Anolis equestris, 11 June 2016

Anolis equestris, the Cuban knight anole;
Miami-Dade county, Florida (11 June 2016).

One of my favorite non-native lizards to track down in South Florida is the Cuban knight anole, Anolis equestris. This beefy tank of a lizard is somewhat abundant throughout various parts of south Florida — especially throughout much of Miami-Dade county. Whereas our native Carolina green anoles (Anolis carolinensis) are fairly small, adult Knight anoles can reach upwards to 12-18 inches in length. They’ve got some mass and kick to them… but that certainly doesn’t limit their agility and speed. A “crown giant” ecomorph, the Cuban knight anole is well adapted to living up high in the foliage and the limbs overhead. Catching one of these puppies for photo-macro goodness simply isn’t the easiest of affairs — but they’re always among the most rewarding (even if they do get a little “bitey” when you try to hold them).

Learn more about All Things Anolis at anoleannals.org! Alternatively, check out the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission’s profile page for the Knight anole in Florida.

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