Tuesday, March 28, 2017

Yellow-Chinned Anole

The yellow-chinned anole (anolis gundlachi) is one of 14 species of anole that live on the Island of Puerto Rico. It lives on the lower sections of large tree trunks in dense forests in mountainous areas (800 to 3,800 feet). We saw a number of them in El Yunque National Forest, a tropical rain forest on the slopes of the Sierra de Luquillo Mountains, parts of which get more than 200 inches of rain a year. I saw five or six, and each one was standing vertically on the side of a tree trunk, head pointed toward the ground. 
Yellow-chinned anole seen on the trail to La Mina Falls. Note the vegetation on the side of the tree. 
A side-view of the same anole. The profile really sticks out. This is how I learned to spot them - look for that profile sticking out from the tree. 
A closer view reveals a few more details. 
The dorsal side of this anole is dark olive/green to almost black/brown and the belly is white to gray/white. It has dark blue eyes, a black/brown dewlap and a tail with a crest that undulates on the males. They have powerful jaws and will defend their territories. I learned this first hand when I caught one with my hand and had it clamp-down quite hard on my finger. It did not let go until I released it several minutes later.  
This photo was taken after I let it go on a rock. Note the crest along the tail. 


  1. I wish I could say "That'll teach you to catch lizards," but of course it won't teach you anything except perhaps how fun it is to catch lizards.

  2. I didn't realize you'd gotten that reaction from the lizard. I'm reminded again of one of one reasons I never reach for a lizard.