Genus Anolis

Genus Anolis consists of over 400 species of lizards belonging to Family Dacytloidae of Order Squamata. Collectively, the anoles represent an extraordinary level of speciation and adaptation throughout the Western hemisphere. Their native ranges span the Southeastern portion of the United States, most of central America, the northern portion of South America, and the Caribbean isles.

Most notably, anoles have been instrumental in the study and development of ecomorphology in relation to convergent evolution — how separate, isolated populations of organisms can adapt similarly in both morphology/structure and behavior in response to parallel habitats and environmental factors. Thus, distinct species may not be closely related genetically even though they may share extremely similar morphological and behavioristic characteristics. Convergent evolution can indeed occur at a fairly accelerated rate when environmental and habitat factors are stressed. Indeed, from the early work of Ernest Williams to that of Jonathan Losos and a cadre of contemporary anolologists, Genus Anolis has served as an extremely productive area of study for evolutionary biology and convergent evolution.

As described by Jonathan Losos (2011, p. 32), the dominant ecomorphs of Genus Anolis are described with the following characteristics:

Crown-Giant: Relative large body size (130-191mm SVL); short limbs; long tail; dominant color is usually green; habitat consists of high trunks and branches; low movement rate; walks and runs.
Established in Florida: Jamaican Giant | Jamaican Giant.

Trunk-Crown: Small to intermediate body size (44-84mm SVL); short limbs; long tail; dominant color is green; habitat consists of trunks, branches, leaves, eye level to high; high movement rate; walks and runs.
Established in Florida: Carolina Green | Hispaniolan Green.

Trunk: Small body size (40-58mm SVL); intermediate, even ratio limbs; short tail; dominant color is gray; habitat consists of trunks; high movement rate; runs.
Established in Florida: Bark.

Trunk-Ground: Intermediate body size (55-79mm SVL); long hindlimbs; long tail; dominant color is green; habitat consists of broad, low surfaces; low movement rate; runs and jumps.
Established in Florida: Puerto Rican CrestedHispaniolan Stout | Cuban Brown.

Twig: Small to intermediate body size (41-80mm SVL); very short limbs; short tail; dominant color is gray; habitat consists of narrow supports; high movement rate; walks.

Grass-Bush: Small body size (33-51 SVL); long hindlimbs; very long tail; dominant color is brown with lateral stripe; habitat consists of low, narrow supports; low movement rate; jumps and runs.

Florida is arguably home to only one native species of anole: the Carolina green anole, Anolis carolinensis. However, the state has garnered a reputation for its variety of non-native anole species that now reside in the state permanently. Florida is now home to at least seven reproducing, seemingly-stable non-native species, and records exist for another half-dozen or so non-native Anolis species found beneath the Spanish moss and tangled palms.

The purpose of this page is to present basic information relating to each of these species, as well as a gallery of species-focused images representing each of these species I have personally documented. I’ve included species-specific links within each species profile. At the bottom of this page, you’ll also find a list of general recommended resources relevant to Anolis lizards. As with everything else on Floridensis, this page will be a perpetual work in progress (as I add more images, information, and links).

If you’d like to learn more about anoles, please check out AnoleAnnals.org, a community-authored blog driven by the vibrant and energized community of anolologists. It’s the single-best online resource for Everything Anolis. While there, be sure to check out Neil Losin and Nathan Dappen’s The Lizard’s Tale, a seven part introductory video series focusing on Anolis lizards.

If you have any questions or concerns, please don’t hesitate to contact me directly. Please note that I am merely a naturalist enthusiast; I am in no way an accredited “expert.”

Florida Anoles Quicklinks:
Carolina Green | Puerto Rican Crested | Hispaniolan Green | Hispaniolan Stout | Bark | Cuban Knight | Jamaican Giant | Cuban Brown |

Limited Florida Introductions Quicklinks:
Allison’s | Barbados | Morne Constant | Cuban Green | Jeremie | Bahamian Green | Trinidad

Other Anolis Content Quicklinks:
Smallwood’s | Western BeardedResources

This page was last updated on
Sunday 06 September 2020


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Anolis carolinensis
Carolina Green Anole

Clade/Series: Carolinensis
Ecomorphology: Trunk-crown
Native Range & Florida Presence: Native to the southeastern United States

Informational Resources:
○ AnoleAnnals: A. carolinensis.
○ iNaturalist: A. carolinensis.


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Anolis cristatellus
Puerto Rican Crested Anole

Clade/Series: Cristatellus.
Ecomorphology: Trunk-Ground.
Native Range & Florida Presence: Native to Puerto Rico, but firmly established throughout much of Miami-Dade county. Isolated recordings exist as far north as Brevard county, but the main thrust at this time is limited mostly to Miami-Dade.

Informational Resources:
○ AnoleAnnals: A. cristatellus.
○ iNaturalist: A. cristatellus.
○ EDDMaps: A. cristatellus.


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Anolis chlorocyanus
Hispaniolan Green Anole

Clade/Series: Chlorocyanus.
Ecomorphology: Trunk-crown.
Native Range & Florida Presence: Native to Hispaniola. In Florida, colonies have been reported in Miami-Dade, Broward, and Martin counties; however, at this time both the Miami-Dade and Martin county colonies have been extirpated. All individuals I have observed and photographed were from a single site in Broward county, Florida.

Informational Resources:
○ AnoleAnnals: A. chlorocyanus.
○ iNaturalist: A. chlorocyanus.
○ EDDMaps: A. chlorocyanus.


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Anolis cybotes
Hispaniolan Stout Anole

Clade/Series: Cybotes
Ecomorphology: Trunk-Ground.
Native Range & Florida Presence: Native to Hispaniola. In Florida, isolated colonies have been documented in Miami-Dade, Broward, and Martin counties; all individuals I have observed and photographed were from a single site in Broward county, Florida.

Informational Resources:
○ AnoleAnnals: A. cybotes.
○ iNaturalist: A. cybotes.
○ EDDMaps: A. cybotes.


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Anolis distichus
Bark Anole

Clade/Series: Distichus
Ecomorphology: Trunk.
Native Range & Florida Presence: Native to Hispaniola and the Bahamas. In Florida, records for A. distichus exist for Monroe, Miami-Dade, Broward, Martin, and Palm Beach  counties. I have observed particular abundances of A. distichus in the lower Keys of Monroe county and in the mainland of Miami-Dade county.

Informational Resources:
○ AnoleAnnals: A. distichus.
○ iNaturalist: A. distichus.
○ EDDMaps: A. distichus.


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Anolis equestris
Cuban Knight Anole

Clade/Series: Equestris
Ecomorphology: Crown-Giant.
Native Range & Florida Presence: Native to Cuba. This species is most noted in Broward, Miami-Dade, Monroe, Martin, and Collier counties, but it has also been recorded in Highlands, Lee, Palm Beach, St. Lucie, and even Volusia counties. Isolated recordings of A. equestris also exist from Brevard and Polk counties. This past year (2019-2020), two separate recordings of A. equestris in the Daytona Beach area were recorded and noted photographically.

Informational Resources:
○ AnoleAnnals: A. equestris.
○ iNaturalist: A. equestris.
○ EDDMaps: A. equestris equestris.
○ EDDMaps: A. equestris persparsus.


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Anolis garmani
Jamaican Giant Anole

Clade/Series: Grahami.
Ecomorphology: Crown-Giant.
Native Range & Florida Presence: Native to Jamaica. In Florida, past records of A. garmani exist for both Miami-Dade and Martin counties; however, the Martin county colony appears to have been extirpated. I have only observed A. garmani in one general subregion of Miami-Dade county.

Informational Resources:
○ AnoleAnnals: A. garmani.
○ iNaturalist: A. garmani.


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Anolis sagrei
Cuban Brown Anole

Clade/Series: Sagrei
Ecomorphology: Trunk-Ground.
Native Range & Florida Presence: Native to Cuba, Bahamas, and other islands; though non-native in origin, A. sagrei has now colonized the vast majority of the Floridian peninsula (and beyond). Today, the Cuban brown anole is —by far— the most observed and recorded Anolis species in the state of Florida.

Informational Resources:
○ AnoleAnnals: A. sagrei.
○ iNaturalist: A. sagrei.
○ EDDMaps: A. sagrei.

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LIMITED FLORIDA INTRODUCTION
ANOLIS SPECIES

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Anolis allisoni
Allison’s Anole

Clade/Series: Carolinensis.
Ecomorphology: Trunk-crown.
Native Range & Florida Presence: Cuba. Developing.

Informational Resources:
○ AnoleAnnals: A. allisoni.
○ iNaturalist: A. allisoni.
○ EDDMaps: A. allisoni.

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Anolis extremus
Barbados Anole

Clade/Series: Roquet.
Ecomorphology: Pending
Native Range & Florida Presence: Southern Lesser Antilles. Developing.

Informational Resources:
○ AnoleAnnals: A. extremus.
○ iNaturalist: A. extremus.
○ EDDMaps: A. extremus.

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Anolis ferreus
Morne Constant Anole

Clade/Series: Bimaculatus.
Ecomorphology: Pending
Native Range & Florida Presence: Northern Lesser Antilles. Developing.

Informational Resources:
○ AnoleAnnals: A. ferreus.
○ iNaturalist: A. ferreus.
○ EDDMaps: A. ferreus.


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Anolis porcatus
Cuban Green Anole

Clade/Series: Carolinensis.
Ecomorphology: Trunk-Crown.
Native Range & Florida Presence: See Wegener et al. (2019) below. A. porcatus is not in south Florida.

Informational Resources:
○ Wegener, J. E., et al. (26 March 2019). Hybridization and rapid differentiation after secondary contact between the native green anole (Anolis carolinensis) and the introduced green anole (Anolis porcatus). Ecology and Evolution, 9(7). https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/full/10.1002/ece3.5042.
○ Losos, J. (17 Jan. 2020). North American Anolis carolinensis is not a distinct species. In AnoleAnnals.org, http://www.anoleannals.org/2020/01/17/north-american-anolis-carolinensis-is-not-a-distinct-species/.
○ AnoleAnnals: A. porcatus.
○ iNaturalist: A. porcatus.


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Anolis coelestinus
Jeremie Anole

Clade/Series: Chlorocyanus.
Ecomorphology: Trunk-Crown
Native Range & Florida Presence: Native to Hispaniola. Developing.

Informational Resources:
○ AnoleAnnals: A. coelestinus.
○ iNaturalist: A. coelestinus.
○ EDDMaps: A. coelestinus.


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Anolis smaragdinus
Bahamian Green Anole

Clade/Series: Carolinensis.
Ecomorphology: Trunk-Crown.
Native Range & Florida Presence: Native to the Bahamas. Developing

Informational Resources:
○ AnoleAnnals: A. smaragdinus.
○ iNaturalist: A. smaragdinus.


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Anolis trinitatis
Trinidad Anole

Clade/Series: Roquet.
Ecomorphology: Pending.
Native Range & Florida Presence: Native to Southern Lesser Antilles. In the mid-2000s, a number of individuals were collected at a single site in Miami Beach, Miami-Dade county, but the habitat they once used has since been removed; current status of the species in Miami Beach (or elsewhere in south Florida) is currently unknown.

Informational Resources:
○ AnoleAnnals: A. trinitatis.
○ iNaturalist: A. trinitatis.
○ EDDMaps: A. trinitatis.

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NOTABLE ANOLIS SPECIES


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Anolis smallwoodi
Smallwood’s Anole

Clade/Series: Equestris.
Ecomorphology: Crown-Giant.
Native Range & Florida Presence: Native to Cuba; not known in Florida.

Informational Resources:
○ AnoleAnnals: A. smallwoodi.
○ iNaturalist: A. smallwoodi.


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Anolis barbatus
Western Bearded Anole

Clade/Series: Chamaeleolis.
Ecomorphology: Pending
Native Range & Florida Presence: Native to Cuba; not known in Florida.

Informational Resources:
○ AnoleAnnals: A. barbatus.
○ iNaturalist: A. barbatus.

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RESOURCES

Books & Monographs:

Websites:

Social Media:

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