This is our third of five (or so) variant Carolina green anoles, Anolis carolinensis, photographed in Collier county during Spring Break 2018. Unlike most Carolina green anoles, many of the individuals in parts of Collier county seem to sport darker dewlaps than is typical elsewhere. This specific anole’s dewlap wasn’t toooo dark, but it certainly wasn’t the typical light pink we usually see up north in Volusia county.
Of note, you can also get a sense of how dramatically the Carolina green anole can change its dorsal colors. When we first caught this anole, it was emerald green — but quickly turned dark brown. This is likely why some people refer to Carolina green anoles as little “chameleons.” In fact, anoles aren’t closely related to chameleons at all… and a decent number of lizards have the ability to shift coloration or pattern boldness in response to environmental stimuli or other such cues. Color change, however, does not really apply to the anole’s dewlap — the little fold of skin under the anole’s neck.
If you stumbled on this post midstream in the series, background to the gray-dewlap variants of Carolina green anoles was covered in back in Part I. If you’d like to learn much, much more about anoles, I always recommend folks to head over to Anole Annals, a community blog devoted to All Things Anolis.