Sunday, July 17, 2011

Creature Feature: Green Anoles.

When I went to Florida, I was chasing "chameleons" all the time. They were fast little buggers. I also knew, even at a young age, that they were not chameleons - chameleons were waaaay freakier and native to Africa.

Duuuude, you could acid trip on this lizard.

The "chameleons" in Florida and pet shops are really an agamid called the Carolina anole (Anolis carolinensis). They are native to the Southeastern United States and Caribbean Islands. They are one of the most popular pet lizards; most shops have the sense to label them as anoles, too.

Like chameleons, the green anole is capable of changing color. Again like chameleons, this is more a mood thing than a background thing. A stressed green anole will be brown and sluggish no matter what color it's on. If you want that kind of acid-trip camouflage, get a flounder. Neither chameleons nor anoles change color to blend in.

The males also have pretty red throats.

Green anoles are the generic green lizard kept in captivity. They are easy to breed, easy to feed (crickets and moths), and are currently having their genome mapped. Are they chameleons? No. Good starter lizards? Very yes.

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