A Green Anole That’s Blue

Photo by Carissa Wickens

Photo by Carissa Wickens

Eileen Wickens, who just finished the fourth grade in north central Florida, is a lizard-catching machine and particularly adept at nabbing blue-colored green anoles (Anolis carolinensis). Here’s the story, relayed by her mom, Carissa:

The teal lizards do seem rare as we have only seen a few. We had one at our house last spring and the photo I sent you was taken at our horse teaching unit in Gainesville. We were running an equine behavior trial that day (we’re actually investigating startle phenotypes and genetics in our Quarter Horse herd), and I saw the lizard as we were packing up our gear. My daughter is very good at spotting and catching them, so we will definitely keep our eyes out and would be happy to provide a specimen for your genetic research if we can. I’ve attached the photo of the lizard we had at the house last spring. The green anoles are scare in our neighborhood and on campus compared to the brown anoles (short snouts with distinct, dorsal diamond or striped markings). They seem to far outnumber the greens. 

From our brief observations of those two blue lizards this past year it does not appear they turn the bright green you see on the other Carolina Anoles, but it would be good to observe them for a longer period of time to be certain. 

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.

3 thoughts on “A Green Anole That’s Blue

  1. Everything about this is ridiculously awesome. The blue A. carolinensis and Eileen and her mother’s engagement. Just tremendous! In Volusia/Flagler counties (east coast of northern central Florida), I can’t say that I’ve seen *any* this blue. I’ve seen a few blue-green over the years, but not enough that I’d ever say “blue” in describing them. This is fascinating.

  2. This is great. I hope Carissa and Eileen can provide one or a few for the Losos Lab to learn more about xanthophores. In 2014, I included in a regional herp publication a really cool photograph of an axanthic blue phase Anolis carolinensis female in the throes of passion—breeding with (and having her nape gnawed by) a normally pigmented green male. The photo was taken by a captive breeder of reptiles named Maurice Pudio II.

    The article I wrote is titled: Rhoads, Dustin. 2014. Citizen Herpetology, Part 2—Some of the Questions that Molecules Can Answer. SWCHR Bulletin 4(2): 13-19.

    And a PDF can be downloaded here: http://dustyrhoads.x10host.com/Dusty_Rhoads_-_snake_biology/Publications_files/rhoads_dustin_2014_citizen_herpetology_pt2_swchr.pdf

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