist Scott Zona in Miami:
This American green anole was methodically going along an inflorescence of one of the palms (Ptychosperma macarthurii) in my back yard licking the nectar droplet from the tip of each pistillode. This palm is an exotic ornamental from New Guinea and northern Australia but is widely cultivated around the world. It is monoecious (male and female flowers on the same inflorescence) but strongly dichogamous (separation in time). The male flowers open first. The lizard was lapping up a droplet of nectar that is excreted by the long, slender pistillode (sterile pistil) in each male flower. I watched him for several minutes (and have lots more photos). The lizard was very methodical about going to every flower, climbing to another branch, and then exhibiting the same feeding behavior. It is unlikely that the lizard would be a pollinator, because of the strong dichogamy; however, female flowers also secrete nectar, so if the same anole were to find another inflorescence in the female phase, it could affect pollination.
Nectivory in anoles has been well summarised in a previous post, in which Ambika Kamath noted that they had observed a a female licking palm flowers in south Florida but regrettably never got a picture – well it may have been a year and 3 months, but here’s one!
With the wealth of introduced anoles in south Florida, I wonder if this feeding behaviour has been observed in other species but not yet documented – the ecologically similar A. porcatus and A. chlorocyanus seem likely candidates…
If anyone would like more information on this, or has a keen interest in palms, please feel free to email Scott directly.