Green Anole (Anolis carolinensis) 

Austin, Texas August 2001

We know her sex because she does not have a bright pink or reddish orange dewlap below her neck. The dewlap is a fold of skin in the ventral neck. The male inflates the dewlap into an impressive, bright orange ball. 

A male of this species frequents the back yard of the same home, but he is an elusive fellow and is not as good a subject for photography. The male's dewlap is used in courtship, for territorial displays, and to frighten potential predators. I will continue trying to get a photo of him...

The Green Anole is most abundant in the southeastern U.S., from East Texas to Florida. They are also found in the Caribbean Islands and throughout North and South America.

Commonly mistaken for chameleons (which they are not directly related to), the Green Anole is a tree-dwelling lizard that grows to a maximum of six to eight inches. This specimen appeared to be nearly 8 inches long, from her nose to the tip of her tail, so she is a fully mature individual. Like true chameleons, they have the ability to change color. The color change in this young lady took about two minutes.

This little gal was found in the front yard of a home in northwest suburban Round Rock, Texas, on August 4, 2001. In the photo at left, she is in the process of turning from dark gray to bright green. While in the open, on a dark colored rock, she had become dark gray to blend in with her immediate surroundings. When I approached she ducked under a fern and began the color change shown in the photo below.

Green Anoles eat small insects and spiders, which they stalk in shrubs, vines, and on walls. They have adhesive lamellae on their foot pads that allow them to crawl on vertical walls and ceilings. They breed from late March to early October, and females lay single eggs every two weeks. The eggs hatch in 5-7 weeks. 

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