Anolis sagrei sagrei Cuban Brown Anole Like all lizards, anoles are equipped with moveable eyelids and external ear holes. Adults molt about every month, casting off skin in bits and pieces. Their feet differ from most lizards in that each toe has adhesive pads (lamellae) on its central portion, enabling the anole to climb and cling to vertical surfaces such as walls, fence posts, trees and leaves, on which they spend much of their time.

Green and Cuban Brown anoles are generally about 5 to 8 inches long. Females are usually smaller and can be under 5 inches long. The long, slender tail of the anole (which makes up about half of its length) may break off at the slightest pressure and continue to wiggle on the ground, distracting would-be predators. But, no fear, the lizard’s tail grows back over several weeks to once again serve as a quick get-a-way aid.

Another striking feature of the anole is its dew lap, or throat fan. It is attached to the throat and displayed by means of a flexible rod of cartilage which can be swung downward and forward, thereby revealing a brightly colored patch of skin. Males display their dew lap during courtship and when defending territory. This display is often accompanied by a series of head-bobs and push-ups.

Food Habits

Anoles eat small insects and bugs. They stalk them in shrubs, in vines, on walls and even window screens. It is not unusual to see them gobbling-up wood roaches or other bugs and insects that have been disturbed when we work in the garden. It is amazing to see these little lizards grabbing and swallowing prey almost as big as they are. Anoles only eat live prey as the prey must move to be detected by the lizard.


Green anoles breed anywhere from late March to early October. Females can lay single eggs every two weeks. These eggs, which look like smaller, leathery versions of a chicken egg (1/4-3/8") are buried in the soil and are often found while digging in the garden. If disturbed, please cover them back-up lightly with garden soil. The eggs hatch after anywhere from 5-7 weeks.


Cats, children, snakes and birds are the biggest threats in the life of an anole. While you may be tempted, taking them as pets is not recommended. Please leave them to their lives as one of Florida’s Natural Pest Control Technicians. They do much better outside in the “wild” than they would do caged in the house.

By the way, if one of these little guys finds his or her way into your house, cornering them and gently capturing them in your hands to release them outside is highly recommended. They can live in the house for a short time, but will probably not find enough food, moisture or warmth to live very happily. The next time you see the little lizard it may be as a dried-up little skeleton next to the window. Also, when you do capture them, they will attempt two defensive moves, first they will open their little mouths to bite you, don’t fear, if they do bite you you will hardly notice it, their teeth are too tiny to do any damage. In fact, when we were kids growing up in Florida we used to capture these little guys and latch them onto our earlobes as living-lizard-earrings. The anole’s second defensive move will be to poop in your hand when captured. Don’t worry, the poop is pretty tiny too, nothing too terribly disgusting, but be sure to wash your hands with soap and water after contact with these lizards (or any reptile for that matter) as they may possibly harbor salmonella.

Nikon D70s
F5.6, 1/250
3/10/09 – 456/52

All photos © Donna Adamski and may not be used, copied, reproduced, modified, transmitted, stored, printed, downloaded, or transferred in any way or form without written consent. Any exploitation of the content, for personal or commercial use, whether in whole or in part, without express written permission is strictly prohibited. All rights reserved. My images do NOT belong to the public domain.

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  • Heavenandus777
    Heavenandus777over 5 years ago

    WOW! He is Getting his Spring Skin, Great shot Donna

  • Thanks a bunch Anna :)

    – Donna Adamski

  • dpennyor
    dpennyorover 5 years ago

    LOL… cute fella and I just love your titles you come up with!!

  • LOL…Sometimes they just pop!! Thank you so much Dennis :)

    – Donna Adamski

  • jujubean
    jujubeanover 5 years ago

    Eck! he really needs some cream for that! LOL just kiddin. amazing capture!

  • LOL…some cream wouldn’t hurt!! Thanks a bunch Juju :)

    – Donna Adamski

  • cougarfan
    cougarfanover 5 years ago

    Cool Shot Donna:))))))))))))))))xoxoxoxo

  • Thank you so much Trena :)

    – Donna Adamski

  • Dave & Trena Puckett
    Dave & Trena P...over 5 years ago

    wow! amazing shot!

  • Thanks a bunch my friend :)

    – Donna Adamski

  • Susan  Kimball
    Susan Kimballover 5 years ago

    eewww, grossly wondrous image Donna!!

  • LOL…these guys are so cool!!! Thank you much Susan :)

    – Donna Adamski

  • DoreenPhillips
    DoreenPhillipsover 5 years ago

    Earrings…..hahahaa….OG …You have sush a way with Critters....×....Magical Capture….x

  • LOL…I found out a couple things today about nature….the lizard eats the skin!! Kinda gross, but this one was! And wasps not only go after caterpillars (they kill them, roll them into a ball and place it in the nest and lay an egg – that’s what the larvae feed on), they go after the butterflies, too. I watched a Yellow Jacket wasp, chase after a Monarch several times. I wanted some wasp spray!! LOL Thanks sweetie :)

    – Donna Adamski

  • Anne Gitto
    Anne Gittoover 5 years ago

    Very interesting shot, perhaps lucky. But you probably spend lots of time in nature to get this.

  • Believe it or not, most of my nature shots are taken in my fenced backyard!! I saw this guy while taking some butterfly pics!! But yes, I do spend a lot of time outside. Thanks sweetie :)

    BTW…is Paul OK? I heard from him lately!

    – Donna Adamski

  • Jeff VanDyke
    Jeff VanDykeover 5 years ago

    Great shot Donna!!!

  • Thank you so much Jeff….I don’t see them shedding often, but there are lots of them running around my yard trying to hide from the dogs!! :)

    – Donna Adamski

  • melant1017
    melant1017over 5 years ago

    WOW! This is an awesome capture, well done Donna :-)


  • Thanks so much Antonio…it was cool to see, don’t see it often! :)

    – Donna Adamski

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