Crown-giant habitat overlap

Spring is the season for spotting crown-giant anoles in Miami!

I was hosting (recently graduated Lacertid-ophile, although closet anologist) Dr. Robert Heathcote for a few days this week, and after his failed attempt at catching a Cuban knight anole (A. equestris) a fortnight previous, I had promised to deliver him another! Now, I imagine many AA readers may chuckle at someone foolish enough to promise a crown-giant observation (myself included). Much to my relief luck was on our side and we managed to spot not one, but TWO species practically on top of each other!

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A Cuban knight anole (A. equestris) and Jamaican giant anole (A. garmani) perched within 1-2m of each other in Miami FL – April 2nd 2014, JStroud

Cuban knight anoles (A. equestris) and Jamaican giant anoles (A. garmani) are both non-native introduced species to south Florida.

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A. equestris (left) and A. garmani (right) – habitat overlap in Miami FL, JStroud

9 thoughts on “Crown-giant habitat overlap

      1. Is equestris dominant over garmani where they coexist?I know knight anoles are muck bigger even though they are both crown giants, do they push the garmani around?

  1. Equestris is a heavier bodied more powerful Anolis, however, from my field observations it is also clumsier and less agile than garmani. I’m not sure that it would be accurate to describe equestris as dominant. I can say from personal observations that it is difficult for garmani to spread into areas where equestris are present and established. This is true for most species of Anolis that share the same habitat type, but I believe it is magnified with garmani – equestris. Garmani starts its life out at a distinct disadvantage, when hatched they are scarcely larger than hatchling sagrei, whereas equestris are five or six times larger with a disproportionally sized head. On the other hand, garmani are excellent, agile predators that grow and mature quickly. Additionally, adult garmani can coexist together in higher concentrations than equestris. These are excellent traits for colonizing new environments, however, here in south Florida where both species exist and have existed for years; equestris are abundant while garmani are isolated to pockets where they are entrenched with numbers of large males present. Large male garmani are just as formidable as large equestris, but the females and young are a different story.

  2. I just drove from Houston to Miami specifically looking for Jamaican Giants and didn’t see any. I went to all America park but saw none. Where is a good place to go next time I drive out there?

    1. Hi Jon – unfortunately, just as the garmani were becoming slightly more abundant, they appeared to have disappeared again. I imagine this population is cyclical with people collecting for the pet trade. There are a few more protected spots, but as the park is wide-open to the public it is prime for harvesting. Next time you’re down this way feel free to email me if you’d like to meet up and look for Miami anoles – jamesTstroud (at) gmail.com

      1. That would be awesome! I hope to make it out there again this fall. I will definitely contact you when I do. Thanks for the reply and update on there status.

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