Parasitic Fly Larva in Anolis cristatellus?


This was a first for me: an anole with an odd, tic-tac sized growth on its lower left jaw. Though it is difficult to see in the image, there appears to be a small hole or opening in the cyst-like growth, potentially where a little sarcophagid larva will emerge from. (I’m not sure of the identity of the parasite, if indeed that is what is causing the growth – more information on the topic can be found in an older Anole Annals post).

As for the identity of the anole itself, I managed to catch a nearby individual (lacking any cysts) that I believe is the same species. It had a beautiful yellow dewlap, leading me to believe they are Crested Anoles (Anolis cristatellus).


4 thoughts on “Parasitic Fly Larva in Anolis cristatellus?

  1. Hi Brian, nice spot! Catalina Mantilla — a grad student at FIU in Miami — is currently working on trying to figure out what these cysts are in Miami populations of A. cristatellus. While some appear sarcophagid larva, some don’t..

    1. Very cool – thanks for the info! I am definitely hoping to learn more and see if I can identify any parasites I come across.

  2. I collected a number of males and females from Miami early this year and kept them in captivity all summer. In my group, these cysts were more common in males than females. I actually had only one female develop them and they were around her leg and not the face. Several males developed them during the summer even though they did not show any signs of growth when I brought them in. I also will mention that one male developed so much growth around the mouth that he could no longer open his mouth to feed. Very intriguing.

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