About the Green Anole

You know those little lizards that are so common outside here in Orlando? They are called Anoles, and they are harmless.

The green anole is normally five to eight inches long. The female is smaller and it may be less than five inches long. Green anoles come with adhesive lamellae on their foot pads and they use them to crawl around walls and different surfaces in the same way that geckos do. They are capable of changing color and can turn from bright green to grays and browns.

The color changes according to the health, humidity, temperature and mood. Although they also change in color, American chameleons are not related to the anole. They have bodies and tails that are slender and long and the heads have pointed snouts. The males can be distinguished from the females by their pink dewlap, which is a flap of skin that hangs in an arc below the neck. The dewlap is used to attract the females in a territorial display.

Green anoles have well documented behavior. The male anoles may perform the territorial rituals as well as rituals of dominance. They show their dominance through bobbing their heads and through doing movements that look like pushups. They can also flare up the dewlap. If they are being threatened from another male, the opponents may start with the head bobbing or flaring. They will then extend the throat and enlarge the body profile and will turn to the opponents laterally.

Green anoles live in places that are moist and green with some shade. They like to live in fences, shrubs and trees. Its diet includes spiders and small insects. They can stalk them in window screens, walls, vines and shrubs. The prey has to move around for them to be able to detect them.

Green anoles can breed from March to October. The females may lay one egg each two weeks. The eggs look leathery and they are small. They have to be in foliage or moist soil and they will hatch after five up to seven weeks. The green anoles may live over seven years when they are kept in captivity. The house cats are known predators of green anoles.

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