Oriente Knight/Smallwood’s Anole

Oriente Knight/Smallwood’s Anole Anolis smallwoodi

Type of Animal:

Mangroves, shrubland, isolated fig stands, coffee plantations, semideciduous forest, evergreen forest, gallery forest, rainforest

E Cuba

Deep-green often w/ blue spots, males have orangish/pinkish dewlaps, long wedge-shaped snout (looks like knight’s helmet), long tail

Insects, insect larvae, grubs, worms, spiders, tree frogs, smaller lizards, birds

Status in Wild:

Breeding in zoos & herpetoculture

Solitary or breeding trios of a male & 2 females
Additional Info:

Young: Hatchling
Group: Leap
Male: 4 oz
Female: 2.5 oz

2-3 months 

Life Span:
6-10 years

Body Length:
Male: 10 in
Female: 8 in

Tail Length:
Male: 20 in
Female: 16 in

Main predators are snakes, cats, & birds.
Dewlap on males used to attract females, threaten rival males, & make themselves appear larger to predators.
They’re arboreal (tree-dwelling).
Active during the day (diurnal).
Often obtain water by licking it off leaves.
Breed from March-September.
Females dig hole for egg (s) w/ snout. Usually lay 1-2 eggs per clutch but 1-6 a season.
Coloration aids in camouflage for hiding from predators & catching prey.

Fun Fact(s):
Males extremely territorial, sometimes fighting to the death. Before fighting, they’ll sit high on all fours, gape menacingly, & head-bob. Females also fight over territory (sometimes violently) but not as intense as males.
Mating can be rough w/ males sometimes biting female’s neck hard enough leaving lacerations & scars. After neck bite, they intertwine tails & he inserts hemipenis into female’s cloaca.
Very shy in the wild & can be rather defensive in captivity. They do have strong jaws/sharp teeth.
Often called “chipojo” in Cuba, meaning “chameleon” or “climbing big green lizard.”
Occasionally kept as pets but rather uncommon in captivity.
Oriente Knight/Smallwood’s Anole, Lincoln Park Zoo, taken by me

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