In a recent post, AA mentioned Janson Jones’ (Dust Tracks on the Web) report on catching a magnificent knight anole. Turns out that Jones is not only a kindred spirit, but a keen observer and an excellent photographer. Over the course of the last few days, he has posted a series of stories of observations of Florida anoles that are worth checking out.
Just a few comments. In “Clash of the Anole Titans” (photo above), he tells of a territorial battle between two male green anoles. Ultimately, the fight concludes when one male loses his grip and falls to the ground. Those who study the functional capabilities of anoles are always surprised at the great sticking ability of the anole toepad, much greater than is needed to support the lizard’s body weight (anoles can hang from a single toe!). Perhaps this ability has evolved, not for every day living, but for exceptional circumstances, such as prolonged, hand-to-hand combat or hanging on to a mini-van.
In another post, Jones notes that A. carolinensis is apparently much less common than it used to be in his youth. The key, though, is “apparently.” In contradiction to those who suggest that the introduced brown anole is threatening the survival of the greens, Jones suggests that the greenies are simply moving up into the tree to get out of the way. Given that browns and greens coexist in many places in the Caribbean, including Cuba where they both evolved, and that when together, green anoles are always much more arboreal, I suspect that Jones is exactly right, and that the presence of browns has led the greens to revert to their ancestral habitat, re-establishing the niche relationships evolved in Cuba so many millions of years ago.
Jones also recounts tales of A. distichus and A. sagrei. Catch ’em all at Dust Tracks on the Web.