Lizard, lizard, lizard

Types of small lizards


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FIGURE 1. Anoles are alert lizards for good reason: they are preyed upon by cats, birds and snakes.

FIGURE 2. Male anoles have a pink colored throat fan (called a dewlap), which is used in both territorial and courtship displays. Anoles grow to 5-7 inches in length.

FIGURE 3. Anoles are often seen sunbathing, especially on cool days during early spring and late fall and also during mild winter days.

FIGURE 4. Anoles are often called chameleons because they can change color from green to brown and vice versa, which can be triggered by temperature, background color or “mood.”

Quick Facts

Common Name:

Green anole lizard

Anolis carolinensis

Size: Adults grow to 5-7 inches in length

Insect predator

Reproduction:

Breeding occurs March through November in the Galveston-Houston region. Adult females lay eggs throughout the spring and summer months. Eggs are laid one at a time and buried in moist soil, rotten stumps or logs, or forest floor litter.

Prey:

Primary prey are insects. Also preys on other types of invertebrates such as spiders.

Occurrence:

Widespread across the county

Additional Notes: Color changes from green to brown (and vice versa) can be triggered by temperature (including time of year), background color or "mood"

The Master Gardeners learn early in their training to be prepared to receive several rather intriguing questions over the Master Gardener Hot Line. One question that is always asked during spring and summer seasons is “We have noticed several green-colored lizards on the plants in our yard that look like the animated gecko in TV commercials. Are they harmful?”

TV commercials may be informative in terms of marketing claims but stay with The Discovery Channel, PBS and the Galveston County Extension Office for the educational facts of nature!

Lizards make up one of the most diverse and successful groups of modern reptiles. The green lizard that Texas Gulf Coast gardeners frequently observe in their yards is called several names including garden lizards, the changeable lizards and changeable anoles. Many gardeners have also been referring to this lizard as a gecko even before the advent of memorable commercials on television. However, true geckos are a distinctly different type of lizard.

Source: aggie-horticulture.tamu.edu

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