Anolis chlorocyanus, 21 January 2017

Anolis chlorocyanus, the Hispaniolan green anole;
Broward county, Florida (21 January 2017).

Florida certainly has no shortage of non-native species. Pick a corner of the world, and there’s a decent chance we’ve got some wild critter or plant from that region trying to scratch out a living in peninsular Florida. In South Florida, it’s a veritable free-for-all when it comes to lizards. Some non-native lizards in south Florida are now seemingly ubiquitous (such as the Cuban brown anole, Anolis sagrei) while others, such as the Hispaniolan green anole (Anolis chlorocyanus), are mostly limited to relatively small, isolated population sites. Native to Hispaniola (of course), Anolis chlorocyanus is not widespread in South Florida by any means. In fact, to day I’ve only seen them in one specific location in Broward county (a bit north of Miami). Though superficially quite similar to our native Carolina green anoles (Anolis carolinensis), Hispaniolan green anoles are distinct when it comes to their dewlap — that colorful fold of skin and scales under the head. Whereas our native Carolina green anoles have watermelon-red (if not pinkish) dewlaps, the Hispaniolan green anole’s dewlap is much, much darker (as seen below). I was rather beside myself to photograph a number of the A. chlorocyanus in Broward county back in January of 2017. This is the first of several individuals I’ll share on Floridensis. (In good time)

Learn more about anoles at Anole Annals!

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