Spring Break 2018: A Little Crested Anole in Miami-Dade

Anolis cristatellus, the Puerto Rican crested anole;
Miami-Dade county, Florida (16 March 2018).
Series: Spring Break 2018.

Whereas the first act of our little Spring Break 2018 romp about south Florida focused largely on Nerodia watersnakes, Act II most certainly focused on Anolis lizards. I gotta say, in my world there’s nothing quite like surrounding yourself with the rich and chaotic biodiversity of these lizards, native and non-native alike, in south Florida.

Featured here is an interesting and unique Puerto Rican crested anole, Anolis cristatellus. Non-native to Florida (as its common name somewhat suggests), the Puerto Rican crested anole is quite common in parts of south Florida. I’ve photographed legions of these tiny little tanks, and I can’t help but smile when I think about how mythic and magical they seemed when I was a kid growing up in central Florida, a kid dreaming about the postmodern ecology of south Florida — a postmodern ecology I’ve now been fortunate enough to experience and observe many, many times.

As for this smallish individual, I was rather struck by its pattern; it was really beautiful in an understated fashion. Somewhat placid, the little anole was also somewhat giving in its defensive maneuvers. It wasn’t quick to flee very far, so I was able to get a few pictures in different perches and different positions. Eventually, however, the Puerto Rican crested anole decided to duck for deeper cover by disappearing into a thick of Florida foliage. Fortunately, there were a few hundred more in the immediate to then focus on. heh. There is no shortage of Anolis cristatellus in the Coral Gables area…

To learn more about anoles, you should definitely check out anoleannals.org, the single greatest anole resources and community on the web. Alternatively, you can also filter and check out all anole photographs posted thus far on floridensis.com to get a sense of their biodiversity in south Florida!

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