Anoles in New York City?


A friend of mine sent me the above for identification.

“Anole” I quickly responded, then followed up with, “where are you?” I was shocked by the answer – in New York City! Turns out this little lizard most likely hatched out of a plant purchased about a month ago and quickly made itself at home the New York City apartment of a Fordham graduate student. Look’s like our good friend Anolis sagrei  to me, but figured I’d put it to the Anole Annals readers to verify.

The plant in question (pictured below) was purchased at a tropical plant store in Manhattan. Is this the beginning of a northeast anole invasion? Probably not. Winters in NYC are likely too cold for any of its hitchhiking friends to survive. But then again, this isn’t the first time an anole has stowed away to the northeast (check out this salad anole featured previously on AA) and Boston is now home to Italian Wall Lizards (Podarcis siculus)… So who knows!

About Kristin Winchell

I'm a Ph.D. candidate at UMass Boston in the Revell lab. I am interested in how animals respond to urbanization from an ecological and evolutionary perspective. My dissertation research has focused on adaptive shifts in the Puerto Rican crested anole, Anolis cristatellus, in response to urbanization. Website:

2 thoughts on “Anoles in New York City?

  1. When I lived in NYC, I bought plants in the Flower District and they often came with anoles and/or greenhouse frogs.

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