Backyard Wildlife

Karl watched this Brown Anole show up on the fence directly across from our kitchen window about the same time each day. He basked in the sun, and scurried around after minuscule insects which he promptly ate. Sometimes he disappeared after that, but on occasion he sat and displayed his dewflap prominently.

Perhaps better known as a Cuban Anole, this lizard did in fact originate in Cuba and migrated to Florida at some point in the 1800s. Finding Florida very much to their liking, the species moved right in and is now regarded as invasive, taking over the territory once dominated by the native Green Anole. We rarely see Green Anoles in our yard, but we see the Cuban Anoles all the time.

When we first moved to this house in the 1990s our young nephew looked forward to the annual family visit to chase after and catch them, and those memories later inspired his sister to write a children’s book called “The Lizard” which she self-published. The anoles easily slip into the screened pool area where the cat then engages in pursuit. They are part of our backyard wildlife and although invasive made their way into family memories.

Karl noticed one other thing as he photographed this particular anole. The displaying of the dewlap occurred when another anole showed up. The purpose of the display is generally to challenge a rival male, or impress a local female. Based on size and the white dorsal stripe, the anole below that sat near this male is definitely a female.

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