You can’t live in south Louisiana without running into one of these guys – the Green Anole is native to southeastern US and has spread to most of the region. They have also been introduced to Hawaii and have been spotted in California. Common in yards, the Anoles have adapted to coexist with most urban and suburban habitats.
Adult males are from 5 to 8 in long, 60-70% of which is made up of its tail. Anoles are typically bright green, although they can change colors from a variety of brown, yellow and green hues, making them sometimes mistakenly referred to as the American Chameleon. In fact, anoles are more closely related to the Iguana than the Chameleon. They change color depending on mood, level of stress, activity level and as a social signal, such as displaying dominance.
Anoles are fiercely territorial creatures; males can often be observed fighting other males to defend their territory. The anole will take a stance, bobbing its head, compressing its body and extending its ‘dewlap’, the red fold of skin under its neck. The two will circle each other in an attempt to drive the other away, occasional fighting. This can most often be seen during mating season.
Green Anoles are widely considered to be good beginner reptile pets. Their requirements are fairly minimal and they adapt well to captivity. Shy and timid at first, they can easily be tamed with patience, and some will even eat out of your hand!
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