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    (Click here to return to Creatures)

    Common Name:Green Anole
    Closeup of head
    Scientific:Anole carolinensis
    Size:5 to 9 inches long
    Color:Color changing from browns to greens
    Habitat:Sea level to 2,500 ft

    The Green Anole is a fairly long (9 inches) lizard that escaped from pet stores into the wild in the 1950s. Similar to a gecko, the tail of the lizard will separate from its body if threatened or picked up by a predator - and the tail will thrash for quite awhile to allow the lizard time to escape (the tail grows back). The Green Anole is common in backyards and gardens where it eats insects and provides a generally beneficial co-existence.

    I have a lot of Green Anole on my property. They love the pineapple plants and enjoy sitting and soaking up the sun on the broad leaves. The Green Anole pictured on this page actually lives on my upstairs lanai and nearby apricot tree and jade vine. He walks the railing once a day where he protects his turf from a neighboring Green Anole that lives in the liche tree. When the two notice each other, both of them hunch up and extend a half-dollar sized pinkish dewlap (flap of skin) from their throats and will bob up and down and hiss at each other. This lasts for about 3 minutes until they grow bored and move on. I have so far been unable to photograph the dewlap because as soon as I approach they retract it.

    Notice that the Green Anole I show here actually looks more brown than green. The Green Anole can change color from browns to vivid greens, grays and tans. The green is very bright - however, they tend to match the surface they are on - and this one is matching my porch rail. The Green Anole also changes color based on its emotional state and when they spot each other they can often flash to a different color.

    Anole with very long tail

    Up, down and all around

    Another cameo

    Ready to grab an insect

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    All images and content, unless otherwise indicated, are © 2004-2021 InstantHawaii / David Cook
    Nene photo in top graphics by Brenda Zaun