Photo 2626904, (c) Roberto R. Calderón, some rights reserved (CC BY-NC)

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Original http://www.inaturalist.org/photos/2626904
Associated observations

Photos / Sounds

What

Green Anole Anolis carolinensis

Observer

aguilita

Date

June 14, 2015

Description

Green Anole (Anolis carolinensis)

14 June 2015: This past summer we experienced one of many encounters we’ve had over the years here at the Avondale Park and Cooper Creek area of northeast Denton, Texas, and which we’ve been able to document mainly by taking pics of this most interesting creature with which we coexist. Usually we see Green Anole (Anolis carolinensis) in our plants, the flower pots or near to blossoms or in the leaf litter when the weather gets to freezing in winter and plants must be brought inside temporarily. If there’s any rustling in the leaf litter that’s managed to fall in the potted plant, count on it being Green Anole. In such cases we manage to let Green Anole outside where it can then fend for itself. Green Anole loves flies and little things that fly and thus it will perch itself in opportune places where it can have encounters with the same. Sometimes you will see Green Anole upside down on the outside walls of the home or trees and this usually means it is scavenging as well. To be sure there’s a successful if not healthy breeding population of Green Anole in our immediate area of Avondale Park and Cooper Creek because encounters with it occur annually. But on one of our most recent encounters this past summer Green Anole was taking the long walk on the top edge of our fence going from Point A to Point B and only it knew the purpose of this long hike. It was there that these digital images of Green Anole were captured and they are some of our favorite images to date of the many we’ve managed to generate over the past so many years. We hope you enjoy these as much as we did taking them. Because of its extensive native range throughout the Southeast of the United States including Texas (and other areas where it's been introduced) and North America by extension, Green Anole is an authentic resident of the Western Hemisphere.

Green Anole first appeared some 2.59 million years ago, so says the Encyclopedia of Life.
Here’s an extended quote from the entry for Green Anole in the Encyclopedia of Life regarding its possible declining numbers in the United States despite calling its population “stable” for the time being and the interest scientists have in studying it: “The green anole has been a particularly important organism for study in the scientific community, and has been successfully used as a model system for studying neurological disorders and for studying drug delivery systems and biochemical pathways relevant to human illnesses. They have also been essential for scientific progress in understanding other aspects of physiology and behavior in animals. The Genus Anolis, which includes over 350 recognized species, also serves as a group of major interest for exploring the evolutionary diversification; of particular interest is the repeated convergent pattern of adaptive radiation on islands of the Greater Antilles, producing on each island essentially the same set of habitat specialists adapted to use different parts of the environment. As a result, in 2005, the scientific community overwhelmingly chose the green anole lizard as its first target species for reptilian genome sequencing. In recent years, populations of A. carolinensis have apparently become less common, although no data are available. This decline is correlated with massive habitat alteration and the introduction of the brown anole (Anolis sagrei) from Cuba. Anolis carolinensis is derived from A. porcatus on Cuba, which coexists with A. sagrei. One possibility is that the presence of A. sagrei in Florida has caused A. carolinensis to return to the more arboreal ecological niche occupied by A. porcatus.“

Sources:

“Anolis carolinensis,” Encyclopedia of Life, description, images, distribution discussed, accessed 11.8.15, http://eol.org/pages/795869/overview

“Green Anole,” Reptiles and Amphibians, Smithsonian National Zoological Park, photograph and description, accessed 11.8.15, http://nationalzoo.si.edu/animals/reptilesamphibians/facts/factsheets/anole.cfm

“Green Anole (Anolis carolinensis),” Savannah River Ecology Laboratory, Herpetology Program, photographs, description, and range map, accessed 11.8.15, http://srelherp.uga.edu/lizards/anocar.htm

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