Brown Anole

Brown Anole Anolis sagrei

Type of Animal:

Tropical/subtropical disturbed areas, areas w/ open vegetation, open sites/areas, suburban areas, urban areas, neighborhood yards, smaller plant/shrub areas, ground areas, tree areas, tree crowns, tree trunks, shrub/vine/fence/tree areas, fences, building walls, sheltered areas, ornamental plants, potted plants, tropical/subtropical forest edges, hammocks, pinelands, moist forest, scrub forest, savanna, grassland, boats/ships, canoes, kayaks, vehicles, school yards, golf courses, vegetated gas station parking lots, grocery stores, shopping centers

Native to Cuba, Bahamas, & surrounding islands. Introduced to most other Caribbean islands as well as SE US, Hawaii, S California, Mexico, Central America, parts of South America, & Taiwan.

Fairly small light brown lizard w/ darker markings on back & lighter coloration on sides. Males larger than females w/ more noticeable dewlaps, juveniles more colorful. Many individuals have grayish coloration as well. Adults can change coloration.

Insects, insect larvae, grubs, spiders, smaller lizards (including juveniles of own species & juveniles of other anoles), lizard eggs, aquatic arthropods, fish, fruit, leafy greens, nectar, vegetables

Status in Wild:

Often found in harem groups of a male & around 5 females. Other males solitary. 

Additional Info:

Young: Hatchling
Group: Leap

Male: 0.21-0.28 oz
Female: 0.1-0.14 oz

2 months

Life Span:
3-5 years

Body Length:
Male: 2-7 in
Female: 1.6-4 in

Tail Length:
Male: 8-8.8 in
Female: 7.7-8 in

Main predators of adults are other lizards (including larger anole species & larger conspecifics), snakes, birds, carnivorous/omnivorous mammals, tarantulas, wandering spiders, jumping spiders, large centipedes, frogs, crocodilians, predatory katydids, & mantids. Many lizards (including conspecifics & green anoles), spiders, centipedes, whip scorpions, frogs, & Venus flytraps prey on juveniles. Large spiders, mantids, & katydids sometimes eaten by anoles.

These lizards have spread from native range due to accidental stowaways in planes/ships/vehicles, escaped pets, plant stowaways, & deliberate release into the wild. In areas shared w/ green anoles, they often displace & compete w/ native greens as well as prey on their young though green anoles prey on young browns as well. In other introduced areas, they introduce parasites/diseases. 

Invasive in much of introduced range due to adaptability & competing w/ native lizards.

Males often head-bob & display dewlap to rivals as well as do push-ups. If this doesn’t work, they’ll wrestle & even bite each other. Sometimes, these fights result in death.

Fun Fact(s):
These lizards very inexpensive & are often kept as pets.

They can detach tail as defense mechanism & removed tail piece can actually continue moving, allowing escape.

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