Nonnatives - Brown Anole

Brown Anole - Anolis sagrei

 

Florida's Nonnative Wildlife. Species detail.

 

First year: 1887

Extirpated year:

Established status: Populations are confirmed breeding and apparently self-sustaining for 10 or more consecutive years.

Estimated Florida range: 52 counties  At least 10 years, 1 county  Less than 10 years

Statewide trend: Expanding

Brown Anole

Threats to natives: Anecdotal and some experimental evidence suggest that the brown anole is primarily responsible for reduced numbers of green anoles (Anolis carolinensis), particularly in human-altered habitats. Brown anoles displace green anoles to higher in trees, and adult male brown anoles sometimes prey upon smaller green anoles (e.g., Gerber 1991, Echternacht 1999, Campbell 2000).

 

Species Account: The brown anole is native to Cuba and the Bahamas, and it was first observed in the Florida Keys in 1887 (Garman 1887). It arrived in the major seaports of South Florida during the 1940s (Oliver 1950, Bell 1953) and had become firmly established in most large urbanized areas south of Gainesville by 1980 (Godley et al. 1981, Lee 1985). Peripheral populations continue to be established in the panhandle and northern peninsular Florida, Georgia, Louisiana, and Texas via motor vehicles (Campbell 1996) or transport of potted landscaping vegetation. Many of these peripheral populations are along major highways at rest areas, campgrounds, and hotels (Campbell 1996). Cold winters reduce these northern populations but enough individuals usually survive to maintain viable populations. Dense populations occur on nearly every dredge spoil island along the Intracoastal Waterway in the Indian River south of Melbourne (Campbell 1996). Anoles reach these islands by riding on boats or on firewood piles transported on boats by campers (Campbell 1996). This species thrives in disturbed habitats and ornamental plantings but can potentially inhabit almost any inland or coastal habitat in Florida. It is apparently the most abundant anole over much of the southern half of peninsular Florida, and populations now occur in every county in peninsular Florida (Campbell 2003). It often perches low in trees and shrubs but is quite terrestrial, often escaping by running along the ground. Males reach a length of 20 cm (8 in). The body is brown, and males often have bands of yellowish spots, whereas females and juveniles have a light vertebral stripe with dark, scalloped edges. The edge of the dewlap is white and appears as a stripe on the throat when not distended. The dewlap may vary in color from a bright red-orange to pale yellow. Two subspecies, the Bahaman (ordinatus) and Cuban (sagrei), could once be identified in Florida (King and Krakauer 1966), but they can no longer be recognized due to extensive intergradation (Lee 1985, 1987).

 

Habitats: Coastal upland, Estuarine community, Exotic plant community, Barren land, Low density suburban development, areas peripheral to core urban areas, and small towns, Agricultural habitat, Recently disturbed, early successional community, Pine Rockland, Flatwoods, Xeric Uplands

 

Region First Year Extirpated Year   Breeding status  Notes
NORTH CENTRAL 1980s

 

At least 10 years

 

NORTHEAST 1985

 

At least 10 years

 

SOUTHWEST

 

 

At least 10 years

 

SOUTH 1887

 

At least 10 years

 

 

County First Year Extirpated Year Breeding Status Notes
ALACHUA 1980

 

At least 10 years Gainesville (Wygoda and Bain 1980)
BAKER 1995

 

Less than 10 years near MacClenny (Campbell 1996)
BAY 1989

 

At least 10 years Panama City Beach (Means 1990a)
BRADFORD 2002

 

Less than 10 years Starke (Campbell 2003)
BREVARD 1988

 

At least 10 years Melbourne Beach (Cochran 1990)
BROWARD 1964

 

At least 10 years Port Everglades (King and Krakauer 1966)
CITRUS 1991

 

At least 10 years St. Martin's Aquatic Preserve (Stevenson and Crowe 1992a)
COLLIER 1979

 

At least 10 years (Godley et al. 1981)
COLUMBIA 1991

 

At least 10 years Lake City (Campbell 1996)
DADE 1951

 

At least 10 years Miami (Bell 1953)
DE SOTO 2002

 

Less than 10 years Morgan Park near Arcadia (Campbell 2003)
DIXIE 2002

 

Less than 10 years Horseshoe Beach (Campbell 2003)
DUVAL 1985

 

At least 10 years Jacksonville (Lee 1985)
FLAGLER 1995

 

Less than 10 years Bunnell (Campbell 1996)
FRANKLIN 1995

 

Less than 10 years St. George Island (Means 1996c)
GILCHRIST 2001

 

Less than 10 years Fanning Springs (Townsend et al. 2002)
GLADES 1976

 

At least 10 years Palmdale (Corwin et al. 1977)
HAMILTON 1995

 

Less than 10 years near Jennings (Campbell 1996)
HARDEE 1998

 

Less than 10 years (Christman et al. 2000)
HENDRY 2002

 

Less than 10 years Clewiston (Campbell 2003)
HERNANDO 2002

 

Less than 10 years 15 km east of Brooksville (Campbell 2003)
HIGHLANDS 1977

 

At least 10 years Lake Placid (Godley et al. 1981)
HILLSBOROUGH 1947

 

At least 10 years Tampa (Oliver 1950)
LAKE 1980

 

At least 10 years Alexander Springs State Park, Ocala National Forest (Campbell 2003)
LEE 1977

 

At least 10 years Sanibel Island (Funk and Moll 1979); Gasparilla Island (Godley et al. 1981)
LEVY 2001

 

Less than 10 years Chiefland (Townsend et al. 2002)
MARION 1979

 

At least 10 years Ocala (Godley et al. 1981)
MARTIN 2001

 

Less than 10 years Lake Okeechobee (Townsend et al. 2002)
MONROE 1887

 

At least 10 years Florida Keys (Garman 1887); Dry Tortugas (Winegarner et al. 1984)
NASSAU 1994

 

Less than 10 years Hero (Campbell and Hammontree 1995)
OKEECHOBEE 2002

 

Less than 10 years Okeechobee (Campbell 2003)
ORANGE 1978

 

At least 10 years Orlando (Godley et al. 1981)
OSCEOLA 1977

 

At least 10 years Ocala (Godley et al. 1981)
PALM BEACH 1941

 

At least 10 years Intentionally released in Lake Worth (Oliver 1950)
PASCO 1977

 

At least 10 years New Port Richey (Godley et al. 1981)
PINELLAS 1946

 

At least 10 years St. Petersburg (Oliver 1950)
POLK 1979

 

At least 10 years Bartow (Godley et al. 1981)
PUTNAM 1995

 

Less than 10 years Palatka (Campbell 1996)
SAINT JOHNS 1975

 

At least 10 years St. Augustine (Meylan 1977)
SAINT LUCIE 1977

 

At least 10 years Fort Pierce (Myers 1978d)
SARASOTA 1977

 

At least 10 years Lido Key (Godley et al. 1981)
SUWANNEE 2002

 

Less than 10 years Branford (Campbell 2003)
TAYLOR 2000

 

Less than 10 years Econfina River State Park (Townsend et al. 2002)
UNION 2002

 

Less than 10 years Branford (Campbell 2003)
VOLUSIA 1989

 

At least 10 years Bethune Beach (Campbell 1996)

 

References

Bartlett, R. D., and P. P. Bartlett. 1999. A field guide to Florida reptiles and amphibians. Gulf Publishing Company, Houston, Texas. 278pp.

Bell, L. N. 1953. Notes on three subspecies of the lizard Anolis sagrei in southern Florida. Copeia 1953:63.

Campbell, T. S. 1996. Northern range expansion of the brown anole (Anolis sagrei) in Florida and Georgia. Herpetological Review 27:155-157.

Campbell, T. S. 2000. Analysis of the effects of an exotic lizard (Anolis sagrei) on a native lizard (Anolis carolinensis) in Florida, using islands as experimental units. Dissertation, University of Tennessee, Knoxville, Tennessee, USA. 336pp.

Cambell, T. S. 2003. The introduced brown anole (Anolis sagrei) occurs in every county in peninsular Florida. Herpetological Review 34:173-174.

Campbell, T. S., and J. T. Hammontree. 1995. Anolis sagrei (brown anole). Herpetological Review 26:107.

Christman, S. P., C. A. Young, S. Gonzalez, K. Hill, G. Navratil, and P. Delis. 2000. New records of amphibians and reptiles from Hardee County, Florida. Herpetological Review 31:116-117.

Cochran, P. A. 1990. Anolis sagrei (brown anole). Herpetological Review 21:22.

Corwin, C. M., A. V. Linzey, and D. W. Linzey. 1977. Anolis sagrei sagrei (Cuban brown anole). Herpetological Review 8:84.

Echternacht, A. C. 1999. Possible causes for the rapid decline in population density of green anoles, Anolis carolinensis (Sauria: Polychrotidae) following invasion by the brown anole, Anolis sagrei, in the southeastern United States. Anolis Newsletter V:22-27.

Funk, R. S., and D. Moll. 1979. Anolis sagrei (Cuban brown anole). Herpetological Review 10:102.

Garman, S. 1887. On West Indian Iguanidae and on West Indian Scincidae in the collection of the Museum of Comparative Zoology at Cambridge, Mass., U.S.A. Bulletin of the Essex Institute 19:25-50.

Gerber, G. P. 1991. Anolis sagrei and Anolis carolinensis in Florida: evidence for interspecific predation. Anolis Newsletter IV:49-53.

Godley, J. S., F. E. Lohrer, J. N. Layne, and J. Rossi. 1981. Distributional status of an introduced lizard in Florida: Anolis sagrei. Herpetological Review 12:84-86.

King, F. W., and T. Krakauer. 1966. The exotic herpetofauna of southeast Florida. Quarterly Journal of the Florida Academy of Sciences 29:144-154.

Lee, J. C. 1985. Anolis sagrei in Florida: phenetics of a colonizing species I. Meristic characters. Copeia 1985:182-194.

Lee, J. C. 1987. Anolis sagrei in Florida: phenetics of a colonizing species. II: morphometric characters. Copeia 1987:458-469.

Means, D. B. 1990a. Anolis sagrei (Brown anole). Herpetological Review 21:96.

Means, D. B. 1996. Anolis sagrei (brown anole). Herpetological Review 27:151-152.

Meylan, P. A. 1977. Hemidactylus turcicus (Mediterranean gecko). Herpetological Review 8:39.

Myers, S. 1978d. Anolis sagrei (brown anole). Herpetological Review 9:107-108.

Oliver, J. A. 1948. The anoline lizards of Bimini, Bahamas. American Museum Novitates No. 1383. 36pp.

Oliver, J. A. 1950. Anolis sagrei in Florida. Copeia 1950:55-56.

Stevenson, D., and D. Crowe. 1992a. Anolis sagrei (brown anole). Herpetological Review 23:89.

Townsend, J. H., K. L. Krysko, A. T. Reppas, and C. M. Sheehy, III. 2002. Noteworthy records for introduced reptiles and amphibians from Florida, USA. Herpetological Review 33:75.

Winegarner, C. E., W. B. Robertson, Jr., and W. Hoffman. 1984. Anolis sagrei sagrei (brown anole). Herpetological Review 15:77-78.

Wygoda, M. L., and J. R. Bain. 1980. Anolis sagrei (Cuban brown anole). Herpetological Review 11:115.

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