Three-Legged Green Anole

IMG_0873 (2)There are several previous posts concerned with lizards missing feet or limbs (1, 2, 3). At the risk of being monotonous, here is another. I caught this male green anole (Anolis carolinensis) in Auburn, AL this morning (6.24.16). He was sitting on someone’s porch railing at my apartment complex. In addition to his front left limb he was missing 2 fingers on the front right hand and one on the back left foot. He has no other signs of damage, however, not even any evidence of a regenerated tail. I think what sets this example apart from ones previously given is that the entire limb is missing. There is only a tiny nub of bone at the shoulder, and a small flap of skin. Interestingly, the tiny nub moves back and forth beneath the skin when he runs, as if the entire limb were still present and useful.

We (Warner Lab) have had lizards hatch without limbs in the past. We even had one (A. cristatellus) hatch this year with 6 limbs (three front right arms). It is possible that this carolinensis never developed this limb to begin with; however, the tiny flailing nub and flap of skin make me feel that is not the case. Anyhow, this guy seems fat and happy and still moves pretty fast, despite the handicap.

About Joshua Hall

I am a PhD student in Dan Warner's lab at Auburn University. More about me and my research interests can be found on my website:

3 thoughts on “Three-Legged Green Anole

    1. I still have the animal. I was wrong about the species. It is actually a sagrei (we are breeding both).

  1. Even humans can suffer from fantom limb syndrome, so that is not unexpected. Perhapse he lost the limb recently, and still acts as it is still there.

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