Brown Anole (Anolis sagrei) (September 4, 2005)
The Brown Anole is an exotic species of small lizard that was introduced and became established in south Florida sometime in the 1940s, though it probably survived in the Florida Keys long before then.
Like several other introduced Caribbean anoles, it was able to flourish in the sub-tropical climate and habitat of the Florida peninsula, but unlike the other invaders, the Brown Anole is the only species that has steadily increased its range into other southeastern
The Brown Anoles first introduced to south Florida actually came from two different islands. The Cuban Brown Anole (Anolis sagrei
sagrei) was considered a separate subspecies from the Bahaman brown anole (Anolis sagrei ordinatus). When the two subspecies came together in Florida, they began to interbreed. Today, the Brown Anoles of the United States belong to neither subspecies, but have characteristics of both. Because of this secondary contact between the two subspecies they are referred to as only Anolis sagrei with no subspecies epithet.
Most people call anoles "chameleons" due to the green anole's ability to change color; however, anoles are only distantly related to the chameleon, and in fact, are more closely related to the iguana. They are small lizards adapted for climbing trees, shrubs, fences, and walls. They are frequently seen basking in the sun or hunting insects around Florida homes. Male anoles have a large throat fan which is often displayed, along with "push-ups" and head-bobbing behaviors when they court or defend territories.
The maximum length of the brown anole is up to 9 inches. They are gray, black, brown to very dark brown and sometimes speckled coloration which may vary in hue. The males turn almost black during territorial displays; females have diamond-shaped patterns down back; mature males will also have a crest-like ridge along their back.
Its introduction in the USA has altered the behavior and potentially triggered a negative effect on populations of the only native anole found in the United States - the Green Anole (Anolis carolinensis).
This little guy just kept watching as I was taking pictures of the chrysanthemum. The closer I got to the plant - the more curious he seemed to get. So, I figured - what the heck and I snapped the shutter :)