Brown Anole Feeding On Sap

anole annals

Various anole species have been observed feeding on fruit (e.g., Herrel et al. 2004) and nectar (e.g., Colón Archilla 2010). On March 08, 2013 a brown anole (Anolis sagrei) male in my study area joined the growing list of lizards that have been observed feeding on plant sap. In our natural history note we not only describe how he fed on the sap of a banana plant (Musa sapientum), but also provided some notes on its display behavior.

Natural history notes like this usually describe single observations and may seem of minor significance. However, such observations contribute to our understanding of the natural history of the species in question, and can be an inspiration for study areas. And for that reason I encourage everyone to describe observations not only in Internet blogs, but also in journals such as Herpetology Notes and Herpetological Review. That way the information can be shared with a greater readership, and a record is left for generations to come.


NOTE: For those of you who are curious. I also wanted to know what the sap tasted like, so after touching some of it, I licked the tip of my finger. The sap had a very mild bitter taste, not something I would try to market as a soft drink.

3 thoughts on “Brown Anole Feeding On Sap

  1. Was it clear that the sap licking was independent of the display? Could the licking have been a follow-up to the display and the sap just happened to be under the animals face when the display ended?

    1. I am quite confident that the two behaviors were independent. The lizard had to slightly reposition itself to lick the sap. I also observed similar displays from other males – always on a fairly warm day, and involving large males. They always seem to say “I saw you!” and then go about doing something else, which may be feeding on ants or scanning their territory. They usually seem quite relaxed and do not have that fixed stare that one so often see in the females.

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