Anolis carolinensis, 21 January 2017

Anolis carolinensis, the Carolina green anole;
Broward county, Florida (21 January 2017, Nikon D7100).

Florida has one native species of anole: The Carolina green anole, Anolis carolinensis. All of our other anole species are non-native and (relatively speaking) recently introduced. Most of the introduced, non-native anoles now in Florida are limited to the southern end of the peninsula — the big exception being Anolis sagrei, the Cuban brown anole — a species which has made its way across and up the entire peninsula and beyond. When I was a kid in the late 70s and early 1980s, our native Carolina greens were seemingly everywhere — on the fences, the walls, the screens… Pretty much everywhere. Brown anoles were mostly limited to shopping and garden centers back then. Today, it’s a different story. Cuban browns dominate the lower foliage and grounds of central Florida. The Green anoles are still here and doing just fine, I believe, but they’ve moved higher into the upper foliage and trees — which is where they’re best adapted to live anyhow. Folks like me often lust after the non-native anoles of south Florida, but I’m always happy to take a moment or two to appreciate our native Carolina green anoles.


Visit Anole Annals to learn more about this and other anole species.

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