The Carolina anole (Anolis carolinensis) is an arboreal lizard found primarily in the southeastern United States and some Caribbean islands. Other common names include the green anole, American anole and red-throated anole. It is sometimes referred to as the American chameleon due to its ability to change color from several brown hues to bright green; however, many lizards are capable of this, and anoles are not true chameleons. The Carolina is a small lizard; male adults are usually 6 inches long in adulthood, about half of which is its tail, and it can weigh from 3–7 grams (0.11–0.25 ounce). Exceptionally, these anoles can measure up to 20 centimetres (7.9 inches).
Coloration and color morphsEdit
The typical coloration for a green anole ranges from the richest and brightest of greens to the darkest of browns, with little variation in between. The color spectrum is a result of three layers of pigment cells or chromatophores: the xanthophores, responsible for the yellow pigmentation; cyanophores, responsible for the blue pigmentation, and melanophores, responsible for the brown and black pigmentation when the anole is cold or stressed.
A lack in one of the pigment genes causes color exceptions. These color mutations are also called phases. The rare blue-phased green anole lacks xanthophores, which results in a blue, rather than red, often baby or pastel blue, anole. These specimens have become popular recently in the pet trade market. When the anole is completely lacking xanthophores, it is said to be axanthic and the animal will have a completely pastel or baby-blue hue. They are extremely rare—usually produced in one of every 20,000 individual anoles in the wild. Another phase is the yellow-phased green anole, which lacks cyanophores. Colonies of these rare color-phased anoles have been reported, but anoles with these color mutations rarely live for long, since the green color provides camouflage for hunting down prey, as well as hiding from predators.
Turning brown indicates distress. Some catchers prefer not to catch a Carolina anole that turns brown, so as to avoid causing undue stress to the animal.
In the UK
At least 2 breeding pairs