Sunday, March 29, 2009

Work-related: Anolis sagrei

This little lady (pictured) is going to be going through some serious caffeine and sugar withdrawals in the next couple days. I found her in a garbage bag full of soda cans (long story), where presumably she'd been subsisting on drops of Pepsi since arriving in one of the tropicals on March 6.

We will probably be taking her to the city water treatment plant, where they have a terrarium set up in a lobby-like area (It's not quite a lobby. I don't know how to describe it any better than "lobby-like area."), which is where we took "pensive frog" over a year ago.

Some light Googling convinced me that this is a brown anole, Anolis sagrei, and a female one at that. We've seen one previously, but I didn't try to catch that one and it's probably dead now.

Or possibly this is the same lizard as that one, which would be weird. (Incidentally: I comment in the post about the previous lizard that I thought it was a little strange that it didn't try to save me 15% on my car insurance. The reason is that only geckos do that, and this is an anole. So it's nice to have an explanation for that, finally.)

Anyway. Brown anoles are an invasive species in Florida, Georgia, Hawaii, Texas and a few other places. They're native to the Bahamas, Cuba, and nearby islands, but have been introduced repeatedly and have a permanent population in Florida. In most of the areas where they've been introduced, they are the most abundant reptile species, which is more or less the reason why we get them accidentally shipped up to us in Iowa: there are just so many of them that they're everywhere, apparently.

Individuals live between 18 months and three years (this is debated fiercely in the anole-lifespan-measuring community -- which as you can imagine is small but close-knit), and my individual is about maximum size for a female so she probably, sadly, doesn't have that much longer to live.

Hopefully we can find her a nice retirement community somewhere soon, though.




Hermes said...

Perhaps Coca Cola should know about this and they can spin it into long-lived lizards and Coke addiction (they may phrase that better than me!).

our friend Ben said...

Oh no, Mr. S., and here I am dreaming of releasing anoles in my greenhouse for natural pest control! Can't believe you're letting yours head off to a retirement home when she could be eating aphids and the like. I have never stopped wanting anoles again since my sixth-grade pair, the Borgias (Cesare and Rodrigo). Thank God my mother let me raise mealworms for them in an oatmeal box in the fridge, despite her loathing of both bugs and reptiles. At the time, I didn't have the sense to realize what a sacrifice that was!

Paul Anater said...

Yes indeed that is a brown anole, sometimes known as a Cuban fence lizard. They are legion down here and even though they're an introduced and invasive species, they are why we don't have house flies in Florida. I've never seen them go after anything as small as an aphid, but to see one square off against a palmetto bug is drama itself. It's like a scaled down version of Godzilla versus Mothra. I hope your foundling enjoys her life in exile.

jodi (bloomingwriter) said...

Awwwww, she's sweet, Mr. Sub, and good on you for saving her. I hope she lives long and prospers in her new retirement community.

I succumbed to the clivia. You knew I would.

Anonymous said...

AWWW, that's so sad! A stray anole living in a garbage bag with Pepsi! That's so sweet that you found her a nice retirement pasture! I'm a sucker for happy endings.

Benjamin Vogt said...

Maybe they offer life or health insurance. Did you ask?

Anonymous said...

Woah yay, now that's my area of expertise! (meaning; I've been keeping and breeding anoles for 10 years now and I own every book and research written on them :D However, to believe or not the expert word credit in that sentence is entirely to your discretion.)

You're exactly right; that's a female A. sagrei. I am very happy to know you're doing something for the little creature. I really laughed at the "(this is debated fiercely in the anole-lifespan-measuring community -- which as you can imagine is small but close-knit)" part because it is so true! I'm on the side of those who think anoles can live much longer in captivity (like mines, 8 years!), but for a female, in the wild, 3 years is much closer to their life span in such conditions. (But I used to give tiny amounts of honey and chocolate to my eight years old anoles, and maybe the secret lies in the glucose-fructose ingredient for longevity.. (haha!) In the wild, they quite often lick nectar from flowers, so the Coca Cola shouldn't be too evil to her) Anyways~

Yay, +1 for Anole-friendly M. Subjunctive! :)

Water Roots said...

How cute. I love these little critters. And I'm so pleased to see that you found her a home where she can live out the rest of her life safely and comfortably.

sheila said...

At the garden center where I used to work, we had some sort of anole (can't remember if it was green or not). The assistant manager put together a cute little terrarium and moved him in there. I think we later added a stray tropical frog that came in on another shipment. It was actually quite a conversation piece - the customers, especially those with kids, really seemed to enjoy it. And the critters lived a long time.

retirement communities said...

We need to introduce those lizards into our area.