Three Non-native Color-changing Anoles Now in Florida by Richard Bartlett on 2018-09-24 00:28:00
The green bark anole, Anolis distichus dominicensis, may still be seen in a few isolated Florida hammocks.
The established alien anoles in Florida range from Lake Okeechobee southward to the Keys and in size from the 4 ˝ inch long bark anoles, A. distichus ssp
., to the gigantic, foot and a half long, knight anole, Anolis e. equestris
. However most are in 7 to 8 inch range with females a bit the smaller gender. All are capable of at least a little color change and some make dramatic changes. Let’s take a quick look at 3 of the rather typical smaller examples.
The Hispaniolan green anole, Anolis chlorocyanus
, may vary in color from green to brown with a bicolored white and blue-black dewlap. It is in overall appearance like a slender, long-nosed, example of the more familiar northern green anole, A. c. carolinensis
. Females often have brown dorsal striping. This anole is imported from Haiti for the pet trade and their presence in Florida can probably be attributed to escapes from the importing facilities.
The green bark anole, Anolis distichus dominicensis
, a dark flecked forest green species with a yellowish to red and white or yellow and white dewlap. This is another of the several pet trade anole species imported from Hispaniola. It is of chunky appearance and where it has interbred with the native Florida bark anole, it may be more brown than green.
The blue-fronted anole, Anolis allisoni
, is a relative newcomer to Florida. The origin of the sFL population is unknown, but this species is occasionally seen in the pet trade. It is probably the most variably colored anole species in FL. The long snout is strongly ridged. The dewlap is pink to red. Capable of pronounced color changes, the common name of “blue-fronted” may seem entirely erroneous for many examples. Some may be an overall brown and may retain that color for hours or even days. Others may be entirely green. Many males have a variable amount of blue that may vary from powder to bright in the color scheme. The blue may incorporate the entire head, just the sides of the head, the head and neck, or the entire anterior head and dorsum. In other words, this taxon may vary from one of the dullest to one of the most beautiful anole species.
More anoles to come in future blogs., may still be seen in a few isolated Florida hammocks.
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