Discovering the Anole

Anole, Costa Rica

Green Anole, Costa Rica

The world of reptiles is a vast one.  In the lizard Order of Squamata alone, there are 7,000 species.  While birding in the jungles of Costa Rica, I came across a lizard species that was new to me:  the anole.


It is a common lizard, with 390 species in the genus Anolis, found primarily in North, Central and South America.  It’s pronounced a-NO-lee.


Our guided birding group was intimate, only seven of us, including a family from our small inn.  The parents photographed and birded, while their two teenage sons searched for reptiles.  We birders had plenty of exotic and colorful new birds to keep us busy and happy, but after a time I took an interest in the quiet activities of the two boys.


Anole, Costa Rica

Anole, Costa Rica

I come from rattlesnake country.  We leave rocks and logs alone.  So when I saw these two boys confidently rolling over rocks and digging in leaf debris, I was aghast.  But as the morning unfolded, the treasures the brothers shared were wonderfully enlightening.


They kept finding anoles everywhere.  A very small lizard that fit in the palm of one’s hand, of various colors and sizes.  More about the anole here.  These boys were experts at finding the reptiles, handling them, and treating them with love and respect.  (They found great frogs too, more about that from a previous post:  Poison Dart Frogs )


Green and Black Poison Dart Frog

Green and Black Poison Dart Frog

And now, when it’s cold enough that the rattlesnakes are still dormant, I find myself peeking under logs looking for newts and frogs.  It’s a big world under there!


Photo credit:  Athena Alexander


24 thoughts on “Discovering the Anole

    • They’re fun little creatures, aren’t they? Yes, they like the tropical weather. There are so many types of lizards, it is mind-boggling. Glad you enjoyed the post, Amy — and thanks so much for your comment. 🙂

    • I’ve read they have a lot of the green anole in Florida; was glad to get your confirmation, HJ. In California we have the western fence lizard running around everywhere, but not the green anole. Very glad you enjoyed the post, HJ. Always a treat to have you visit– 😀

  1. Reading this article meant a lot to me. When I was 11, I had a anole lizard called Gilbert (it was recently pointed out to me, how did I know his gender? I didn’t, he just looked like a ‘he’). I ‘rescued’ Gilbert from a pet shop where he was in a tiny jar next to a tarantula. Gilbert looked happier after, though my mum didn’t. He lived in a huge tank on top of my piano and would make my teacher nervous. I didn’t know much about him as back then there wasn’t much help for exotic pets, but we did ok. Now I know lots about anole lizards, and Gilbert. Thanks for posting Jet.

    • Well I started a new thing, and it’s that I wear garden gloves when I do it, and that’s helped. And in the summer when the rattlers are around, I do not do it. Many thanks, Elena! 😀

  2. Hi dearest Jet ! Seemingly, you killed two birds with one stone … Great post with wondrous details on Lizard’s big world … We have quite many species here in Greece,you see them basking in the hot sun only during summer,they disappear in winter,they hibernate like snakes.Lovely photos included,I particularly like the fluorescent green colours of the Green Anole and the dart frog.
    Take care and have a wonderful day 🙂 xxx

    • Hi Doda! Yes, the lizard world is a fun, one, isn’t it? Where I live the lizards hibernate in the winter too, and when they come out in the spring the earth is literally hopping. I am happy when they wake up. So glad you enjoyed the lizard discussion, dear Doda, and I love it when you visit. Thanks so much my friend! 😀 😀

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