Orange Anolis in South Florida

New minor color variants appear every once in a while, but it’s always interesting to find something completely different.  This, to the best of my knowledge, is something completely different.  I’ve found a few of these guys running around, and most had very similar colors.  Considering their size (and presumptive age) I wonder if they were from the same clutch, or if a single breeding pair yielded this Punnett square anomaly.

I think the concept of cryptic coloration isn't on his mind.

Both of the males I had time to annoy/photograph (and the one female that was slightly less photogenic) exhibited the usual traits of A. sagrei.  From the heavier build and shorter snouts, as well as the bolder attitude than our native carolinensis (I think the dewlap display was more for me than anything else; even when I was three feet away with a rather bulky camera, both males stood their ground), they would definitely fit the profile. But they’re not structurally an exact match to sagrei’s either. I don’t have a great head-on shot, but they’re narrower.  Considering the insect population in the area I can’t say it’s from undernourishment.  They move and jump more like carolinensis as well. They just don’t seem to be a differently-colored sagrei.  Maybe there’s a little A. cristatellus in there.

So what exactly is our bold little friend here?

I’m not the first one here to wonder what hybridization would yield and what cool little recessive traits could come from it, but I haven’t seen nearly enough specimens to suggest it’s a morph that may stick around- whatever it’s source.

About sleepinggecko

Computer nerd and amateur herpetologist. I've worked with a few reptile breeders on a number of different species; both as a handler and a photographer. In the end, my best work is still from natural areas in South Florida (from the Everglades to Ocala National Forest) and more recently in Gainesville (in places like Paynes Prairie).
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9 Responses to Orange Anolis in South Florida

  1. Janson Jones says:

    A few years back, I saw some strongly orange-ish sagrei in Gainesville, Florida, specifically at Kanapaha Botanical Gardens just west/north of Paynes Prairie. Interestingly, this same area (Kanapaha) also had some orange cottonmouths and orange banded watersnakes. Don’t know how/why, but I couldn’t help but to notice all those orange tones back in 2006/2007. I need to get back down there and see what’s shaking these days…

    ~ janson

    Editor’s note (11/9/11): Janson has provided a photo of the orange sagrei, as well as other orange critters from Kanapaha, here

  2. marthamunoz says:

    What a beautiful sagrei! Cybotes can sometimes get that color on the top of their heads, but I’ve never seen it on the whole body. Just lovely.

  3. There was a post this past summer on AA about this topic. Checl out what they had to say about the subject:

  4. sleepinggecko says:

    Now that’s a name from the past! I used to catch your photos on DeviantArt 100 years ago. After a hiatus from the place (as it turned into facebook2.0 and the ‘art’ part of the site became inane anime drawings) I came back to find your account deactivated, and Floridana powered down. Great to see you (and your work from the fun end of the camera)!

    I have caught sight of an oddly-orange-pigmented cottonmouth at Paynes Prairie near the edge of Chacala Pond, but nothing else that exciting. Interestingly enough, this isn’t the first time someone has suggested it may be a regional/environmental issue. This sounds like a fun thesis project some day…

  5. sleepinggecko says:

    I’m actually the last comment (I just signed it “B.”) in the thread… Jonathan Losos suggested I renew the topic to see if someone has new input on the sightings.

  6. Janson Jones says:

    Heh. Ah, deviantArt. That was fun for awhile — until, as you so beautifully described it– the site was overrun by inane anime. (Mental Note to Self: if I ever start an emo-goth-pop band, name it “Inane Anime”…)

    You’ve got me now wanting to compose an orange-themed post on Dust Tracks featuring the Kanapaha herps in all their Halloween gaudiness. It’ll be fun tracking through those images. I definitely want to get back down there. Alachua is rich, rich, rich.

    Now, can we find some anime of anole ninjas conquering a giant robotic iguana? If so, I bet it’ll be on deviantArt.

  7. Scantlebury says:

    I first saw one of these males at a friend’s herp collection in 2007 – it seems this is indeed a polymorphism in Florida. This friend was raising a number (> 8) of hatchlings in the cages with the adult pair (they hatched in situ) but none of them showed the striking coloration, although they were clearly several weeks old.

  8. cybokatKat says:

    I did… found a population with some super red males once somewhere North-East. Lets see if I find the picture…

  9. Pingback: Color Variants at Kanapaha Botanical Gardens, Florida (2006) | dust tracks on the web

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