Thursday, January 24, 2013

Brown Anole

While in Everglades National Park, we hiked the 1.6 mile (3.2 mile roundtrip) Snake Bight Trail which is 4 miles north of the Flamingo Visitor Center at Florida Bay. It is a dirt road through a tropical hardwood hammock. We noticed lots of small lizards darting off the road and onto small plants and branches. We were able to photograph a number of them and it appears that the ones we were able to photograph were all brown anoles, an invasive species in the Everglades. They are native to Cuba and the Bahamas but are now found in Florida, Georgia, Texas, Taiwan, Hawaii and Southern California. They have been found in Florida since the late 1800s, but the population has greatly increased since the early 1970s when they were sold as pets and made their way into the wild. They are now the most populous anole in Southern Florida. The brown anole is brown or grayish in color. The male often has bands of yellowish spots 
Brown Anole
and females and juvenile miles often have a light stripe on the back with dark, scalloped edges. 
From pictures I have seen the patterning can be quite varied. Males have an orange or red dewlap (throat fan) with a white edge. 
It appears as a stripe on the throat when not distended. The brown anole is usually found on the ground or in low vegetation and have pushed the native Carolina (or green) anoles into the trees. Information for this post has come from Wikipedia, the Savannah River Ecology Laboratory, and the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission website. 


  1. So hard to spot. You have an amazing eye when it comes to lizards.

  2. So, why don't males in the human species have large red dewlaps? It would certainly be more interesting than a dull double chin.

    1. I think I have seen some men with them, but the female humans don't seen as attracted by the human dewlaps as the anoles apparently are.