What Is This Brown Anole Eating?

This is the same lizard featured last week on Daffodil’s Blog eating a spider. Now it’s nomming something else, and photographer Karen Cusick doesn’t know what. Any thoughts?

About Jonathan Losos

Professor and Curator of Herpetology at the Museum of Comparative Zoology at Harvard University. I've spent my entire professional career studying anoles and have discovered that the more I learn about anoles, the more I realize I don't know.

10 thoughts on “What Is This Brown Anole Eating?

  1. First impression guess: the ingested item, is a piece of grass or died plant material, that was accidentally attached to something it grabbed.

  2. It sure looks like a dried grass or some minute twig – like part of a plant . . . one can see the node and the sheath.

  3. My best guess was dried grass or other vegetation, but then I wondered why an anole would be eating a piece of dried grass. It was a pretty big piece of grass too, and the anole ate the entire thing. In the first photo there’s what might be a small dark insect just inside the anole’s mouth, next to the grass (you can see it better in the larger version of the photo on my blog). Maybe there were insects on this piece of vegetation, which were what attracted the anole? Would an anole eat the insects, and then just go on eating the entire piece of dried grass where they were sitting?

  4. You would probably see some segmentation if it was some sort of an arthropod e.g. stick insect. Like you, KarenC, I also see some suspicious dark minute “thing” in the mouth of that anole, yet it would be odd for a reptile of this sort, at least in my opinion, to eat a small insect with a huge plant material altogether. Please correct me if I am wrong but some carnivorous animals e.g. lions, leopards etc. can be even seen eating some plants. Obviously they are not herbivorous . . . still they prefer grass and plants to calm their stomach ache. Maybe the same phenomenon hapening here? And crocodylians – they are eating stones to help buoyancy and digestion . . .

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