Friday, July 18, 2008

Cuban Anole Anolis equestris

Anolis equestris Cuban Anole or Knight Anole.
This little fella has been hanging around the yard lately. I found him in my Soursop Annona muricata tree. He's about six or seven inches long. Didn't mind of me taking his picture. He just stayed there loungin' in the tree. It's considered an invasive species here, but they sure are beautiful!!!

The Knight Anole (Anolis equestris) is a species of lizard in the Polychrotidae family, and the largest species of anole. Other common names include Cuban Night Anole or just Cuban Anole. It is native to Cuba, but has been introduced into Miami-Dade (including Miami Beach), Broward, and Palm Beach Counties of Florida. It grows to a length of 13 to 20 inches (33 to 51 cm) including the tail. It is fiercely territorial. Aggressive to anything that enters its territory, the Knight Anole will face almost any intruder it perceives to be a threat (from a distance). During its display, a lizard will sit high on all fours, gape menacingly, turn green, and perhaps bob its head. Males will extend their dewlap (a reddish-white flap underneath their chin), and both females and males will "puff themselves up" with air.

In captivity, the anole's aggressiveness seems to lessen to a certain degree. In communal terraria with other species of lizards it rarely attacks smaller lizards unless it is hungry. It may be hand-fed with caution, since it has a strong bite. Its main habitat is shady tree trunks, for these lizards are aboreal tree dwellers.

The Knight Anole is a diurnal predator, though by warming itself on asphalt, rocks, or sidewalks at the end of the day it may be able to remain active for a while into the night. Its diet as a young anole consists mainly of insects. As an adult it eats larger prey like tarantulas, other anoles, geckos, even baby birds and baby mice.


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Cuban Anole Anolis equestris by Eric Bronson is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 United States License.
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Anonymous said...

What a great picture! I have a Knight Anole. He is good biter and very agressive and timid. Their teeth are tiny but very sharp. I wish I could live somewhere like Florida and just have them running around like that.

Dee said...

I love the Anole pictures- they are sorta like the lizards here in Arizona yet very different! When my sons were younger they had Anoles for pets for a few years and they were gentle creatures.

Gardenista said...

Hmmm. What an interesting critter to be running around in the garden! I suppose you're not likely to be bitten if you're not trying to hand-feed the anoles?

There's not many reptiles where I am way up north. Come to think of it, I don't think there are any reptiles here! I'll have to look into that!

I likE plants! said...

@KID A I love living here

@Dee I used to live in AZ. it was nice. These little guys aren't very aggressive contrary to popular belief.

@Gardenista I wouldn't recommend hand feeding, but as I said above they aren't very aggresive.

To all thanks for all the nice comments!