Green Anole Displays to Wren

Photo by Barb Karl

Photo by Barb Karl

Everyone who has studied anoles in the field has had the experience of an anole displaying towards him- or herself. Do anoles actually display to real predators in the field? We’ve even had one AA post reporting a test of that. But there are few observations of such displays. So we were delighted to receive the following note from Barb Karl of Leland, North Carolina:

I was mowing my lawn and was startled by a green lizard that jumped to a nearby tree. I researched what type of lizard it was since we just moved to North Carolina a short while ago and wanted to see what it was.  I found that it was an anole.  I felt bad that I had startled him, so put some live mealworms on the fence as a peace offering.  I checked a little bit later and he was back on the fence, hopefully eating the mealworms.  Then a short distance away a wren appeared in the bird feeder tray.  I watched the anole, he was still on the fence and started going up and down (almost like he was doing pushups and his throat pouch would go in and out). It was like he was trying to make himself bigger so the bird would not want to mess with him.  It was an awesome sight!

I spotted a second Anole on a tree a distance away from the first one.  Can’t wait till they visit again.  Next time I will try and catch a video if it happens again.

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.

2 thoughts on “Green Anole Displays to Wren

  1. A few years ago I was walking through the main campus of the University of Havana and saw a male Brown Anole fleeing and displaying at the same time to a Greater Antillean Grackle that was trying to catch it and it worked because the lizard escaped. Grackles are known to prey on anoles.

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