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Anolis carolinensis carolinensis
Yellowish-green lizard with white underside. This Anole was checking out a snail. It was so funny to watch it stalk and lick it. After discovering that it was no longer interested, it kept hunting up a tree. "It is also sometimes referred to as the American chameleon due to its ability to change color from several brown hues to bright green. While many kinds of lizards are capable of changing color, anoles are closely related to iguanas and are not true chameleons. The Carolina is a small lizard; male adults are usually 15 cm (5.9 in) long in adulthood, about half of which is its tail, and it can weigh from 3–7 g (0.11–0.25 oz). The color spectrum is a result of three layers of pigment cells or chromatophores: the xanthophores, responsible for the yellow pigmentation; cyanophores, responsible for the blue pigmentation, and melanophores, responsible for the brown and black pigmentation when the background is other than green and the anole changes color to camouflage itself." - Wikipedia
Wild and established in the San Diego Zoo. This is the second spotting of this species wild at the zoo and was near the entrance. "Native to southern and southeastern North America, from South and Central Texas to the Florida Keys and north to North Carolina, and the southern parts of Tennessee, Arkansas, and Oklahoma."
"As of 12/2012 this lizard has not appeared on any California state lists of introduced species. I am adding it now because it is apparently established around the San Diego Zoo in San Diego County. There have been enough sightings that I doubt they are all released pets. Of course, not until juveniles are found will this be confirmed. According to Jones, Lawrence, Rob Lovich, editors. Lizards of the American Southwest: A Photographic Field Guide. Rio Nuevo Publishers, 2009, a population of Green Anoles exists at the San Diego Zoo. They are also well-known from Balboa Park which surrounds the zoo. Personal communications with San Diego County herpers confirms their presence as of fall 2010. There is also a report of Green Anoles inhabiting a park in Carlsbad in San Diego County on FieldherpForum. I have also received information of a sighting of a single anole in the Rancho Carrillo area of Carlsbad. There is a voucher specimen in the Los Angeles County Museum of Natural History collection of a lizard found in Northridge in 1980." - California Herps
Spotted on May 18, 2013
Submitted on May 19, 2013