Tag Archives: Florida

Anolis garmani in South Florida; 11 June 2016

Anolis garmani, the Jamaican giant anole; Miami-Dade county, Florida (11 June 2016, Nikon D7100).

Anolis garmani, the Jamaican giant anole; Miami-Dade county, Florida (11 June 2016, Nikon D7100).

Every year, I try to get down to south Florida at least a couple of times to stomp around for non-native anoles and other lizards. To date, I’ve only managed to find and photograph three Jamaican giant anoles, Anolis garmani, in south Florida — three individuals over two specific visits to the Miami-Dade area. The first two were in June of 2016, and the third (and largest) was in August 2017. The garmani featured here was the second wee giant from that first visit.

I’d been anxious to photograph garmani for quite some time, and we (James Stroud, Eric-Alain Parker, and myself) were more than a little jazzed to get our hands on both of those garmanis.  A. garmani was quite high on my holy-grail list for south Florida non-natives, and, whereas this garmani may have been lacking in the “giant” aspect, it certainly didn’t lack in its color play. The lead image above through the following three profile shots were all taken within the span of two minutes (1:26pm through 1:28pm):

Anolis garmani [B], 11 June 2016 (1)

Anolis garmani [B], 11 June 2016 (2)

Anolis garmani [B], 11 June 2016 (3)

When we first spotted this particular wee giant biding its time in the plenty of existence, it was sporting the familiar bright emerald green:

Anolis garmani [B], 11 June 2016 (5)

Minutes later, in hand and not too thrilled about its potential lifespan outlook, the colors shifted quite dark…

Anolis garmani [B], 11 June 2016 (4)

…and then, more comfortably, back to a more-emerald green base:

Anolis garmani [B], 11 June 2016 (6)

Looking down from above, it had a fairly typical anole head from a central Floridian’s perspective…

Anolis garmani [B], 11 June 2016 (8)

But looking up from below? An extremely awesome speckled circus of contrast and patterning:

Anolis garmani [B], 11 June 2016 (7)

Yeah, this was one hell of a lizard to get to work with. Actually, all three of them were. I’ll save the bulk of photographs for the other two individuals for a future time, but for quick reference, here’s a single shot of each:

This is the first individual we found on June 2016:

Anolis garmani [A], 11 June 2016

And here’s the much-larger male Eric and I tracked down (and almost caught) in August 2017:

Anolis garmani, 06 August 2017

~ janson

Knight Anoles Eat Fruit and Pass Viable Seeds

knight anole

Figure 1. Knight anoles (Anolis equestris) are large, arboreal, and highly frugivorous lizards native to Cuba and introduced to Miami, Florida in the mid-20th century. This adult female was found perched on the trunk of a strangler fig (Ficus aurea) in Miami, Florida, a common sight in south Florida. Strong jaws and a large gape enable knight anoles to consume a range of large food items including snails, locusts, small vertebrates (occasionally), and some moderate-sized fruit. Photo by S. Giery.

I remember the first knight anole (Anolis equestris) I ever caught. Details about how I caught it are gone, but I certainly remember the resulting bloody thumb. I was impressed and intrigued by the force and stamina of its bite – I needed to study this critter (fig. 1). Motivated by the recent publication of a short paper on knight anole  diets, below, I break down a few years of research into the trophic ecology of the knight anole into a brief recount of what my collaborators and I have found.

Preliminary observations on knight anole trophic ecology
Following that first encounter I conducted a simple study of anole diet and habitat use around the Florida International University (FIU) campus in North Miami. In general, the findings showed some sensible results: Cuban brown anoles (A. sagrei; trunk-ground) perched low and ate a wide variety of terrestrial insects, Hispaniolan bark anoles (A. distichus; trunk) skittered up and down the trunk and ate – almost exclusively – ants, and Cuban knight anoles (A. equestris; crown-giant) ate larger food items than the other two species and tended to stay in the canopy (Giery et al. 2013). Again, this pattern of diet and habitat use was expected except for one thing – the composition of knight anole diet. Prior to embarking on the study, I had expected, based on their large size, strong bite force, the abundance of smaller anoles, and a few anecdotal accounts, that these powerful lizards would be eating lots of anoles. Surely these were the T-Rex of the trees and their direct interaction with other anoles was a predatory one. Yet in all the knight anoles that I dissected in this first study (n =21), not a single one contained vertebrate remains. Instead, nearly half of the diet (by volume) was fruit, specifically strangler figs (Ficus aurea; look to Supplemental table 1 for summary diet data). Our stable isotope data corroborate these observations – rather than the enriched 15N signature we‘d expect from an anole predator, the isotope data suggested similar trophic levels for brown, bark, and knight anoles. So what gives? Where was the evidence for a swaggering, arboreal meat-a-saurus?

Years later, James Stroud and I assessed the stomach contents of more knight anoles (n = 10) from a different site in Miami (Fairchild Tropical Botanic Gardens. James had directly observed knight anoles eating three different species of anoles there (1,2,3,4) and so we thought another look at their diet would be interesting. Once again, the majority of gut contents consisted of fruit, this time from royal palm trees (Roystonea regia). In fact the only evidence for vertebrate prey in this population was a 1 cm section of green anole tail. These data supported earlier observations (Brach 1976; Dalrymple 1980, Giery et al. 2013) demonstrating that fruit is a major component of knight anole diet, and vertebrates aren’t. It seemed that the canopy superpredator role I’d imagined for knight anoles was increasingly less likely. In fact, in all three previous examinations of knight anole diet, few instances of vertebrate predation by knight anoles are observed (table 1). The evidence spoke, knight anoles were sharp-toothed, veggie-sauruses with a deliberate, powerful bite.

Table 1. Knight anole (Anolis equestris) diet summaries (number of individuals assessed, ‘n’, are included below each study reference). Data presented in columns are the proportion of individual knight anoles with prey taxa in their stomach, P(n). For this study we also present the proportion of total stomach contents by volume, P(vol).

An opportunity presents itself
Understanding the trophic ecology of anoles has been an ongoing project of mine for some time, the paper that we’ve just published in Food Webs (Giery et al. 2017) would not have come without the serendipitous post-capture … deposition … of a few seeds. An adult male passed two royal palm seeds which were planted post-haste in the greenhouse at FIU. It took a few months but the seeds eventually geminated, demonstrating that seeds consumed by knight anoles are viable and suggesting a role as seed dispersers (fig 2).

seed dispersal in knight anole

Figure 2. Adult knight anoles (Anolis equestris) often inhabit the crowns of royal palms (Roystonea regia) in Florida and Cuba. Note the numerous ripe fruits above this displaying male photographed at our study site in Coral Gables, Florida (A). Roystonea regia seedlings resulting from seeds passed naturally by a wild-caught A. equestris. Both seeds were planted at the same time, but germinated nearly 130 days apart (B). Adult royal palms can reach 30m high and are an ecologically and economically important plant throughout their range (C). Photos by J. Stroud (A & B) and S. Zona (C).

We felt that these data filled an important gap in our understanding of how anoles interact with other species. Certainly, the literature (e.g., Herrel et al. 2004; Losos 2009) and our data from Florida (Giery et al. 2013, 2017), Bermuda (Stroud, unpublished), and The Bahamas (Giery, unpublished) show that frugivory is widespread and sometimes quite common in anoles. Yet, the fact that seeds remain viable after passing through the guts of anoles presents a new facet to their interactions with plants. For more about what we know about lizard-plant interactions go ahead and check out the references in our paper (there’s good stuff from Europe, and recently, the Galapagos).

Whether the interaction we illustrate in our paper is ecologically important (i.e., increasing germination rates via ingestion and/or dispersal) requires substantially more study. Yet, the relationship between knight anoles and royal palms has been noted for nearly a century in Cuba suggesting their interaction is more widespread than just Florida. For example, Barbour and Ramsden (1919) remarked on the frequent coexistence of royal palm and knight anoles in Cuba. Interestingly, these early works often focused on the potential consumption of vertebrate prey, despite reports from Cubans that knight anoles often ate fruit – a bias matching my own preconceptions about the nature of this great anole:

As to the food of the great Anolis [equestris] we know but little; it is surely insectivorous and Gündlach records that he once heard the shrill scream of a tree frog Hyla and found that it had been caught by one of these lizards. The country people all declare that they feed largely upon fruit, especially the mango; it is not improbable that this idea arises from the fact that they are frequently found in mango trees. We have always imagined that this circumstance was due in part at least to the excellent cover offered by the splendid growth of rich green foliage of the Cuban mango trees; it, however, has been seen eating berries (Ramsden). With good luck one may occasionally see two males of this fine species chasing one another about, making short rushes and charges at each other, accompanied by much tossing of heads and display of brilliant dewlaps When this mimic battle takes place about the smooth green top of the trunk of a stately Royal Palm, it is a sight not easily forgotten.” from Barbour and Ramsden 1919.

Anyways, we hope our short paper does two things. First, we hope that our summary of knight anole diet in Florida accurately illustrates their trophic ecology. Second, seed dispersal of native trees (royal palm and strangler fig) by an introduced vertebrate represents an interesting contrast to the negative effects usually attributed to introduced species (e.g., brown anole). We hope our observations highlight the diverse relationships between anoles and plants in the Caribbean region. Finally, we realize that our data are merely suggestive and effective seed dispersal by anoles has yet to be demonstrated. Nevertheless, we’re excited by the potential for new research directions stimulated by our observations.

Giery, S.T., Vezzani, E., Zona, S., Stroud, J.T. 2017. Frugivory and seed dispersal by the invasive knight anole (Anolis equestris) in Florida, USA. Food Webs 11: 13-16.

ESA 2016: Using Citizen Science to Learn about Invasive Anoles

2016-08-09 08.00.41In one of the few anole talks here at the annual Ecology meeting in Ft. Lauderdale, Florida, James Stroud presented on a project he conducted with the Fairchild Tropical Botanical GardenJason Kolbe, and others. Together, they organized a large citizen science project engaging middle-school aged students to collect distribution and abundance data about anoles in the Southern Miami region in a program they call “Lizards on the Loose.”

In this outreach project, James and colleagues had 101 schools participate in collecting data. Armed with a handy anole ID guide created by Jason Kolbe and a video by James explaining anole biology and species differences, students and teachers set out to conduct 15 minute visual surveys. On these surveys, they recorded how many animals they encountered, the species ID, and the approximate body size using a provided standardized collection protocol and entering data into a Google forms site.

The results were overwhelming: more than 1,000 students conducted a total of 1,356 surveys resulting in 12,000+ lizard observations! This project produced massive amounts of data on very short time frames. In general, distribution patterns fell as they were expected to, although some records certainly hint at some mis-identification (e.g. some A. cristatellus locations). Unsurprisingly, the least abundant lizards were those that were hardest to detect: the species typically found high in trees.

2016-08-09 08.11.43

While the resulting dataset is impressively large, James admits that there are data quality issues with collecting data in this manner and asked for input on how to improve data collection. Specifically, he suggested that in the future they would like to incorporate photographic and smartphone GPS information, perhaps via an app. Does anyone have any suggestions for James on implementing such an app or otherwise improving the design?

James emphasized that providing meaningful natural experiences with wildlife for kids is good for conservation, fosters an appreciation for nature and helps inspire the next generation of scientists. Many of our readers may find inspiration from the success of this program and we would love to hear about it if you implement similar types of citizen science projects with anoles!

JMIH 2016: Genetic Evidence of Hybridization between the Native Green Anole (Anolis carolinensis) and the Invasive Cuban Green Anole (A. porcatus)

Photo by James Stroud

Photo by James Stroud

At JMIH 2016, I chatted with Johanna Wegener, a graduate student at the University of Rhode Island in Jason Kolbe’s lab, about her poster detailing her work identifying hybridization between Anolis carolinensis and A. porcatus in southern Florida.

Interspecific hybridization in anoles is thought to be fairly rare, with the best-known example being hybridization between Anolis carolinensis (native to the southeastern U.S.) and A. porcatus (native to Cuba) in southern Florida. I was surprised to learn how little we know about this rumored hybrid zone.

A. porcatus was likely introduced into Florida within the last few decades, but the striking morphological similarities between A. carolinesis and A. porcatus make anecdotal reports of hybridization hard to confirm. Wegener conducted the first genetic analyses of hybridization between A. carolinesis and A. porcatus. She genotyped 18 nuclear microsatellites from green anoles in Florida (Palm Beach and South Miami) and western Cuba and conducted a STRUCTURE analysis and found support for three genetic clusters consisting of Cuban A. porcatus, and two Floridian groups (one from Palm Beach and one from South Miami). With the addition of the mitochondrial ND2 marker, she found that the South Miami population had both A. carolinensis and A. porcatus haplotypes. Interestingly, there appeared to be very few recent hybrids; instead, the hybrid group appeared distinct from either parent group, suggesting that hybridization has been occurring for several generations.

In addition, Wegener looked at the variation in A. porcatus and A. carolinensis markers in each hybrid individual and found examples of some parent markers being retained at high proportions in the hybrids, possibly suggesting the retention of beneficial parent alleles in the hybrids.

Given that this study was only conducted at two sites in Florida, the exciting next step of this study is to better quantify the genetic makeup of hybrids across southern Florida and map out the hybrid zone.

Dewlap Displays in Cuban Knight Anoles (A. equestris)

While exploring the grounds of Fairchild Tropical Botanical Gardens with Janson Jones this past weekend, we extremely fortunately happened upon a large adult male Cuban knight anole (A. equestris) in full displaying swing. Despite the fact that knight anoles have an impressively large dewlap, I have often found this to be a relatively rare event, as large crown-giant species tend to display less than other smaller and more active species. This individual was displaying at a height of ~15 m, just below the fronds of a large Royal Palm (Roystonea regia). We didn’t see any other neighboring knight anoles, so were unsure if this was a directed or passive display series. In all, this lizard performed perhaps 4-5 sets of dewlap displays (each comprising of 4-5 dewlap extensions) before stopping and retreating back into the canopy.

IMG_7793

Anoles typically follow a predictable and repeated pattern of display that gradually increases in intensity. Initially, and rather lethargically, an individual will nonchalantly raise its head and extend its dewlap without much extra effort (stage a); described below from Losos (2009).

Adapted from Losos (2009), which itself is adapted from Losos (1985). Aggressive behavior of A. marconoi showing three stages of increasing display intensity - note stage (c) include full body elevation alongside simultaneous tail and dewlap extensions.

Adapted from Losos (2009), which itself is adapted from Losos (1985). Aggressive behavior of A. marconoi showing three stages of increasing display intensity – note stage (c) include full body elevation alongside simultaneous tail and dewlap extensions.

IMG_7816

IMG_7816

This then escalates to include a slight body raise (stage b).

IMG_7817

IMG_7817

And ultimately results in a dramatic finale – in full display all limbs will be extended to raise both their body from the substrate (in this case the trunk of a palm tree) and elevate their tail (stage c). In the following picture you can see this final stage of displaying where intensity peaks – albeit in this individual with a regenerated (and rather stubby) tail. Continue reading Dewlap Displays in Cuban Knight Anoles (A. equestris)

Brown Anole Predation by Red-bellied Woodpeckers in Florida

DSC01472

While visiting relatives last week in Fort Myers (FL), anole enthusiast and avid wildlife photographer Kyle Wullschleger noticed a commotion among the trees while on an afternoon hike in a small neighbourhood nature preserve. On closer inspection he witnessed a group of red-bellied woodpeckers (Melanerpes carolinus) foraging on surrounding cypress trees, with a couple eventually appearing with their apparent target–non-native Cuban brown anoles (A. sagrei). He recalls some of the details:

“The photos from the sequence aren’t all that fantastic because I cropped in so it really just shows the behavior. The whole sequence the woodpecker was basically just slamming the anole against the tree and then trying to pick it apart – it was hard to tell what exactly it was doing, but I believe it eventually swallowed it whole before flying away–it hopped behind the tree so I couldn’t see it anymore.”

DSC01451-2

DSC01473

DSC01475

DSC01479

DSC01498

“There were at least five birds all moving up and down the lower third of the cypress trees just around the boardwalk I was on. They were moving around the trees without really knocking the wood, so maybe they were purposefully targeting anoles? I only saw successful predation twice, but the brush is so thick–it’s obviously happening quite a bit.”

Sean Giery had previously discussed the main avian predators of anoles in urban South Florida, but woodpeckers didn’t make the list. Woodpeckers do occur in urban areas of South Florida; a new one to add to the list?

Bark Anole Battle Scars in Miami, FL

As it starts to heat up here in Miami, anole interactions are at the highest while males try to stake their claim for the most attractive territories in town. Earlier during an afternoon stroll around South Miami I came across this bark anole (Anolis distichus) that looks like it’s had a pretty rough time recently!

IMG_2873

I assume this injury to his nape is probably from another lizard, likely another male A. distichus, incurred during a territorial dispute, and not a predation attempt. Either way, it looks like it didn’t dent his confidence too much!

IMG_2878

Great Egret Eating a Crested Anole in Miami, FL

Here is a video taken by University of Miami PhD student Joanna Weremijewicz at the Fairchild Tropical Botanical Gardens in Miami, FL last Friday (20th March 2015). There have been lots of posts talking about the predation potential of egrets (and other wading birds) on anoles here on AA similar to this (1,2,3,4), but I think this could be the first one recording predation of A. cristatellus? Cool video!

Anoles have it tough in south Florida!

A common concept in ecology is that predators have a strong influence on the behaviour of prey species. Anolis lizards have been used as a classic model system to investigate the effect of predator presence on the behavioural response of prey species. On small experimental islands in the Bahamas the manipulated introduction of curly-tailed lizards (Leiocephalus carinatus), a large terrestrial anole-predator, has resulted in brown anoles (Anolis sagrei) shifting higher up in the vegetation, presumably in an understandable effort to avoid being eaten (1, 2, 3). However, predator-prey interactions such as these which may shape community structure are often difficult to observe.

Here in Miami FL we have a rich and diverse, although largely non-native, lizard community. There are two species of “crown-giant” anoles, the Cuban knight anole (A. equestris) and the Jamaican giant anole (A. garmani), that could be potential predators of smaller anoles in the canopy of trees and upper half of tree trunks (although see Giery et al. 2013 for an empirical analysis that suggests this may not be the case). Additionally, there are several large, terrestrial lizards present which may be filling a similar role to curly-tails in the Bahamas.

Potential lizard predators in south Florida:

– *Red-headed agama (Agama agama)
– *Cuban knight anole (Anolis equestris)
– Jamaican giant anole (Anolis garmani)
– *Brown basilisk (Basiliscus vittatus)
– Spiny tailed iguana (Ctenosaura similis)
– Curly-tail lizard (Leiocephalus carinatus)
– Giant day gecko (Phelsuma grandis)
– Black and white tegu (Tupinambis merianae)

*Present at Fairchild Tropical Botanical Gardens

Earlier this afternoon, while taking a break from my office at Fairchild Tropical Botanical Gardens (a hot spot for any anologist visiting Miami; 1, 2, 3, 4) in a typical graduate student effort to put off work that I should be doing instead, fellow lab member Evan Rehm and I noticed some scuffling in a nearby bush. At around 2.5m, and admittedly on relatively precarious branches by this stage, sat an adult female African red-headed agama (A. agama) around 30cm from an adamantly motionless adult male Cuban brown anole (A. sagrei)! As we moved towards the bush the agama was quick to ungraciously thump itself to the floor, while the brown anole remained still. On closer inspection, it soon became apparent why both lizards were so high.

text2

Adult male Cuban brown anole (A. sagrei) found ~2.5m high in Miami FL, supposedly following a predation attempt from an African red-headed agama (A. agama) – JStroud

The significance of tail loss/damage in a population is still debated. The classical view argues that high proportions of tail damage indicates high predation pressure, therefore prey populations are under high predation stress (1). Alternatively, high proportions of tail damage could indicate low predator efficiency, which would suggest prey populations are experiencing low predation stress (1, 2). But the debate doesn’t stop there! Having already lost a tail, a lizard may experience either a resulting increase or decrease in predation depending on the predator species and its associated foraging tactic (1).

text2

The extent of tail damage is clearer in this photo. The lizard had autotomised the lower half of it’s tail however a secondary half-completed break is also evident – JStroud

African red-headed agamas (A. agama) are similar morphologically to curly-tailed lizards (L. carinatus), although are taxonomically distinct (Agamidae and Leiocephalidae, respectively). Predation of anoles by agamas in Miami has not previously been officially recorded, and the impact of these large predators remains unclear. Unlike in the Bahamas, there are multiple predators in the same geographic vicinity that anoles need to be aware of. For example, at Fairchild, brown anoles (A. sagrei) could be eaten from below by agamas, eaten at intermediate levels by basilisks and eaten from above by knight anoles!

South Florida is a tough place to be an anole!

agama

Adult male African red-headed agama (A. agama) at Fairchild Tropical Botanical Gardens, Miami FL. The population of agamas is localised to the botanical gardens; the source remains unclear but is likely an introduction from the pet trade – JStroud

Invasive Anole Research In Florida

small brown anoleOne of the greatest threats to ecosystems is the continued introduction and spread of invasive species, which are commonly introduced to new areas by humans. Invasive species not only threaten nature preserves, but can harm commerce (such as zebra mussels damaging ships, or lionfish devastating fishing grounds) and pose a threat to public health by spreading disease (such as introduced rodents and mosquitoes). However, despite the problems caused by invasive species, we still know surprisingly little about what makes certain species successful in new ranges.

For my dissertation research in the Martin lab at the University of South Florida, I hope to identify the mechanisms that enable these species to survive and spread following an introduction. By identifying some of these mechanisms, we will be able to focus control efforts in a more effective manner by ascertaining which species have this potential. Specifically, I study Anolis sagrei, the brown anole, which is native to Cuba and the Bahamas, but is widespread across Florida where it has displaced the native green anole. My research aims to address if A. sagrei is able to be so successful in its introduced range in Florida because it changes the way it uses dietary resources as it invades new territory. The results of my study will not only fill a gap in the knowledge that we have on a common invasive species in Florida, but will also provide a stepping stone for future research on invasive species from other taxonomic groups.

The scientific community is no exception to having cope with budget cuts. Many labs that have traditionally depended on funding from federal agencies are finding money for research (especially ecological research) harder to come by. That is where the general public comes in. Crowd funding provides an opportunity for the general public to personally contribute to research projects and allows scientists to reach out and bridge the gap between the public and scientific communities. The support I receive from funders will be used to help me travel to different locations across the introduced range of A. sagrei in Florida and for sample processing at the University of South Florida. I will be sampling from sites close to the point of original introduction (Key Largo and Miami-Dade, FL), as well as sites where brown anoles have been reported for less than 20 years.
Please help to support my research: http://rkthb.co/25521
You can also keep up with my research by following me on Twitter @OffbeatScience and visiting my website.

Miami Anole Safari (Part III)

Firstly, let me start by offering my sincere apologies for the standard of photography you are about to view. As you AA readers have become accustomed to Jonathan’s flowing prose, and other members’ excellent use of modern photographic equipment, I must warn you not to expect either here!

As has been mentioned previously, the IBS Conference was a tremendous success, and firstly huge congratulations must be passed on to (a potential anologist in the making?) Ken Feeley for all the hard work and effort. The lack of talks concerning arguably one of the world’s most studied vertebrate biogeographic systems did not detract from the high levels of anole hunting that ensued over the course of the conference!

After a wonderful afternoon visiting Miami’s most bizarre lizard community, the following day provided an opportunity for conversations to be followed up from the previous night’s conference dinner (as some graduate students’ memories may have appeared a little hazy on Saturday morning). Much of the day was spent wandering around FIU’s Biscayne Bay Campus eagerly trying to find the dozen knight anoles that were promised to us the previous night by resident expert, and thoroughly nice guy, Sean Giery.

Sean has spent the past 3 years observing the A. equestris community on this campus, and has assured me that he will bless AA readers with a synopsis of his eagerly awaited dietary analysis paper in the near future. The day started brightly, with two juveniles being found in close proximity to each other; however with just he and I as the only observers, it was tough to include these individuals in the promised dozen.

Juvenile knight anole found on a horizontal branch ~2m high. Photo by JStroud

Juvenile knight anole found on a horizontal branch ~2m high. Photo by JStroud

At the start of lunch, and confronting the midday heat with the enthusiasm of schoolboys on a day trip, we regrouped with some extra eyes and headed back out to continue on our quest. Although A. sagrei, A. carolinensis and A. distichus were abundant, these were still not the target species. A loud thump behind us saw us all swivel in synchrony, like a troop of sunburnt and slightly dehydrated Michael Flatley fanatics, to be confronted by a rather startled green iguana that had just plummeted 10 feet after submissively losing a dispute to a larger male. The campus had previously been awash with a healthy population of green iguanas; however the big freeze of 2009 reduced this significantly so that the only survivors were those small enough to retreat underground. Continue reading Miami Anole Safari (Part III)

Anole At My Door

I have extensively photographed Anole in an urban environment because they are so readily available here in south Florida literally outside my door and frequently indoors too. Despite the lamentations of displacement of the native Anolis carolinensis, they are frequently observed in my immediate area. I will present a few photos showing confrontations between the variety of West Indian Anole and the native green. Knight anole is also present, mostly juvenile as I do not observe fully grown specimens either because of adult movement to other areas or the wide variety of predators, mostly large birds. More about geckoes, basilisks and iguana will be posted in related forums.

Orange sagrei

I saw the recent posts about orange/red sagrei and I thought I might contribute another observation of orange-colored brown anoles.  A few years ago while assisting another grad student with his dissertation work I spotted a few orange-colored brown anoles in a suburban yard in S. Florida.  What I thought was most interesting about the observation was that: 1) there were multiple males (2-3) with orange color, and 2) many of the palms on which lizards were perched were a similar orange color.  It got me thinking that it could be more than a coincidence.

The orange color on the trees, sidewalks, and other hard substrates in the area is from ground water with a high concentration of iron.   When sprayed on the surface with sprinklers it mixes with oxygen and leaves an orange color.  Many houses, signs, sidewalks, and even cars in S. Florida are graced with an arc or two of orange residue.  I’ve yet to revisit this lawn or surrounding houses, but I bet there are quite a few more houses with orange lizards.  For what it’s worth, I see and catch a lot of brown anoles further south in the Miami area and this is the only case of red/orange brown anoles I’ve seen yet.  It’s possible that these lizards were covered in rust, but it didn’t look like it when I got one in my hand.  It’s also interesting that all of the photos I’ve seen of orange-colored brown anoles are male, however I’ve only seen about 4 cases including this observation.  Oh, and the dewlaps on these males were normal(ish), not like the cool one recently posted by Joe Burgess.