Green Anole Lizard: The camera “loves” her!

10 May

Maui and the other Hawaiian Islands are blessed with an abundance of small photogenic lizards: geckos visit our homes (they love bathrooms, especially shower stalls), skinks burrow in our flowerbeds and veg gardens, and anoles of every conceivable color seem to be hiding just about everywhere you look.

Male Green Anoles (Anolis carolinensis) use our patios (sorry… in the Islands its called a “lanai”) and concrete walks for sunning themselves, fighting amongst themselves, and attracting their very finicky mates.

When I go to pick up my mail during daylight hours, they scurry out of their perfectly safe hiding places and run out in front of my feet like suicidal pedestrians crossing a four-lane highway. Their most endearing trait (at least for appreciative nature photographers) is that they are so very willing to pose for the camera, particularly when they’re perched on a favorite tree limb or palm frond, from which they seem to know instinctively that they can make a quick escape if the camera lens gets a little too close for comfort.

Female Green Anole 1

A female Green Anole (Anolis carolinensis) resting among a dense patch of bromeliads. Ulupalakua, Maui.
(To see a larger version, click on the image.)

I encountered the little female Green with the cool “racing stripe” in these photos while photographing the native trees and flowering plants in the huge botanical gardens surrounding the old winery (yes, we make our own wine on the Island) at Ulupalakua (pronounced “oo-loo pah-la koo-ah” – I think it means “breadfruit ripened”). I discovered her stretched out on a thick bromeliad frond, staring fixedly at me and not trying very hard to blend in with her surroundings.

Female Green Anole 2

Miss Greenie posing nicely for me. Note the small “hole” just to the left of her eye: its her aural spiracle, or ear opening.
(Click on image to see a larger version.)

Some Nosey Naturalist Facts about Anoles

  • Anoles’ diets include live insects and other invertebrates, with crickets, spiders, and moths.
  • They possess brightly-colored dewlaps, made of erectile cartilage, that extend from their neck/throat areas; they’re used for territorial and sexual display. Their toes are covered with structures that allow them to cling to many different surfaces.
  • Their tails have the ability to break off at special segments to escape predators or rival males. The tail continues to wriggle strongly for several minutes after detaching. This ability is known as “autotomy.”
  • Anoles are diurnal, that is they’re only active during the daytime.
  • Some species of anoles exhibit sexual dimorphism, which allows one to discern between males and females fairly easily with the naked eye. In Green Anoles, the female is characterized by a pale dorsal stripe extending from the neck to the tail, a generally smaller body, and a smaller head with a shorter snout.
  • Several genera of Anolis sp. are present on Maui and the other Neighbor Islands.
Female Green Anole 3

Miss Greenie allowed me to sidle up next to her to get this nice profile shot.
(Click on image to see larger version.)

After about 45 minutes of nonchalant indifference to the presence of my camera lens, my reptilian model decided she’d had enough and began to slowly move away. She paused just long enough to give me a last backward glance…


My reptilian model spares one last backward glance, her expression seems to say “Next time I’m gonna charge you for my time!”

10 Responses to “Green Anole Lizard: The camera “loves” her!”

  1. Veltman at 11:05 AM #

    Pretty! This has been an incredibly wonderful post. Many thanks for providing these details.

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  3. Roblin at 10:35 PM #

    Oh my goodness! Impressive article dude! Thank you, However I am going through difficulties with your RSS. I don’t understand why I can’t subscribe to it. Is there anybody getting identical RSS issues? Anybody who knows the solution can you kindly respond? Thanks!!

  4. Michael's Woodcraft at 3:04 AM #

    thank you, I like your blog have really beautiful pictures and good information.

    That would be great… how do we do that?
    Handcrafted Woodwork

  5. Michael's Woodcraft at 3:57 PM #

    sorry, I posted the wrong link;; Caterpillars, Insects, Lizards and Newts

  6. Michael's Woodcraft at 3:55 PM #

    Love your pictures, we have alot of green anole lizards here in northern South Carolina mountains.

    check ou my picture,

  7. Lakendra Krupski at 2:40 AM #

    you have an awesome blog right here! would you like to make some invite posts on my blog?


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