Green Anole
Anolis carolinensis

Photo by JD Willson

Description: Adult green anoles reach 5-8 in. (12.5-20.3 cm). This diurnal lizard may appear completely green, green and brown, or completely brown. A pattern may also be present in the form of dark slate grey streaks or spots. When found with a brown coloration, many individuals may also have a lighter stripe down the back. The throat fan, or dewlap, of this species is bright pink.

Anoles typically feed on small insects and other arthropods such as butterflies, flies, crickets, and small grasshoppers.

Habitat/Range: Anoles range throughout the coastal plain and southern piedmont of North Carolina. They are commonly seen on fences, around old buildings, on shrubs or vines, on the ground, or in trees due to their adhesive toe pads.

Reproduction: Females lay one egg at a time throughout spring and summer. Usually they shallowly bury their eggs in soil, rotten wood, or similar material.

Miscellaneous: Adult males are very defensive of their territory against intruding males, and they use head bobbing both in defending their territory and courting females. The anole is sometimes called a "chameleon" because of its ability to change colors, but this color change is associated with temperature, stress, and various other environmental and behavioral factors.

Back to Lizards of North Carolina
Back to Herps of North Carolina

The shaded region represents the range of the green anole in North Carolina.

Photo by ME Dorcas Note the pattern on the back of this individual.
Photo by JD Willson
A green anole eating a katydid.
Photo by JD Willson

Photo by ME Dorcas

Photo by ME Dorcas

This website created by: J. Willson, Y. Kornilev, W. Anderson, G. Connette and E. Eskew.
For comments or questions contact M. Dorcas:
M. Dorcas homepage:
Davidson College, Davidson, North Carolina 28035-7118.

Partial Funding for this website provided by a Associate Colleges of the South, National Science Foundation, and Duke Energy.