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Overview

Comprehensive Description

The brown anole Anolis sagrei is small, semi-arboreal ("trunk-ground") lizard with relatively long toes and reduced toe pad surfaces (relative to congeners), well suited for running and jumping (Williams 1983, Campbell 2002).Color is variable, ranging from light gray to brown to almost black, commonly with irregular patches or mottled patterns, spots, chevrons and a series of light-colored lines. The tail is somewhat laterally compressed. A prominent identifying feature of this species is the extensible dewlap or throat fan which can be yellow to red-orange in color and is used in territorial and mating displays.Sexual dimorphism is pronounced with males reaching a larger terminal size and weight (see below). The dewlap of males is also usually larger than that of the females. Female brown anoles often exhibit a dorsal line that can appear as a light-colored wave, zig-zag or diamond pattern that males typically lack. Mature males also exhibit a pronounced crest-like ridge running down the back (Williams 1983, Campbell 2002).
  • Brown P.R. and A.C. Echternacht. 1991. Interspecific behavioral interaction of adult male Anolis carolinensis (Sauria: Iguanidae): A preliminary field study. Anolis Newsletter IV:21-30.
  • Campbell T.S. 1996. Northern range expansion of the brown anole Anolis sagre in Florida and Georgia. Herp. Review 27:155-157.
  • Campbell T. S. 1999. Consequences of the Cuban brown anole invasion: it's not easy being green. Anolis Newsletter V:12-21.
  • Campbell T.S. 2000. Analyses of the effects of an exotic lizard (Anolis sagrei) on a native lizard (Anolis carolinensis) in Florida, using islands as experimental units. Unpublished Ph.D. Dissertation, University of Tennessee, Knoxville, TN.
  • Campbell T. 2002. The Brown Anole (Anolis sagrei Dumeril and Bibron 1837). The Institute for Biological Invasions: The Invader of the Month, February 2001. (Available online).
  • Campbell T.S and G. Gerber. 1996. Natural History: Anolis sagre: Saurophagy. Herp. Rev. 27:106.Cochran P.A. 1989. Anolis sagrebehavior. Herp. Rev. 20:70.
  • Collette B.B. 1961. Correlations between ecology and morphology in anoline lizards from Havana, Cuba and southern Florida. Bull. Mus. Comp. Zool. 125:137-162.
  • Corkscrew Swamp Sanctuary Guide to Common Lizards. Published online by National Audubon Society.
  • Duellman W.E. and A. Schwartz. 1958. Amphibians and reptiles of southern Florida. Bulletin of the Florida State Museum 3:181-324.
  • Frank N. and E. Ramus. 1995. A Complete Guide to Scientific and Common Names of Reptiles and Amphibians of the World. NG Publishing inc., Pottsville, PA. 377 p.
  • Estrada A.R. and Novo Rodriguez J. 1986. Subnicho estructural de Anolis sagrai en Cayo In?s de Soto Cuba. Analisis intra-y extraboblacional. Poeyana 320:1-13.
  • Gordon R.E. 1956. The biology and biodemography of Anolis carolinensis carolinensis Voigt. Unpublished Ph.D. Dissertation. Tulane University, New Orleans LA.
  • Greene, B. T., D. T. Yorks, J. S. Parmerlee, R. Powell, and R. W. Henderson. 2002. Discovery of Anolis Sagrei in Grenada with Comments on Its Potential Impact on Native Anoles. Carribean Journal of Science 38:270-272.
  • King W. and T. Krakauer. 1966. The exotic herpetofauna of southeast Florida. Quart. J. Florida Acad. Sci. 29:144-154.
  • Kolbe J.J., Glor R.E., Schettino L.R., Lara A.C., Larson A., and J.B. Losos. 2004. Genetic variation increases during biological invasion by a Cuban lizard. Nature 431:177-181.
  • Lee J.C. 1985. Anolis sagrei in Florida: Phenetics of a colonizing species I. Meristic characters. Copeia 1985:182-194.
  • Lee J.C., Clayton D., Eisenstein S., and I. Perez. 1989. The reproductive cycle of Anolis sagrei in southern Florida. Copeia 1989:930-937.
  • Nicholson K.E.,. Paterson A.V, and P.M. Richards. 2000. Anolis sagrei (brown anole) cannibalism. Herpetological Review 31:173-174.
  • Parmley D. 2002. Northernmost record of the brown anole (Anolis sagrei) in Georgia. Georgia Journal of Science 4:191.
  • Rocus D.S. and F.J. Mazzotti. 1996. Reptiles of Southern Florida. UF/IFAS Florida Cooperative Extension Service document WEC71.
  • Schwartz A. and R.W. Henderson. 1991. Amphibians and reptiles of the West Indies: descriptions, distributions, and natural history. University of Florida Press, Gainesville.
  • SREL (online). Lizards of South Carolina and Georgia University of Georgia Savannah River Ecology Laboratory, Herpetology program.
  • Wardle D.A. 2002. Islands as model system for understanding how species affect ecosystem properties. Journal of Biogeography 29:583-591.
  • West-Eberhard M.J. 2983. Sexual Selection, Social Competition, and Speciation. Quarterly Review of Biology 58:155-183.
  • Williams E.E. 1969. The ecology of colonization as seen in the zoogeography of anoline lizards on small islands. Quart. Rev. Biol. 44:345-389.
  • Williams E.E., 1983. Ecomorphs, faunas, island size, and diverse endpoints in island radiations of Anolis. In R. B. Huey, E. R. Pianka, and T. W. Schoener (eds.), Lizard Ecology: Studies of A Model Organism. pp. 326-370. Harvard University Press, Cambridge, Massachusetts.
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Source: Indian River Lagoon Species Inventory

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Distribution

National Distribution

United States

Origin: Exotic

Regularity: Regularly occurring

Currently: Present

Confidence: Confident

Type of Residency: Year-round

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occurs (regularly, as a native taxon) in multiple nations

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Global Range: Native to Cuba and associated cayerias; Isla de la Juventud; Jamaica; Cayman Islands and satellites; Swan Islands; Bahamas, including Crooked-Acklins Bank, Rum Cay, San Salvador Island; Atlantic coast of Mexico to Belize; Islas de la Bahia. See Schwartz and Henderson (1988) and Schwartz and Henderson (1991) for details, including distribution of subspecies. Old record from "Porto Rico" certainly erroneous (Mayer and Lazell 1988). Established throughout much of Florida (e.g., see Campbell, 2003, Herpetol. Rev. 34:173-174; Townsend et al., 2002, Herpetol. Rev. 33:75); also introduced and established in Georgia (Campbell and Hammontree 1995, Herptol. Rev. 26:107; Campbell, 1996, Herpetol. Rev. 27:155-157), Houston and Corpus Christi areas of Texas (Krusling et al. 1995, Herpetol. Rev. 26:108), Louisiana (Platt and Fontenot, 1994, Herpetol. Rev. 25:33), Hawaii (Oahu, mainly residential and urban areas; McKeown 1996, Goldberg et al. 2002) and on Grand Cayman Island. Found recently in Arkansas (probably transported in nursery plants from Florida) (McAllister et al. 2003).

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Geographic Range

Brown anoles are found from southern Georgia and Florida to the southern tip of Mexico and the Caribbean. They are native to Cuba, the Bahamas (and surrounding islands), and throughout the Caribbean, as observed beginning in the late 1800's. About 50 to 60 years ago, they came to southern Florida and Mexico and more recently, they have appeared in and colonized Hawai'i and Jamaica. Brown anoles were most likely introduced to these areas by escapes made by pets and as stowaways on planes and ships. They have most recently spread to southeastern states such as Georgia, with one isolated population even sighted in the Houston, Texas area. Georgia brown anoles were most likely brought there by hitching rides on vehicles transporting landscaping plants and on boats (i.e. up interstate highways).

Biogeographic Regions: nearctic (Introduced , Native ); neotropical (Native ); oceanic islands (Introduced )

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Continent: Middle-America Caribbean North-America
Distribution: Mexico (Yucatan, Campeche), Belize, Guatemala, Honduras, Costa Rica, Cuba, Jamaica, Bahamas, Grenada USA (introduced to Florida, Georgia, Texas, Louisiana, Hawaii),  Isla de la Juventud, Cayman Island, Isla de la Bahia, St. Vincent (introduced)  sagrei: Cuba; Isla de la Juventud; Archipiélago de bs Canarreos; Jardines de la Reina; Archipiélago de Sabana-Camagtiey; Archipiélago de los Coborados; Cayos de San Felipe; western and central Jamaica; Little Cayman I. including satellites; Atlantic coast of México to Belize, including Isla Cozumel; Islas de la Bahia; introduced in Florida and Grand Cayman I.;
Type locality: Cuba; restricted by Ruibal, 1964, to La Habana, La Habana Province, Cuba.  mayensis:
Type locality: Mexico: Panlao, Campeche;  ordinatus (SYNTYPES BMNH 1946.8.28.93-.95): Bahama Is.: Little and Great Bahama banks; Crooked-Acklins Bank; Rum Cay, San Salvador I.; Cay Sal Bank.
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Source: The Reptile Database

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Genus Anolis belongs to the New World lizard family Polychrotidae and encompasses more than 300 species of diurnal, arboreal to semi-arboreal primarily insectivorous lizards (Frank and Ramus 1995). The genus is native to the islands of the Caribbean and mainland South and Central America, with only the green anole (Anolis carolinensis) occurring as a temperate North American native (Schwartz and Henderson 1991).Anolis sagrei is native to Cuba, the Bahamas, and nearby islands. Six distinct subspecies have been identified, including the principal subspecies of Cuba (Anolis sagrei sagrei) and the Bahamas (A. sagrei ordinatus) (Schwartz and Henderson 1991). The range of the brown anole in the eastern United States includes all of peninsular Florida (SREL).The brown anole has been described as a habitat generalist that generally prefers open vegetation within disturbed sites and urbanized areas (Campbell 2002). It spends most of its time on the ground or on trees at trunk level up to several feet off the ground (Williams 1969). A. sagrei can be found throughout the Indian River lagoon watershed, including populations that inhabit most of the India River Lagoon spoil islands.
  • Brown P.R. and A.C. Echternacht. 1991. Interspecific behavioral interaction of adult male Anolis carolinensis (Sauria: Iguanidae): A preliminary field study. Anolis Newsletter IV:21-30.
  • Campbell T.S. 1996. Northern range expansion of the brown anole Anolis sagre in Florida and Georgia. Herp. Review 27:155-157.
  • Campbell T. S. 1999. Consequences of the Cuban brown anole invasion: it's not easy being green. Anolis Newsletter V:12-21.
  • Campbell T.S. 2000. Analyses of the effects of an exotic lizard (Anolis sagrei) on a native lizard (Anolis carolinensis) in Florida, using islands as experimental units. Unpublished Ph.D. Dissertation, University of Tennessee, Knoxville, TN.
  • Campbell T. 2002. The Brown Anole (Anolis sagrei Dumeril and Bibron 1837). The Institute for Biological Invasions: The Invader of the Month, February 2001. (Available online).
  • Campbell T.S and G. Gerber. 1996. Natural History: Anolis sagre: Saurophagy. Herp. Rev. 27:106.Cochran P.A. 1989. Anolis sagrebehavior. Herp. Rev. 20:70.
  • Collette B.B. 1961. Correlations between ecology and morphology in anoline lizards from Havana, Cuba and southern Florida. Bull. Mus. Comp. Zool. 125:137-162.
  • Corkscrew Swamp Sanctuary Guide to Common Lizards. Published online by National Audubon Society.
  • Duellman W.E. and A. Schwartz. 1958. Amphibians and reptiles of southern Florida. Bulletin of the Florida State Museum 3:181-324.
  • Frank N. and E. Ramus. 1995. A Complete Guide to Scientific and Common Names of Reptiles and Amphibians of the World. NG Publishing inc., Pottsville, PA. 377 p.
  • Estrada A.R. and Novo Rodriguez J. 1986. Subnicho estructural de Anolis sagrai en Cayo In?s de Soto Cuba. Analisis intra-y extraboblacional. Poeyana 320:1-13.
  • Gordon R.E. 1956. The biology and biodemography of Anolis carolinensis carolinensis Voigt. Unpublished Ph.D. Dissertation. Tulane University, New Orleans LA.
  • Greene, B. T., D. T. Yorks, J. S. Parmerlee, R. Powell, and R. W. Henderson. 2002. Discovery of Anolis Sagrei in Grenada with Comments on Its Potential Impact on Native Anoles. Carribean Journal of Science 38:270-272.
  • King W. and T. Krakauer. 1966. The exotic herpetofauna of southeast Florida. Quart. J. Florida Acad. Sci. 29:144-154.
  • Kolbe J.J., Glor R.E., Schettino L.R., Lara A.C., Larson A., and J.B. Losos. 2004. Genetic variation increases during biological invasion by a Cuban lizard. Nature 431:177-181.
  • Lee J.C. 1985. Anolis sagrei in Florida: Phenetics of a colonizing species I. Meristic characters. Copeia 1985:182-194.
  • Lee J.C., Clayton D., Eisenstein S., and I. Perez. 1989. The reproductive cycle of Anolis sagrei in southern Florida. Copeia 1989:930-937.
  • Nicholson K.E.,. Paterson A.V, and P.M. Richards. 2000. Anolis sagrei (brown anole) cannibalism. Herpetological Review 31:173-174.
  • Parmley D. 2002. Northernmost record of the brown anole (Anolis sagrei) in Georgia. Georgia Journal of Science 4:191.
  • Rocus D.S. and F.J. Mazzotti. 1996. Reptiles of Southern Florida. UF/IFAS Florida Cooperative Extension Service document WEC71.
  • Schwartz A. and R.W. Henderson. 1991. Amphibians and reptiles of the West Indies: descriptions, distributions, and natural history. University of Florida Press, Gainesville.
  • SREL (online). Lizards of South Carolina and Georgia University of Georgia Savannah River Ecology Laboratory, Herpetology program.
  • Wardle D.A. 2002. Islands as model system for understanding how species affect ecosystem properties. Journal of Biogeography 29:583-591.
  • West-Eberhard M.J. 2983. Sexual Selection, Social Competition, and Speciation. Quarterly Review of Biology 58:155-183.
  • Williams E.E. 1969. The ecology of colonization as seen in the zoogeography of anoline lizards on small islands. Quart. Rev. Biol. 44:345-389.
  • Williams E.E., 1983. Ecomorphs, faunas, island size, and diverse endpoints in island radiations of Anolis. In R. B. Huey, E. R. Pianka, and T. W. Schoener (eds.), Lizard Ecology: Studies of A Model Organism. pp. 326-370. Harvard University Press, Cambridge, Massachusetts.
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Source: Indian River Lagoon Species Inventory

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Physical Description

Morphology

Physical Description

Norops sagrei is medium-sized, quite robust with a short and wide head, and is covered in small scales. It has a notably short snout compared to other anoles, long claws and a long tail. Its long toes and reduced toe-pad surface area help the brown anole to run and jump. Furthermore, its feet pads contain millions of microscopic fibers that allow it to attach to almost any kind of surface, whether smooth as glass or textured. The brown anole is sexually dimorphic, with the males exceeding the females in size. Mature adult males are generally 54 mm in snout-to-vent length (SVL) and weigh 6-8 grams, where mature adult females are generally 43 mm SVL and weight 3-4 grams. Male coloration varies highly, from light grey to stark-black and from a uniform color to multiple colorations (covered dorsally with irregular dark patches and a light-colored network of lines outlining the patches). Female coloration covers a wide range as well, however, they almost always have a dorsal white stripe with a dark triangular pattern that is very recognizable as a female brown anole trait. The most recognizable feature of the male brown anole is its dewlap. This is a "throat fan" that the male can extend to reveal an orange-red color display for territorial and courtship purposes. Females also have much smaller versions of the dewlap, but they do not use them. The brown anole can be distinguished from its relative species, the native green anole (Anolis carolinensis), because the green anole has a much longer, pointed snout, its coloration is green (although it can change colors like a chameleon in response to environmental or physiological changes), and its dewlap is a recognizably lighter pink shade.

Range mass: 3 to 8 g.

Range length: 35 to 68 mm.

Other Physical Features: ectothermic ; heterothermic ; bilateral symmetry

Sexual Dimorphism: male larger; sexes colored or patterned differently; male more colorful; ornamentation

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Size

Length: 21 cm

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Adult male Anolis sagrei reach a snout-to-vent length of more than 6 cm and a weight of 6-8 g. Females rarely exceed 5 cm and 3-4 g (Campbell 2002).Maturation occurs rapidly with individuals becoming reproductively active by their second summer and pronounced adult mortality the following winter. Published reports suggest the species in Florida has a maximum life span of less than 18 months although some reports suggest individuals may live twice as long. (King 1966, Lee et al. 1989).
  • Brown P.R. and A.C. Echternacht. 1991. Interspecific behavioral interaction of adult male Anolis carolinensis (Sauria: Iguanidae): A preliminary field study. Anolis Newsletter IV:21-30.
  • Campbell T.S. 1996. Northern range expansion of the brown anole Anolis sagre in Florida and Georgia. Herp. Review 27:155-157.
  • Campbell T. S. 1999. Consequences of the Cuban brown anole invasion: it's not easy being green. Anolis Newsletter V:12-21.
  • Campbell T.S. 2000. Analyses of the effects of an exotic lizard (Anolis sagrei) on a native lizard (Anolis carolinensis) in Florida, using islands as experimental units. Unpublished Ph.D. Dissertation, University of Tennessee, Knoxville, TN.
  • Campbell T. 2002. The Brown Anole (Anolis sagrei Dumeril and Bibron 1837). The Institute for Biological Invasions: The Invader of the Month, February 2001. (Available online).
  • Campbell T.S and G. Gerber. 1996. Natural History: Anolis sagre: Saurophagy. Herp. Rev. 27:106.Cochran P.A. 1989. Anolis sagrebehavior. Herp. Rev. 20:70.
  • Collette B.B. 1961. Correlations between ecology and morphology in anoline lizards from Havana, Cuba and southern Florida. Bull. Mus. Comp. Zool. 125:137-162.
  • Corkscrew Swamp Sanctuary Guide to Common Lizards. Published online by National Audubon Society.
  • Duellman W.E. and A. Schwartz. 1958. Amphibians and reptiles of southern Florida. Bulletin of the Florida State Museum 3:181-324.
  • Frank N. and E. Ramus. 1995. A Complete Guide to Scientific and Common Names of Reptiles and Amphibians of the World. NG Publishing inc., Pottsville, PA. 377 p.
  • Estrada A.R. and Novo Rodriguez J. 1986. Subnicho estructural de Anolis sagrai en Cayo In?s de Soto Cuba. Analisis intra-y extraboblacional. Poeyana 320:1-13.
  • Gordon R.E. 1956. The biology and biodemography of Anolis carolinensis carolinensis Voigt. Unpublished Ph.D. Dissertation. Tulane University, New Orleans LA.
  • Greene, B. T., D. T. Yorks, J. S. Parmerlee, R. Powell, and R. W. Henderson. 2002. Discovery of Anolis Sagrei in Grenada with Comments on Its Potential Impact on Native Anoles. Carribean Journal of Science 38:270-272.
  • King W. and T. Krakauer. 1966. The exotic herpetofauna of southeast Florida. Quart. J. Florida Acad. Sci. 29:144-154.
  • Kolbe J.J., Glor R.E., Schettino L.R., Lara A.C., Larson A., and J.B. Losos. 2004. Genetic variation increases during biological invasion by a Cuban lizard. Nature 431:177-181.
  • Lee J.C. 1985. Anolis sagrei in Florida: Phenetics of a colonizing species I. Meristic characters. Copeia 1985:182-194.
  • Lee J.C., Clayton D., Eisenstein S., and I. Perez. 1989. The reproductive cycle of Anolis sagrei in southern Florida. Copeia 1989:930-937.
  • Nicholson K.E.,. Paterson A.V, and P.M. Richards. 2000. Anolis sagrei (brown anole) cannibalism. Herpetological Review 31:173-174.
  • Parmley D. 2002. Northernmost record of the brown anole (Anolis sagrei) in Georgia. Georgia Journal of Science 4:191.
  • Rocus D.S. and F.J. Mazzotti. 1996. Reptiles of Southern Florida. UF/IFAS Florida Cooperative Extension Service document WEC71.
  • Schwartz A. and R.W. Henderson. 1991. Amphibians and reptiles of the West Indies: descriptions, distributions, and natural history. University of Florida Press, Gainesville.
  • SREL (online). Lizards of South Carolina and Georgia University of Georgia Savannah River Ecology Laboratory, Herpetology program.
  • Wardle D.A. 2002. Islands as model system for understanding how species affect ecosystem properties. Journal of Biogeography 29:583-591.
  • West-Eberhard M.J. 2983. Sexual Selection, Social Competition, and Speciation. Quarterly Review of Biology 58:155-183.
  • Williams E.E. 1969. The ecology of colonization as seen in the zoogeography of anoline lizards on small islands. Quart. Rev. Biol. 44:345-389.
  • Williams E.E., 1983. Ecomorphs, faunas, island size, and diverse endpoints in island radiations of Anolis. In R. B. Huey, E. R. Pianka, and T. W. Schoener (eds.), Lizard Ecology: Studies of A Model Organism. pp. 326-370. Harvard University Press, Cambridge, Massachusetts.
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Source: Indian River Lagoon Species Inventory

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Type Information

Paratype for Anolis sagrei
Catalog Number: USNM 6002
Collection: Smithsonian Institution, National Museum of Natural History, Department of Vertebrate Zoology, Division of Amphibians & Reptiles
Sex/Stage: Female;
Preparation: Ethanol
Locality: Cape Punta, County Undetermined, Florida, United States, North America
  • Paratype: Barbour, T. 1931. Copeia. 1931 (3): 88.
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Look Alikes

Anolis carolinensis, the southeastern US native green anole, is slightly smaller and more delicate in build, with a longer and more slender head and snout. Anolis carolinensis is capable of impressive color change from bright green to brown to nearly black, but is still recognizable as distinct from Anolis sagrei.A number of other Anolis lizard species not native to the United States (e.g., the knight anole A. equestris, bark anole A. distichus, and others) now occur in Florida, most notably around Miami (Rocus and Mazzotti 1996). These lizards can be difficult for untrained individuals to recognize as distinct from Anolis sagrei, particularly A. distichus which looks quite similar but does not grow as large and is more strictly arboreal in habit.
  • Brown P.R. and A.C. Echternacht. 1991. Interspecific behavioral interaction of adult male Anolis carolinensis (Sauria: Iguanidae): A preliminary field study. Anolis Newsletter IV:21-30.
  • Campbell T.S. 1996. Northern range expansion of the brown anole Anolis sagre in Florida and Georgia. Herp. Review 27:155-157.
  • Campbell T. S. 1999. Consequences of the Cuban brown anole invasion: it's not easy being green. Anolis Newsletter V:12-21.
  • Campbell T.S. 2000. Analyses of the effects of an exotic lizard (Anolis sagrei) on a native lizard (Anolis carolinensis) in Florida, using islands as experimental units. Unpublished Ph.D. Dissertation, University of Tennessee, Knoxville, TN.
  • Campbell T. 2002. The Brown Anole (Anolis sagrei Dumeril and Bibron 1837). The Institute for Biological Invasions: The Invader of the Month, February 2001. (Available online).
  • Campbell T.S and G. Gerber. 1996. Natural History: Anolis sagre: Saurophagy. Herp. Rev. 27:106.Cochran P.A. 1989. Anolis sagrebehavior. Herp. Rev. 20:70.
  • Collette B.B. 1961. Correlations between ecology and morphology in anoline lizards from Havana, Cuba and southern Florida. Bull. Mus. Comp. Zool. 125:137-162.
  • Corkscrew Swamp Sanctuary Guide to Common Lizards. Published online by National Audubon Society.
  • Duellman W.E. and A. Schwartz. 1958. Amphibians and reptiles of southern Florida. Bulletin of the Florida State Museum 3:181-324.
  • Frank N. and E. Ramus. 1995. A Complete Guide to Scientific and Common Names of Reptiles and Amphibians of the World. NG Publishing inc., Pottsville, PA. 377 p.
  • Estrada A.R. and Novo Rodriguez J. 1986. Subnicho estructural de Anolis sagrai en Cayo In?s de Soto Cuba. Analisis intra-y extraboblacional. Poeyana 320:1-13.
  • Gordon R.E. 1956. The biology and biodemography of Anolis carolinensis carolinensis Voigt. Unpublished Ph.D. Dissertation. Tulane University, New Orleans LA.
  • Greene, B. T., D. T. Yorks, J. S. Parmerlee, R. Powell, and R. W. Henderson. 2002. Discovery of Anolis Sagrei in Grenada with Comments on Its Potential Impact on Native Anoles. Carribean Journal of Science 38:270-272.
  • King W. and T. Krakauer. 1966. The exotic herpetofauna of southeast Florida. Quart. J. Florida Acad. Sci. 29:144-154.
  • Kolbe J.J., Glor R.E., Schettino L.R., Lara A.C., Larson A., and J.B. Losos. 2004. Genetic variation increases during biological invasion by a Cuban lizard. Nature 431:177-181.
  • Lee J.C. 1985. Anolis sagrei in Florida: Phenetics of a colonizing species I. Meristic characters. Copeia 1985:182-194.
  • Lee J.C., Clayton D., Eisenstein S., and I. Perez. 1989. The reproductive cycle of Anolis sagrei in southern Florida. Copeia 1989:930-937.
  • Nicholson K.E.,. Paterson A.V, and P.M. Richards. 2000. Anolis sagrei (brown anole) cannibalism. Herpetological Review 31:173-174.
  • Parmley D. 2002. Northernmost record of the brown anole (Anolis sagrei) in Georgia. Georgia Journal of Science 4:191.
  • Rocus D.S. and F.J. Mazzotti. 1996. Reptiles of Southern Florida. UF/IFAS Florida Cooperative Extension Service document WEC71.
  • Schwartz A. and R.W. Henderson. 1991. Amphibians and reptiles of the West Indies: descriptions, distributions, and natural history. University of Florida Press, Gainesville.
  • SREL (online). Lizards of South Carolina and Georgia University of Georgia Savannah River Ecology Laboratory, Herpetology program.
  • Wardle D.A. 2002. Islands as model system for understanding how species affect ecosystem properties. Journal of Biogeography 29:583-591.
  • West-Eberhard M.J. 2983. Sexual Selection, Social Competition, and Speciation. Quarterly Review of Biology 58:155-183.
  • Williams E.E. 1969. The ecology of colonization as seen in the zoogeography of anoline lizards on small islands. Quart. Rev. Biol. 44:345-389.
  • Williams E.E., 1983. Ecomorphs, faunas, island size, and diverse endpoints in island radiations of Anolis. In R. B. Huey, E. R. Pianka, and T. W. Schoener (eds.), Lizard Ecology: Studies of A Model Organism. pp. 326-370. Harvard University Press, Cambridge, Massachusetts.
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Source: Indian River Lagoon Species Inventory

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Ecology

Habitat

Comments: Various sunny habitats; rarely in deep woods or forests. Coastal areas and mountains, dry areas and in lush vegetation. In Florida generally confined to urban/suburban areas but also in semi-natural habitats along roadways and in stands of introduced trees. Trunk-ground species. Found on trees, shrubs, fences, walls, lumber and rock piles, trash piles, around buildings, and on or near ground. Presumably spends night under terrestrial objects.

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The brown anole is a "trunk-ground" terrestrial species, concentrated in areas with open vegetation as well as moist forested areas. However, at times, it can occupy the higher niches in trees, placing the species in the "tree-crown" dweller category as well. It enjoys a semi-tropical environment with a humidity of between 40-80% and a comfortable temperature of 75-80 degrees Fahrenheit (23.8-26.6 C), with a minimum temperature of 65 degrees Fahrenheit (18.3 C). The brown anole forms its territory among shrubs, vines, fences, and trees.

Habitat Regions: temperate ; tropical ; terrestrial

Terrestrial Biomes: savanna or grassland ; forest ; scrub forest

Other Habitat Features: urban ; suburban

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Migration

Non-Migrant: Yes. At least some populations of this species do not make significant seasonal migrations. Juvenile dispersal is not considered a migration.

Locally Migrant: No. No populations of this species make local extended movements (generally less than 200 km) at particular times of the year (e.g., to breeding or wintering grounds, to hibernation sites).

Locally Migrant: No. No populations of this species make annual migrations of over 200 km.

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Trophic Strategy

Comments: Eats insects, spiders, and other small invertebrates (Behler and King 1979).

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Food Habits

Brown anoles eat a variety of foods. The most common prey are arthropods (i.e. amphipods, spiders, isopods and insects (including moths, crickets, beetles, flies, grasshoppers, and butterflies), also other invertebrates such as earthworms and snails. Brown anoles also feed on small vertebrates, including the hatchlings of the green anole.

Animal Foods: reptiles; insects; terrestrial non-insect arthropods; mollusks; terrestrial worms

Primary Diet: carnivore (Insectivore )

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Natural dietary items of these generalist predators include arthropods, worms and molluscs (Campbell 2002). Cannabalism of adult Anolis lizards on their hatchlings is also well documented, and this behavior may be prevalent in A. sagrei (Cochran 1989, Nicholson et al. 2000).Invasion History: The brown anole was first documented in the Florida Keys in the 1880s. By the 1940s the species had also become established on the Florida mainland (Campbell 2002). Lee (1985) concludes that introduction to peninsular Florida in the 1940s occurred on at least six different occasions.By 1980 established brown anole populations existed in all or most of Florida's large urban centers south of Gainsville (Lee 1985).The Florida range of this species continues to expand into the northernmost and panhandle counties and populations have also become established in Georgia, Louisiana, and near Houston, TX. Accidental transport via motor vehicles and as accidental introductions (particularly as eggs) with transported live plants has been suggested as the likely source of these introductions (Campbell 1996, Corkscrew Swamp Sanctuary Guide to Common Lizards).Although both the Cuban and Bahamian subspecies have been introduced to Florida, the genetic identies of these distinct lines has been lost through outcrossing (Lee 1985).Campbell (2002) notes that the species has also been introduced into Hawaii and Jamaica, and Green et al. (2002) and Kolbe et al. (2004) report their presence in Granada. The ISGG database additionally includes Belize, Mexico, and Taiwan as part of the brown anole's alien range and lists Guam as a country into which the species was introduced but whose subsequent establishment was intercepted. Potential to Compete With Natives: The first anecdotal suggestions implicating the exotic brown anole in the decline of native green anole populations in Florida were published in the 1960s (Collette 1961, King and Krakauer 1966). Direct studies of interspecific associatiosns between the two congeners appear much less significant than intraspecific (within-species) competitive interactions within these aggressive, territorial animals (Brown and Echternacht 1991).Field observations and experimental manipulations have demonstrated that brown anoles in Florida prey directly on other small vertebrates including hatchlings of the native green anole. (Campbell 2000, Campbell and Gerber 1996). Campbell (2000) reported that adult green anoles also consume brown anole hatchlings. The lack of documented among-species interactions notwithstanding, Campbell (2000) reports that where Anolis sagrei and Anolis carolinensis populations co-occur Anolis carolinensis individuals shift their spatial niche upward to occupy arboreal perches from trunk to tree canopy, abandoning the ground perches they otherwise also utilize when populations occur in the absence of Anolis sagrei. The author speculates that this spatial shift may lead to a change in the number and types of prey available to native Anolis carolinensis populations.Wardle (2002) reports that Anolis sagrei feeding activity is capable of reducing the numbers and diversity of spiders on which they prey, although Cambell (2006) has suggested that the overall impact of the species on prey populations is probably too small to be considered economically important. Possible Economic Consequences of Invasion: No steps have been taken to eradicate or control brown anoles in Florida, and the abundance, fecundity, and generalist habits exhibited by the species make it highly unlikely that eradication could ever be achieved (Campbell 1999, 2002).
  • Brown P.R. and A.C. Echternacht. 1991. Interspecific behavioral interaction of adult male Anolis carolinensis (Sauria: Iguanidae): A preliminary field study. Anolis Newsletter IV:21-30.
  • Campbell T.S. 1996. Northern range expansion of the brown anole Anolis sagre in Florida and Georgia. Herp. Review 27:155-157.
  • Campbell T. S. 1999. Consequences of the Cuban brown anole invasion: it's not easy being green. Anolis Newsletter V:12-21.
  • Campbell T.S. 2000. Analyses of the effects of an exotic lizard (Anolis sagrei) on a native lizard (Anolis carolinensis) in Florida, using islands as experimental units. Unpublished Ph.D. Dissertation, University of Tennessee, Knoxville, TN.
  • Campbell T. 2002. The Brown Anole (Anolis sagrei Dumeril and Bibron 1837). The Institute for Biological Invasions: The Invader of the Month, February 2001. (Available online).
  • Campbell T.S and G. Gerber. 1996. Natural History: Anolis sagre: Saurophagy. Herp. Rev. 27:106.Cochran P.A. 1989. Anolis sagrebehavior. Herp. Rev. 20:70.
  • Collette B.B. 1961. Correlations between ecology and morphology in anoline lizards from Havana, Cuba and southern Florida. Bull. Mus. Comp. Zool. 125:137-162.
  • Corkscrew Swamp Sanctuary Guide to Common Lizards. Published online by National Audubon Society.
  • Duellman W.E. and A. Schwartz. 1958. Amphibians and reptiles of southern Florida. Bulletin of the Florida State Museum 3:181-324.
  • Frank N. and E. Ramus. 1995. A Complete Guide to Scientific and Common Names of Reptiles and Amphibians of the World. NG Publishing inc., Pottsville, PA. 377 p.
  • Estrada A.R. and Novo Rodriguez J. 1986. Subnicho estructural de Anolis sagrai en Cayo In?s de Soto Cuba. Analisis intra-y extraboblacional. Poeyana 320:1-13.
  • Gordon R.E. 1956. The biology and biodemography of Anolis carolinensis carolinensis Voigt. Unpublished Ph.D. Dissertation. Tulane University, New Orleans LA.
  • Greene, B. T., D. T. Yorks, J. S. Parmerlee, R. Powell, and R. W. Henderson. 2002. Discovery of Anolis Sagrei in Grenada with Comments on Its Potential Impact on Native Anoles. Carribean Journal of Science 38:270-272.
  • King W. and T. Krakauer. 1966. The exotic herpetofauna of southeast Florida. Quart. J. Florida Acad. Sci. 29:144-154.
  • Kolbe J.J., Glor R.E., Schettino L.R., Lara A.C., Larson A., and J.B. Losos. 2004. Genetic variation increases during biological invasion by a Cuban lizard. Nature 431:177-181.
  • Lee J.C. 1985. Anolis sagrei in Florida: Phenetics of a colonizing species I. Meristic characters. Copeia 1985:182-194.
  • Lee J.C., Clayton D., Eisenstein S., and I. Perez. 1989. The reproductive cycle of Anolis sagrei in southern Florida. Copeia 1989:930-937.
  • Nicholson K.E.,. Paterson A.V, and P.M. Richards. 2000. Anolis sagrei (brown anole) cannibalism. Herpetological Review 31:173-174.
  • Parmley D. 2002. Northernmost record of the brown anole (Anolis sagrei) in Georgia. Georgia Journal of Science 4:191.
  • Rocus D.S. and F.J. Mazzotti. 1996. Reptiles of Southern Florida. UF/IFAS Florida Cooperative Extension Service document WEC71.
  • Schwartz A. and R.W. Henderson. 1991. Amphibians and reptiles of the West Indies: descriptions, distributions, and natural history. University of Florida Press, Gainesville.
  • SREL (online). Lizards of South Carolina and Georgia University of Georgia Savannah River Ecology Laboratory, Herpetology program.
  • Wardle D.A. 2002. Islands as model system for understanding how species affect ecosystem properties. Journal of Biogeography 29:583-591.
  • West-Eberhard M.J. 2983. Sexual Selection, Social Competition, and Speciation. Quarterly Review of Biology 58:155-183.
  • Williams E.E. 1969. The ecology of colonization as seen in the zoogeography of anoline lizards on small islands. Quart. Rev. Biol. 44:345-389.
  • Williams E.E., 1983. Ecomorphs, faunas, island size, and diverse endpoints in island radiations of Anolis. In R. B. Huey, E. R. Pianka, and T. W. Schoener (eds.), Lizard Ecology: Studies of A Model Organism. pp. 326-370. Harvard University Press, Cambridge, Massachusetts.
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Associations

Ecosystem Roles

Anoles on islands may be significant predators of arthropods. Some experiments have shown that removing the lizards from islands results in increased populations of spiders, and reduced populations of other insects that are spider prey.

Since the brown anole was been introduced into southern Florida there has been a significant decline in the green anole population in rural and urban areas. The brown and green anoles are similar in size with simliar feeding habits. There is probably competition between the two related species in their habitat, as well as "intra-guild predation," meaning they eat each others' hatchlings. The full extent of the interactions between these two species, and the ecological effects of the invasion of brown anoles in southeastern North America is not known.

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Predation

Hatchlings anoles are eaten by adults of other anole species. Although there is not much information on predators of the brown anole specifically, sources did note that adults are eaten by many vertebrates, such as broadhead skinks (Plestiodon laticeps), snakes and some birds. Spiders can sometimes capture and eat small anoles.

The coloration of Norops sagrei is such that it can easily blend in with the bark of a tree or on brown earth, rendering it nearly invisible to predators.

This is an alert and quick-moving species of lizard, that sprints from predators if it can.

If captured, brown anoles have one notable anti-predator adaptation involving their tails. The anole can voluntarily break off and drop most of its tail when being pursued. The separated tail will twitch and flail around for a short time, which often distracts the predator and allows the tailless lizard to escape. The brown anole tail is cartilagenous and will slowly regenerate into a new tail, however the new tail is usually a dull gray and is often smaller than the original tail.

Known Predators:

Anti-predator Adaptations: cryptic

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Population Biology

In areas where this exotic species has become established, it is very often the most abundant reptile species present. Anolis sagrei is among the most abundant lizards throughout Florida (SREL).
  • Brown P.R. and A.C. Echternacht. 1991. Interspecific behavioral interaction of adult male Anolis carolinensis (Sauria: Iguanidae): A preliminary field study. Anolis Newsletter IV:21-30.
  • Campbell T.S. 1996. Northern range expansion of the brown anole Anolis sagre in Florida and Georgia. Herp. Review 27:155-157.
  • Campbell T. S. 1999. Consequences of the Cuban brown anole invasion: it's not easy being green. Anolis Newsletter V:12-21.
  • Campbell T.S. 2000. Analyses of the effects of an exotic lizard (Anolis sagrei) on a native lizard (Anolis carolinensis) in Florida, using islands as experimental units. Unpublished Ph.D. Dissertation, University of Tennessee, Knoxville, TN.
  • Campbell T. 2002. The Brown Anole (Anolis sagrei Dumeril and Bibron 1837). The Institute for Biological Invasions: The Invader of the Month, February 2001. (Available online).
  • Campbell T.S and G. Gerber. 1996. Natural History: Anolis sagre: Saurophagy. Herp. Rev. 27:106.Cochran P.A. 1989. Anolis sagrebehavior. Herp. Rev. 20:70.
  • Collette B.B. 1961. Correlations between ecology and morphology in anoline lizards from Havana, Cuba and southern Florida. Bull. Mus. Comp. Zool. 125:137-162.
  • Corkscrew Swamp Sanctuary Guide to Common Lizards. Published online by National Audubon Society.
  • Duellman W.E. and A. Schwartz. 1958. Amphibians and reptiles of southern Florida. Bulletin of the Florida State Museum 3:181-324.
  • Frank N. and E. Ramus. 1995. A Complete Guide to Scientific and Common Names of Reptiles and Amphibians of the World. NG Publishing inc., Pottsville, PA. 377 p.
  • Estrada A.R. and Novo Rodriguez J. 1986. Subnicho estructural de Anolis sagrai en Cayo In?s de Soto Cuba. Analisis intra-y extraboblacional. Poeyana 320:1-13.
  • Gordon R.E. 1956. The biology and biodemography of Anolis carolinensis carolinensis Voigt. Unpublished Ph.D. Dissertation. Tulane University, New Orleans LA.
  • Greene, B. T., D. T. Yorks, J. S. Parmerlee, R. Powell, and R. W. Henderson. 2002. Discovery of Anolis Sagrei in Grenada with Comments on Its Potential Impact on Native Anoles. Carribean Journal of Science 38:270-272.
  • King W. and T. Krakauer. 1966. The exotic herpetofauna of southeast Florida. Quart. J. Florida Acad. Sci. 29:144-154.
  • Kolbe J.J., Glor R.E., Schettino L.R., Lara A.C., Larson A., and J.B. Losos. 2004. Genetic variation increases during biological invasion by a Cuban lizard. Nature 431:177-181.
  • Lee J.C. 1985. Anolis sagrei in Florida: Phenetics of a colonizing species I. Meristic characters. Copeia 1985:182-194.
  • Lee J.C., Clayton D., Eisenstein S., and I. Perez. 1989. The reproductive cycle of Anolis sagrei in southern Florida. Copeia 1989:930-937.
  • Nicholson K.E.,. Paterson A.V, and P.M. Richards. 2000. Anolis sagrei (brown anole) cannibalism. Herpetological Review 31:173-174.
  • Parmley D. 2002. Northernmost record of the brown anole (Anolis sagrei) in Georgia. Georgia Journal of Science 4:191.
  • Rocus D.S. and F.J. Mazzotti. 1996. Reptiles of Southern Florida. UF/IFAS Florida Cooperative Extension Service document WEC71.
  • Schwartz A. and R.W. Henderson. 1991. Amphibians and reptiles of the West Indies: descriptions, distributions, and natural history. University of Florida Press, Gainesville.
  • SREL (online). Lizards of South Carolina and Georgia University of Georgia Savannah River Ecology Laboratory, Herpetology program.
  • Wardle D.A. 2002. Islands as model system for understanding how species affect ecosystem properties. Journal of Biogeography 29:583-591.
  • West-Eberhard M.J. 2983. Sexual Selection, Social Competition, and Speciation. Quarterly Review of Biology 58:155-183.
  • Williams E.E. 1969. The ecology of colonization as seen in the zoogeography of anoline lizards on small islands. Quart. Rev. Biol. 44:345-389.
  • Williams E.E., 1983. Ecomorphs, faunas, island size, and diverse endpoints in island radiations of Anolis. In R. B. Huey, E. R. Pianka, and T. W. Schoener (eds.), Lizard Ecology: Studies of A Model Organism. pp. 326-370. Harvard University Press, Cambridge, Massachusetts.
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General Ecology

Territory size of individual or pair about 37 sq m; home range of male larger than that of female; population size fluctuates annually on some islands, relatively constant on others; density less than 0.5/sq m, highest in areas of intermediate insolation (Schwartz and Henderson 1991).

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Life History and Behavior

Behavior

Communication and Perception

The brown anole produces no audible sounds and therefore relies mostly on body language and physical appearance to communicate. The male knows that the female is ready to mate by the tilting of her head. The female knows when the male wants to mate when he displays his dewlap and bobs his head. Males communicate by their physical size, the smaller males will submit to the intimidation of the larger males and often back off, although mouth fights until death can occur between closely matched males.

These anoles perceive their environment via scent, sight, touch, and sound.

Communication Channels: visual ; tactile

Perception Channels: visual ; tactile ; acoustic ; chemical

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Cyclicity

Comments: Becomes active later in the day than most other anolines (but may be active under rocks 0800-1000 h; peak activity generally at midday; often feeds around electric lights until at least 2230 h (Schwartz and Henderson 1991).

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Life Cycle

Development

Norops sagrei follows typical lizard development from an egg to a juvenile to an adult. Hatchlings are 15-18 mm long (snout to vent). and are usually seen in early June. They are independent at birth, very conspicuous and fast developers. Brown anole hatchlings will reach sexual maturity before their first breeding season, the following summer (at approximately 1 year old).

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Life Expectancy

Lifespan/Longevity

The brown anole can live up to of 5 years in the wild, and 8 years in captivity. Very few brown anoles live this long in the wild though, and the average lifespan in captivity is about 4 years.

Average lifespan

Status: wild:
5 years.

Range lifespan

Status: captivity:
8 (high) years.

Average lifespan

Status: captivity:
4 years.

Average lifespan

Status: captivity:
4 years.

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Reproduction

Oviductal eggs observed April-October in southern Florida; reproduction also minimal in winter in Caribbean, but ovigerous females present in all months (Lee et al. 1989). Lays single eggs. Eggs hatch in about a month (Behler and King 1979). Egg deposited on 14 July hatched 29 August (Schwartz and Henderson 1991).

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Little research is available on the brown anole for its mating system, however there is research available in this area on its close relative, the green anole (Anolis carolinensis). The green anole exhibits "female-defense polygyny" which is when the male patrols the outskirts of the females' territories that he will mate with in order to keep other males away. The number of females per male is usually a few females to every one male. The female moves to where the male can see her when she is ready to breed. She signals the male to approach by cocking her neck so the male can grab on with his mouth. These are brief encounters (1-2 minutes) when the male makes the final decision if he will copulate with her or not. Seventy percent of the time the male lets go of the female to search for a suitable mate. When copulation does occur, it usually lasts between 30 and 60 minutes. The female anole then finds the right spot in moist soil, mulch or leaf litter to dig a small hole and lay her egg (usually a single egg, sometimes two).

Mating System: polygynous

Most often, the adult brown anole breeds seasonally in the summer months (generally March or April until August or September). During this time, the female lays one or two eggs at a time on a weekly or bi-weekly basis for the entire breeding season. She generally lays between 15 and 18 eggs per breeding season. Such a short egg-laying period is possible due to the fact that she can alternate the use of her right and left ovaries. Females are also usually sexually active for a slightly longer period than males, because they can store sperm and continue to fertilize their own eggs after the normal breeding period ends for males. In order for the female to successfully lay her eggs, she must have moist soil or leaf-litter to lay them in and an environment high in humidity.

Breeding interval: The brown anole breeds once every one to two week period, although copulation is not always necessary that often to obtain sperm since the female brown anole can store sperm for an extended period of time, sometimes for the entire breeding season.

Breeding season: The adult brown anole establishes its territory and breeds during the summer months (March or April), defending its space and breeding through August or September. However, in many tropical locations, the brown anole may breed year-round due to the stabilized warm weather, which is needed for breeding and egg-laying.

Range number of offspring: 0 to 2.

Average gestation period: 7 weeks.

Average age at sexual or reproductive maturity (female): 1 years.

Average age at sexual or reproductive maturity (male): 1 years.

Key Reproductive Features: iteroparous ; seasonal breeding ; gonochoric/gonochoristic/dioecious (sexes separate); sexual ; fertilization ; oviparous ; sperm-storing

Most anole research available pertaining to parental care was conducted on green anoles, a closely related species. After the female has deposited her egg, she covers it up and abandons the site. Further parental care is neither given nor necessary since the egg is hardy enough to survive and hatch on its own. The surface of brown anole eggs can be described as being covered with small, but recognizable, longitudinal marks. The egg(s) hatch 6-8 weeks later and the anole hatchlings are on their own. They must rely completely on instinct to catch food in order to survive.

Parental Investment: pre-fertilization (Provisioning, Protecting: Female)

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Breeding in Florida populations of adult brown anoles occurs in spring and summer with individuals establishing breeding territories in March or April and defending them for the next five to six months (Lee et al. 1989). Territorial fighting in males is fierce, with combatants repeatedly fighting by locking jaws and knocking one another from their perch (Estrada and Rodriguez 1986). During the breeding season, males display their extended dewlaps as a component of agonistic same-sex interactions and also in courtship behavior directed toward females (West-Eberhard 1983).Gordon (1956) reported that females lay single eggs approximately every week throughout the breeding season, but other studies indicate that two eggs per clutch is typical. Oviposition alternates between the left and right ovaries with each clutch (Gordon 1956).
  • Brown P.R. and A.C. Echternacht. 1991. Interspecific behavioral interaction of adult male Anolis carolinensis (Sauria: Iguanidae): A preliminary field study. Anolis Newsletter IV:21-30.
  • Campbell T.S. 1996. Northern range expansion of the brown anole Anolis sagre in Florida and Georgia. Herp. Review 27:155-157.
  • Campbell T. S. 1999. Consequences of the Cuban brown anole invasion: it's not easy being green. Anolis Newsletter V:12-21.
  • Campbell T.S. 2000. Analyses of the effects of an exotic lizard (Anolis sagrei) on a native lizard (Anolis carolinensis) in Florida, using islands as experimental units. Unpublished Ph.D. Dissertation, University of Tennessee, Knoxville, TN.
  • Campbell T. 2002. The Brown Anole (Anolis sagrei Dumeril and Bibron 1837). The Institute for Biological Invasions: The Invader of the Month, February 2001. (Available online).
  • Campbell T.S and G. Gerber. 1996. Natural History: Anolis sagre: Saurophagy. Herp. Rev. 27:106.Cochran P.A. 1989. Anolis sagrebehavior. Herp. Rev. 20:70.
  • Collette B.B. 1961. Correlations between ecology and morphology in anoline lizards from Havana, Cuba and southern Florida. Bull. Mus. Comp. Zool. 125:137-162.
  • Corkscrew Swamp Sanctuary Guide to Common Lizards. Published online by National Audubon Society.
  • Duellman W.E. and A. Schwartz. 1958. Amphibians and reptiles of southern Florida. Bulletin of the Florida State Museum 3:181-324.
  • Frank N. and E. Ramus. 1995. A Complete Guide to Scientific and Common Names of Reptiles and Amphibians of the World. NG Publishing inc., Pottsville, PA. 377 p.
  • Estrada A.R. and Novo Rodriguez J. 1986. Subnicho estructural de Anolis sagrai en Cayo In?s de Soto Cuba. Analisis intra-y extraboblacional. Poeyana 320:1-13.
  • Gordon R.E. 1956. The biology and biodemography of Anolis carolinensis carolinensis Voigt. Unpublished Ph.D. Dissertation. Tulane University, New Orleans LA.
  • Greene, B. T., D. T. Yorks, J. S. Parmerlee, R. Powell, and R. W. Henderson. 2002. Discovery of Anolis Sagrei in Grenada with Comments on Its Potential Impact on Native Anoles. Carribean Journal of Science 38:270-272.
  • King W. and T. Krakauer. 1966. The exotic herpetofauna of southeast Florida. Quart. J. Florida Acad. Sci. 29:144-154.
  • Kolbe J.J., Glor R.E., Schettino L.R., Lara A.C., Larson A., and J.B. Losos. 2004. Genetic variation increases during biological invasion by a Cuban lizard. Nature 431:177-181.
  • Lee J.C. 1985. Anolis sagrei in Florida: Phenetics of a colonizing species I. Meristic characters. Copeia 1985:182-194.
  • Lee J.C., Clayton D., Eisenstein S., and I. Perez. 1989. The reproductive cycle of Anolis sagrei in southern Florida. Copeia 1989:930-937.
  • Nicholson K.E.,. Paterson A.V, and P.M. Richards. 2000. Anolis sagrei (brown anole) cannibalism. Herpetological Review 31:173-174.
  • Parmley D. 2002. Northernmost record of the brown anole (Anolis sagrei) in Georgia. Georgia Journal of Science 4:191.
  • Rocus D.S. and F.J. Mazzotti. 1996. Reptiles of Southern Florida. UF/IFAS Florida Cooperative Extension Service document WEC71.
  • Schwartz A. and R.W. Henderson. 1991. Amphibians and reptiles of the West Indies: descriptions, distributions, and natural history. University of Florida Press, Gainesville.
  • SREL (online). Lizards of South Carolina and Georgia University of Georgia Savannah River Ecology Laboratory, Herpetology program.
  • Wardle D.A. 2002. Islands as model system for understanding how species affect ecosystem properties. Journal of Biogeography 29:583-591.
  • West-Eberhard M.J. 2983. Sexual Selection, Social Competition, and Speciation. Quarterly Review of Biology 58:155-183.
  • Williams E.E. 1969. The ecology of colonization as seen in the zoogeography of anoline lizards on small islands. Quart. Rev. Biol. 44:345-389.
  • Williams E.E., 1983. Ecomorphs, faunas, island size, and diverse endpoints in island radiations of Anolis. In R. B. Huey, E. R. Pianka, and T. W. Schoener (eds.), Lizard Ecology: Studies of A Model Organism. pp. 326-370. Harvard University Press, Cambridge, Massachusetts.
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Growth

The eggs are typically laid under decaying vegetation on the ground and hatch within 60-90 days (Corkscrew Swamp Sanctuary Guide to Common Lizards), as opposed to an approximate 1-month incubation period for greens anole eggs. Hatchlings emerge at about 15-18 mm snout-to-vent length beginning in June (Duellman and Schwartz 1958).
  • Brown P.R. and A.C. Echternacht. 1991. Interspecific behavioral interaction of adult male Anolis carolinensis (Sauria: Iguanidae): A preliminary field study. Anolis Newsletter IV:21-30.
  • Campbell T.S. 1996. Northern range expansion of the brown anole Anolis sagre in Florida and Georgia. Herp. Review 27:155-157.
  • Campbell T. S. 1999. Consequences of the Cuban brown anole invasion: it's not easy being green. Anolis Newsletter V:12-21.
  • Campbell T.S. 2000. Analyses of the effects of an exotic lizard (Anolis sagrei) on a native lizard (Anolis carolinensis) in Florida, using islands as experimental units. Unpublished Ph.D. Dissertation, University of Tennessee, Knoxville, TN.
  • Campbell T. 2002. The Brown Anole (Anolis sagrei Dumeril and Bibron 1837). The Institute for Biological Invasions: The Invader of the Month, February 2001. (Available online).
  • Campbell T.S and G. Gerber. 1996. Natural History: Anolis sagre: Saurophagy. Herp. Rev. 27:106.Cochran P.A. 1989. Anolis sagrebehavior. Herp. Rev. 20:70.
  • Collette B.B. 1961. Correlations between ecology and morphology in anoline lizards from Havana, Cuba and southern Florida. Bull. Mus. Comp. Zool. 125:137-162.
  • Corkscrew Swamp Sanctuary Guide to Common Lizards. Published online by National Audubon Society.
  • Duellman W.E. and A. Schwartz. 1958. Amphibians and reptiles of southern Florida. Bulletin of the Florida State Museum 3:181-324.
  • Frank N. and E. Ramus. 1995. A Complete Guide to Scientific and Common Names of Reptiles and Amphibians of the World. NG Publishing inc., Pottsville, PA. 377 p.
  • Estrada A.R. and Novo Rodriguez J. 1986. Subnicho estructural de Anolis sagrai en Cayo In?s de Soto Cuba. Analisis intra-y extraboblacional. Poeyana 320:1-13.
  • Gordon R.E. 1956. The biology and biodemography of Anolis carolinensis carolinensis Voigt. Unpublished Ph.D. Dissertation. Tulane University, New Orleans LA.
  • Greene, B. T., D. T. Yorks, J. S. Parmerlee, R. Powell, and R. W. Henderson. 2002. Discovery of Anolis Sagrei in Grenada with Comments on Its Potential Impact on Native Anoles. Carribean Journal of Science 38:270-272.
  • King W. and T. Krakauer. 1966. The exotic herpetofauna of southeast Florida. Quart. J. Florida Acad. Sci. 29:144-154.
  • Kolbe J.J., Glor R.E., Schettino L.R., Lara A.C., Larson A., and J.B. Losos. 2004. Genetic variation increases during biological invasion by a Cuban lizard. Nature 431:177-181.
  • Lee J.C. 1985. Anolis sagrei in Florida: Phenetics of a colonizing species I. Meristic characters. Copeia 1985:182-194.
  • Lee J.C., Clayton D., Eisenstein S., and I. Perez. 1989. The reproductive cycle of Anolis sagrei in southern Florida. Copeia 1989:930-937.
  • Nicholson K.E.,. Paterson A.V, and P.M. Richards. 2000. Anolis sagrei (brown anole) cannibalism. Herpetological Review 31:173-174.
  • Parmley D. 2002. Northernmost record of the brown anole (Anolis sagrei) in Georgia. Georgia Journal of Science 4:191.
  • Rocus D.S. and F.J. Mazzotti. 1996. Reptiles of Southern Florida. UF/IFAS Florida Cooperative Extension Service document WEC71.
  • Schwartz A. and R.W. Henderson. 1991. Amphibians and reptiles of the West Indies: descriptions, distributions, and natural history. University of Florida Press, Gainesville.
  • SREL (online). Lizards of South Carolina and Georgia University of Georgia Savannah River Ecology Laboratory, Herpetology program.
  • Wardle D.A. 2002. Islands as model system for understanding how species affect ecosystem properties. Journal of Biogeography 29:583-591.
  • West-Eberhard M.J. 2983. Sexual Selection, Social Competition, and Speciation. Quarterly Review of Biology 58:155-183.
  • Williams E.E. 1969. The ecology of colonization as seen in the zoogeography of anoline lizards on small islands. Quart. Rev. Biol. 44:345-389.
  • Williams E.E., 1983. Ecomorphs, faunas, island size, and diverse endpoints in island radiations of Anolis. In R. B. Huey, E. R. Pianka, and T. W. Schoener (eds.), Lizard Ecology: Studies of A Model Organism. pp. 326-370. Harvard University Press, Cambridge, Massachusetts.
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Molecular Biology and Genetics

Molecular Biology

Statistics of barcoding coverage: Anolis sagrei

Barcode of Life Data Systems (BOLDS) Stats
Public Records: 0
Specimens with Barcodes: 2
Species With Barcodes: 1
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Conservation

Conservation Status

National NatureServe Conservation Status

United States

Rounded National Status Rank: NNA - Not Applicable

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NatureServe Conservation Status

Rounded Global Status Rank: T5 - Secure

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National NatureServe Conservation Status

United States

Rounded National Status Rank: NNA - Not Applicable

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NatureServe Conservation Status

Rounded Global Status Rank: G5 - Secure

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This abundant species is not believed to be in need of special conservation efforts.

US Federal List: no special status

CITES: no special status

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Relevance to Humans and Ecosystems

Benefits

Economic Importance for Humans: Negative

There are no known adverse affects of Norops sagrei on humans, although some may consider this species abundance in urban areas a nuisance.

The introduced population of this species in mainland southeastern North America seems to be affecting the native species of anole there, but there doesn't seem to be any direct affect on human welfare.

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Economic Importance for Humans: Positive

This species eats pest species of arthropods, including cockroachs and spiders. It's not clear whether they eat enough of these to have a significant affect on the arthropod populations, but many people believe the do.

Humans may also benefit directly from pet trade, since the brown anole is popular among pet lizard owners.

Positive Impacts: pet trade ; controls pest population

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Wikipedia

Brown anole

Close up of a female
Male extending dewlap

The brown anole (Anolis sagrei), also known as the Bahaman anole or De la Sagra's Anole,[1] is a lizard native to Cuba and the Bahamas. It has been widely introduced elsewhere, by being sold as a pet lizard, and is now found in Florida and as far north as southern Georgia, Texas, Taiwan, Hawaii, Southern California,[2] and other Caribbean islands.

This species is highly invasive.[3] In its introduced range, it reaches exceptionally high population densities, is capable of expanding its range very quickly, and both outcompetes and consumes many species of native lizards.[4][5][6] The brown anole's introduction into the United States in the early 1970s[7] has altered the behavior and triggered a negative effect on populations of the native Carolina anole (Anolis carolinensis, also known as the green anole), which have generally been relegated to the treetops.

Description[edit]

The brown anole is normally a light brown color with darker brown to black markings on its back, and several tan to light color lines on its sides. Like other anoles, it can change color, in this case a darker brown to black. Its dewlap ranges from yellow to orange-red. The males can grow as large as their green anole male counterparts, around 17.8–20.3 cm (7–8 in) long, with some individuals topping 22.9 cm (9 in). The females are also around the size of female green anoles: 7.6–15 cm (3–6 in). The male brown anole's head is smaller than that of the male green anole. Also, the brown anole's tail has a ridge that travels all the way up to behind the head, a feature the green anole lacks.

Shedding[edit]

Brown anoles molt in small pieces, unlike some other reptiles, which molt in one large piece. Anoles may consume the molted skin to replenish supplies of calcium.[citation needed] In captivity, the molted skin may stick to the anole if humidity is too low. The unshed layer of skin can build up around the eyes, preventing the lizard from feeding and leading to starvation. This can be prevented by maintaining high humidity.

Diet[edit]

Brown anoles feed on insects such as crickets, moths, grasshoppers, cockroaches, mealworms, and waxworms, as well as other arthropods, including spiders. They may also eat other lizards, such as the green anole, lizard eggs, and their own molted skin and detached tails. If near water, they eat aquatic arthropods or small fish – nearly anything that will fit in their mouths.

Predation[edit]

As a defense mechanism, brown anoles can detach most of their tails when pursued or captured. The piece that breaks off will continue to move, possibly distracting the predator and allowing the anole to escape. The lost tail will partially regrow.[8] If provoked, the brown anole will bite, urinate, and defecate. Predators include rats, snakes, birds and many larger predators.

Recent work in experimentally introduced populations in the Bahamas has shown that body size in the brown anole may not be affected by predation, as was previously thought.[9]

Showing back markings of female

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Common Name: Anole - Bahaman". The Central Pets Educational Foundation. Retrieved 2014-02-08. 
  2. ^ Gary Nafis (2013). "Non-Native Reptiles and Amphibians Established In California". CaliforniaHerps.com. Retrieved 2013-02-01. 
  3. ^ Kolbe, J.J., R.E. Glor, L.R. Schettino, A.C. Lara, A. Larson and J.B. Losos 2004. 'Genetic variation increases during biological invasion by a Cuban lizard Nature 431:177-181
  4. ^ Losos, J.B., J.C. Marks and T. W. Schoener. (1993). Habitat use and ecological interactions of an introduced and a native species of Anolis lizard on Grand Cayman, with a review of the outcomes of anole introductions. Oecologia 95:525-532
  5. ^ Campbell, T.S. 2000. Analysis of the effects of an exotic lizard (Anolis sagrei) on a native lizard (Anolis carolinensis) in Florida, using islands as experimental units. PhD Thesis, Univ. of Tennessee
  6. ^ Gerber, G.P. and Echternacht, A.C. 2000. Evidence for asymmetrical intraguild predation between native and introduced Anolis lizards. Oecologia 124: 599-607.
  7. ^ R.D. and Patti Bartlett (2013). "Choosing a Brown Anole". PetPlace dot com. Retrieved 2013-01-16. 
  8. ^ Casanova, L. 2004. "Norops sagrei" (On-line), Animal Diversity Web. Accessed July 31, 2008
  9. ^ Calsbeek, R., and R.M. Cox. (2010). Experimentally assessing the relative importance of predation and competition as agents of selection. Nature 465:613-616.
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Names and Taxonomy

Taxonomy

Comments: This species was placed in the genus Norops by Guyer and Savage (1986) and Schwartz and Henderson (1988). Guyer and Savage (1986) divided the long-standing genus Anolis into multiple genera based on a reanalysis of some published data sets. Schwartz and Henderson (1988) adopted this classification, but Williams (1989) found serious errors and confusions in the reanalysis and vigorously rejected the multi-genus classification, as did Cannatella and de Queiroz (1989). Subsequently, Schwartz and Henderson (1991) reverted to the one-genus classification. Guyer and Savage (1992) presented further justification for their multi-genus classification.

See Burnell and Hedges (1990) for an electrophoretic analysis of relationships of West Indian Anolis.

Subspecies luteosignifer of Cayman Islands and nelsoni of the Swan Islands have been regarded as a separate species by some authors. In need of further taxonomic study (Schwartz and Henderson 1988).

Florida population is morphologically most similar to populations in Cuba, but constitutes a phenetic unit now distinguishable from all others, possibly the result of microevolutionary adjustment to the novel Florida environment (Lee, Copeia 1992:942-954).

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