Variation in Anolis equestris

Last week, while going through some old pictures  I had stored on my computer , I happened upon a few photos of  A. equestris that I must have saved back when I  used to surf the web for pictures of anoles. Taking a second to glance through the pictures for old times sake, I realized something: A. equestris is actually a quite variable species. Now I’m sure others besides myself have realized this before, the people who went about naming the long list of subspecies that I just found out this species has for example, but I can’t seem to find pictures of some of these subspecies so as to identify the animals in the photos, if they are indeed different subspecies that is, so I decided to post them here in hopes of getting an ID. I have chosen one photo for each of the different forms that I have noticed. I have my guesses about many of them and I’m pretty sure about a couple others. I have written my guess, if any, under each photo along with the photo reference; could anyone who knows the ID of a particular animal post their opinion in the comments? Thanks in advance!

Anolis equestris potior or Anolis equestris cyaneus

Anolis equestris potior

Anolis equestris equestris

Anolis equestris equestris
(introduced to Miami)


Photo from: ? probably Anolis equestris equestris

Photo from:
probably Anolis equestris  or A.luteogularis
Photo apparently taken at La Habana.
two other photos: (1,2)


Anois equestris, photo by Henk Wallays.  license:CC BY-NC photo from Anolis equestris thomasi

Anolis equestris, photo by Henk Wallays.
license:CC BY-NC
photo from
Anolis equestris thomasi

photo from this pdf

photo from this pdf. 
Other photos of this form (1, 2)
And another one taken near Playa Larga.

photo from:! Anolis equestris persparspus

photo from:!
Anolis equestris persparsus

photo from; photo by:Uwe Bartlet ?

photo from:
photo by:Uwe Bartlet
Another photo of this form

photo from: Either A. luteogularis or an A. equestris subspecies. The dewlap of this form is pink. (photo in link taken at Playa Larga, Bahia des Cochinos)

photo from:
Probably A. luteogularis or A. equestris verreonensis and also probably  identical to the form shown in the third picture.
The dewlap of this form is pink.
(photo in link taken at Playa Larga, Bahia des Cochinos)


photo from: Anolis equestris buidei

photo from:
Anolis equestris buidei

Photo from: ?

Photo from:
Another photo of this form taken at Valle De Vinales

photo from: ?

photo from:
probably a female of some subspecies
Another photo of this form

Some of them are probably just A. e equestris or A. luteogularis; I sure hope that’s not the case though! Also, if anyone has observed any of the forms listed above (except the second one), or any other unusual individual of A. equestris, please post a photo in the comments if you have one.

4 thoughts on “Variation in Anolis equestris

  1. What should also be noted is the amount of intra-individual variation in colour; I have seen multiple individuals rapidly change from dark (e.g. your photo from Henk Wallays) back to the more commonly seen green/yellow patternation (like photos 2/3/6), amongst other weird combinations. Some of the more dramatic pictures may represent associated mood rather than true variability.

  2. Thanks for the info!
    Note the Henk Wallays photo also has white instead of yellow horizontal stripes at the shoulder and jawline as well as a whitish dewlap and white patches of skin between the scales. These are all characteristics of A. e thomasi .Populations of this subspecies were likely released in Florida along with the A. e equestris and the current population of Florida is thought by some to contain individuals that are a mix of the two subspecies.Florida individuals may show characteristics intermediate between the two phenotypes or closer to one or the other. When the Individuals you speak of change color do the patches of bare skin change too, especially at night time like in the picture?
    These two subspecies are very similar <a href="; title="here is a picture that is definitely thomasi “>

  3. I’m the author of two of the pictures you posted a long time ago on Anole Annals. At the moment the pdf you mentioned was published, only one subspecies of Blue Giant Anole existed (A. e. potior). Now populations in Cayo Coco (like the individual shown in the picture), are considered Anolis equestris cyaneus, not potior as mentioned in the referred photographic guide. We named Anolis equestris equestris the individual with a large black blotch on the neck (actually from Peralta, Zapata Swamp, a bit far away from Playa Larga), but it has the coloration of A. e. calceus. However, we have new genetic evidences (information obtained during a joined project with Antonio Cadiz, University of Havana, and Masakado Kawata from the University of Tohoku) for the taxonomic re-assessment of Cuban giant anole species and subspecies. We are working in a soon coming review of this group. I’m very interested in the photograph linked as: This is a really diverse and complicated group of anoles.

    Dr. Luis M. Diaz
    Curator of Herpetology
    Museo Nacional de Historia Natural de Cuba

    1. Thanks a whole lot for your answer, I didn’t know the split of sabinalensis and cyaneus from potior had happened so recently, but now that i doublecheck that happened in 2001, so thanks for clearing that up. photos of sabinalensis, calceus, or any other subspecies besides equestris and thomasi are very hard to find; I had originally thought of the black blotched forms as calceus , but there is remarkably little information available on most subspecies so i couldn’t be sure. Also, the photo you linked may in fact be a subspecies of A. luteogularis, and it is identified as such by the author, but that pink dewlap is why i’m not sure.

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