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Conservation :


Carolina-anole males that encounter rival males frequently find it is an introduced and invasive brown anole (Anolis sagrei). When browns first appeared in the United States in the early 1900s,[10] the Carolinas ceded their ground-level territories and were relegated to a very different ecosystem high in the treetops. On occasion, a more aggressive Carolina anole may be seen closer to the ground and in competition with the brown anoles.


Currently A. carolinensis is abundant in its area of distribution, and is able to thrive in disturbed areas, so is not considered threatened, but the brown anole represents a theoretical threat in the future.[3]

Carolina anole ( Anolis carolinensis ) :

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia


The Carolina anole (Anolis carolinensis) is an arboreal lizard found primarily in the southeastern United States and some Caribbean islands. Other common names include the American green anole, American anole, and red-throated anole. It is also sometimes referred to as the American chameleon due to its ability to change color from several brown hues to bright green and its somewhat similar appearance (though it is not a true chameleon).

Anolis carolinensis

Conservation status




Least Concern (IUCN 3.1)[1]

Scientific classification








Species:A. carolinensis

Binomial name

Anolis carolinensis
Voigt, 1832[2]


A. c. carolinensis
A. c. seminolus

Contrasting colors

Description :


The Carolina anole is a small to medium-sized lizard, with a slender body. The head is long and pointed with ridges between the eyes and nostrils, and smaller ones on the top of the head. The toes have adhesive pads to facilitate climbing. They exhibit sexual dimorphism, the males being fifteen percent larger. The male dewlap (throat fan) is three times the size of the female's and red, whereas that of the female is white.[3]


Adult males are usually 12.5–20.3 cm (4.9–8.0 in) long, with about 60-70% of which is made up of its tail, with a body length up to 7.5 cm (3.0 in) and can weigh from 3–7 g (0.11–0.25 oz).[3][4][5][6]


-  Coloration and color morphs :


Colour varies from brown to green and can be changed like many other kinds of lizards, but anoles are closely related to iguanas[7] and are not true chameleons. Although A. carolinensis is sometimes called an 'American chameleon', true chameleons do not naturally occur in the Americas, and A. carolinensis is not the only lizard currently in its area of distribution capable of changing colour. In contrast, many species of true chameleons display a greater range of color adaptation, though some can hardly change color at all.[3][8]

The typical coloration for a green anole ranges from the richest and brightest of greens to the darkest of browns, with little variation in between. The color spectrum is a result of three layers of pigment cells or chromatophores: the xanthophores, responsible for the yellow pigmentation; cyanophores, responsible for the blue pigmentation, and melanophores, responsible for the brown and black pigmentation when the background is other than green and the anole changes color to camouflage itself. The anole changes its colors whether cold or hot or by mood. The bright light, against foliage, it appears emerald in colour, but in shadier, cool or moist conditions grey to olive brown. However the color change is not simply a matter of matching background, but rather body temperature, stress and activity. Green reflects activity and bright light, whereas brown reflects reduced activity in moist, dark cool conditions.[3][8]


A lack in one of the pigment genes causes color exceptions. These color mutations are also called phases. The rare blue-phased green anole lacks xanthophores, which results in a blue, rather than red, often pastel blue, anole. These specimens have become popular recently in the pet trade market. When the anole is completely lacking xanthophores, it is said to be axanthic and the animal will have a completely pastel- or baby-blue hue. They are extremely rare—usually produced in one of every 20,000 individual anoles in the wild. Another phase is the yellow-phased green anole, which lacks cyanophores. Colonies of these rare color-phased anoles have been reported, but anoles with these color mutations rarely live for long, since the green color provides camouflage for hunting down prey, as well as hiding from predators.



Anolis carolinensis on Star Jasmine, South Carolina, demonstrating camouflage

Taxonomy :


Anolis carolinensis is a species of the large Anolis genus of lizards within the Dactyloidae family (anole lizards). Within the genus, thirteen species have been identified as a distinct clade, referred to as the Anolis carolinensis series of anoles. This group are mid-sized trunk crown anoles large, conspicuously elongated heads and extreme levels of sexual dimorphism. The species was named by Friedrich Siegmund Voigt (1781 - 1850) in 1832.[2]


Two subspecies are accepted, Anolis carolinensis carolinensis and Anolis carolinensis seminolus, found in the northern and southern reaches of the species distribution respectively, and hence are also known as the northern and southern green anoles.


Distribution and habitat :


This species is native to North America, where it is found mainly in the warm southeastern parts of the continent. Anoles are most abundant on the Atlantic Coastal Plains in North Carolina, South Carolina, Georgia and Florida, and on the Gulf Coast in Alabama, Mississippi, Louisiana, and Texas, where they extend inland as far as Dallas County. They have been found as far north as northern Tennessee and southeastern Virginia. In the Carolinas they are found in the coastal plains and southern piedmont of North Carolina, but throughout South Carolina,[8] while in Georgia they are widespread except in the Blue Ridge region.[3]


The species has been introduced into Hawaii and the Ogasawara Islands. They have been sighted in Orange County and San Diego County of southern California, with sightings in San Diego going at least as far back as 1993.[9]


A. carolinensis is arboreal in nature but may be seen on the ground and frequently seen on shrubs in the low country of the Carolinas, but is also a common sight in urban areas on steps and railings, adjacent to foliage. It is common on roadsides, the edges of forests where there are shrubs and vines, but also building sites having abundant foliage and sunlight. Their preferred habitat is moist forests, and brushy clearings.[3][8]

Behavior :


Male anoles are strongly territorial creatures. Some have even been witnessed fighting their own reflections in mirrored glass. The male will fight other males to defend his territory.[11] On sighting another male, the anole will compress his body, extend the dewlap, bob his head and attempt to chase the rival away. If the rival male continues to approach, anoles will fight. Their territory, which is about 1 m3(35 cu ft), usually includes two to three females.[3][8]


The Carolinian anole is diurnal and active throughout the year, peaking in spring and fall. Winter activity is dependent on sun and temperature.[3]

Carolina anoles fighting

Diet :


An anole's diet consists of small insects such as crickets, grasshoppers, spiders, flies and other arthropods.[3][8] Many people who keep these lizards as pets feed them mealworms, grubs, maggots, and small crickets.

Anole displaying at its reflection

Predators :


Major predators include the broadhead skink, snakes and birds. Like many lizards, anoles display autotomic tails, which continue to move when broken off. This distracts the predator and helps the anole to escape. A new tail then starts to develop.[3] The new tail, however, will not grow back to the same length as the previous one.

Carolina anole licking

Carolina anole eating a moth

Carolina anole eating a dragonfly

Reproduction :


The typical breeding season for green anoles starts as early as April and ends in late September, gonadal activity being largely regulated by photoperiod, enlarging in spring as the weather warms up and days lengthen, and then regressing in late summer.[3][8]


During this time, the males patrol their territory and most brilliant displays of these creatures can be seen, as the males defend their territory and females, while courting the females with their elaborate displays of extending their brightly colored dewlaps while bobbing up and down, almost doing a dance. The dewlap is also used to ward off other males. The male courts and pursues a female until the two successfully mate. Usually, when the female is ready to mate, she may let the male simply "catch" her and he will thus grasp a fold of her skin above her neck area, or she will bow her head before him and simply "let" him take his grasp. At this point, the male will position his tail underneath the female's near her vent and mating will take place.


The female matures one ovarian follicle at a time, the ovaries alternating in production. The sight of a courting male induces ovarian development, sexual receptiveness and then ovulation. About two to four weeks following mating, the female lays her first clutch of eggs, usually one or two in the first clutch. She can produce an egg every two weeks during the breeding season, until about 10 eggs have been produced. However, she can store sperm for up to eight months following mating. She then buries the soft shelled eggs in a shallow depression in soft soil, leaf litter, compost, rotting wood or even a hole in a nearby tree. Eggs average 12.5 mm (0.49 in) by 9.3 mm (0.37 in) in size.[3]


The eggs are left to incubate by the heat of the sun, and if successful, will hatch in about five to seven weeks (30–45 days) from late May to early October. On hatching, the hatchlings are 52–67 mm (2.0–2.6 in) in length.[3][8]


The hatchlings must fend for themselves; anoles are by nature solitary animals since birth, and are not cared for by either parent. The young hatchlings must be wary of other adult anoles in the area, as well as larger reptiles and mammals, which could eat them. Younger anoles differ from adults in having less obvious head ridges, a wider head and shorter tail. They mature in about eight months.[3]

Carolina anoles mating

Juvenile male

Captivity :


Green anoles may or may not adapt readily to cage life. Care must be used to make them happy to the best of one’s ability to compensate and aid them in adapting. Green anoles' nervous natures makes it advisable not to attempt to handle them very often.


Green anoles live in a terrarium such as a 20-gallon aquarium, or larger, with numerous plants lining the back and sides of the cage. Leave an open area in the front center as a place that feeder insects can be dropped in clear view of hungry green anoles. Be sure to add a suitable calcium supplement to the feeder insects before providing them to the anole. Green anoles like to leap down on potential prey and engulf it. Provide a heat light over some of the highest plants so green anoles can bask directly below it. Water is best administered with a mist bottle or a water dish. Wet the leaves so the drops of water can be lapped off. A small corner-set water bowl is also good to have present.

Genomics :


This species has been chosen as a model reptile for genomics by the National Human Genome Research Institute genome sequencing program.[12] It was selected because of the ease and low cost of laboratory breeding and evolutionary value of the diversity of the genus.[13] In 2011, the complete genome of this lizard was sequenced and published in Nature.[14] Before its genome was published, only mammals and three bird species had been sequenced among amniotes.[15] The draft genome sequence is 1.78 Gb (compared with 2.0–3.6 Gb mammalian and 0.9–1.3 Gb avian genome assemblies), of which 27% are mobile elements such as LINEs. A total of 17,472 protein-coding genes and 2,924 RNA genes were predicted from the A. carolinensis genome assembly.[16]

Female (Brown form)

Detail of head, brown

Detail of head, green

Female (brown) displaying dewlap

Male anole with extended dewlap

Color morph from green phase to brown phase

Male (Green form)

Video : 

For the external links , refrences  click here to read the full wikipedia article 

Carolina anole (Anolis carolinensis)

Care Articles :


1-   Green Anole Care Sheet :

courtesy to :



The humble green anole has been a mainstay in the pet reptile hobby for decades. The males have attractive throat pouches they use for territorial displays or when courting females.


Green Anole (Anolis carolinensis)


The most commonly kept and widespread of all species of Anolis, the green anole, indigenous to the southern United States, has been popular in the pet trade since the 1950s. With a dorsal coat of lime to emerald green (very rare and gorgeous specimens are tinted blue) and possessing a vibrant, pinkish dewlap (accentuated in the males, reduced in the females), the green anole is an agile climber and acute visual hunter of spiders, grasshoppers and other insect prey. Green anoles are personable little lizards that seem to enjoy being hand-fed, and they can make great “starter” reptiles for young and beginning hobbyists. That said, they do have some specialized care requirements.

Green Anole Availability :


The green anole has long been one of the most widely available species of lizard in the pet trade. Often sold as “feeders” (prey items for larger, reptile-eating species of snakes and lizards), green anoles are available at local pet shops, chain pet store retailers and from online sellers at very affordable prices; seldom does a green anole command more than a $10 price-tag.


Green Anole Size  :


Male green anoles may grow to 8 inches, while females seldom exceed 5 to 6 inches.  Young hatch at three-quarters to 1 inch in length. With a SVL (snout-to-vent length) of a large adult male being roughly 4 inches, fully half a green anole’s length is its tail. The head of the green anole is spear-shaped or triangular in form; the large eye sockets accommodate this diurnal hunter’s keen eyes.


A lithe species, the green anole is an agile and muscularly built animal. Older males are more heavy-bodied than their female counterparts. These slender lizards are lightweight for their length, which allows them to move through their canopy and vegetation with greater ease.


Hatchlings will reach sexual maturity in 18 months, and adults will continue to grow throughout the duration of their lives. Sexual dimorphism also exists in that males sport larger dewlaps and females have a whitish to cream-colored stripe down the midline of the dorsum.


Green Anole Life Span  :


While captive longevity may reach or slightly exceed six years, wild specimens seldom thrive for more than three years.


Green Anole Housing :


Vertically oriented terrariums are preferable, as taller enclosures better accommodate the arboreal green anole’s needs. Air circulation is important, so a well-ventilated terrarium is recommended. Vertically oriented vegetative cover is an absolute necessity; acrylic vines, plastic plants that adhere to the tank walls by way of suction cups and other such cover are highly recommended. Green anoles will sooner take refuge in suspended tangles of vegetation rather than in ground-level hides or caves.  


Green anoles are arboreal and require vegetation, either real or artificial, within their vertically oriented enclosures. 

Green Anole Lighting and Temperature :


Green anoles are sun-worshipping baskers, and eight hours of full-spectrum UV lighting per day is recommended. Ambient temperatures should range from the low-80s Fahrenheit during the day with nightly dips into the upper 60s to low 70s. Basking hot spots should reach the mid 90s.


Green anoles should be able to enter and exit warmer and cooler areas of the terrarium in order to thermo-regulate, because although they are baskers, green anoles definitely require shady retreats, as well. Owing to this species’ arboreal lifestyle, undertank heaters or hot-rock-style heaters are largely ineffectual as heat sources. Heat lamps (both daytime and nighttime, or moon-glow style, bulbs) work best as heating sources for a green anole enclosure.


Green anoles seem to thrive better when their terrarium is slightly elevated, such that they may look out into your home at eye-level. Achieve this by placing your anole’s enclosure on a shelf or on top of a piece of furniture. In nature, green anoles dwell in trees and other lofty locations, and anything you can do in arranging and orienting your anole’s enclosure to better simulate this elevated lifestyle is highly recommended. Being down lower can make them nervous, especially if there’s a fair amount of activity in the vicinity of their cage.


Green Anole Substrate :


Substrata to avoid are oily or resinous or scented substrates, such as pine shavings, wood shavings, or scented paper towels. Excessively dry substrate, such as any type of sand, is also not recommended, because the green anole is a temperate species that does not naturally occur in excessively arid areas. Untreated soil or bark substrates, mixed with decaying leaf-litter work well for green anoles.


The green anole is a slender species, and though it may tolerate handling and sit on a keeper’s shoulder, it’s better kept as a display animal. 

Green Anole Food :


Green anoles will eat small invertebrates such as crickets, mealworms, farm-raised maggots, roaches (genus Blaptica), and all other insect fare. Avoid superworms or kingworms, as these possess sharp, powerful mandibles that can injure your anole. Wild-caught insects, such as grasshoppers and leafhoppers, make great supplements to your green anole’s diet, but make certain that any and all wild insects offered to your pets are free of pesticides, herbicides and any other dangerous agricultural chemical.


Green Anole Water :


Wild green anoles typically lap water from leaves after a rain shower, or before the sun dries an early-morning dew. Some pets may drink standing water from a shallow dish, but all green anoles will drink water misted onto the leaves and walls of their terrarium. If you do opt to provide a water dish, be sure it’s shallow; green anoles cannot escape from deep or steep-walled water dishes and will quickly drown in deep water. Placing a stick or vine in the water dish will ensure your green anoles an escape route should one be necessary.


Green Anole Handling and Temperament :


Green anoles tolerate gentle handling, and they will usually prefer to perch upon a keeper’s hand or shoulder, rather than be tightly gripped. They are fragile lizards, and their tails will break easily, so while they do tolerate gentle interaction with their keepers, it’s best to keep handling to a minimum. Newly acquired green anoles should not be handled soon after purchase; give your new pets a week or two to adapt to their new surroundings before handling them. Children should be supervised whenever handling green anoles, and anyone who handles them (or any other reptiles) should always wash their hands with antibacterial soap afterward.




Phil Purser has been writing about reptiles and amphibians since 2001. His book, Insect-Eating Lizards (TFH Publications, 2008), features green anoles and other insectivorous lizards.



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