Emerald Anole

Photo of the Emerald Anole, Lagartijo Verde

Emerald Anole (Eng.), Lagartijo Verde (Sp.), Anolis evermanni (Sci.).

Photos courtesy of: Father Alejandro Sánchez Muñoz. Information compiled by Alan Mowbray, Interpretive Media Writer, EYNF/LEF


General Information

Photo of an Emerald Anole changing color, Lagartijo Verde cambiando de color There are more than 200 species of Anolis lizards, of which 11 are known to exist in Puerto Rico. Anolis are tree and grass lizards of medium size and can be brightly colored. Males are larger than females and have a brightly colored dewlap which they extend when defending their territory or during courtship. Anolis have the ability to change color, but do so when they are exited rather than to blend in to the background as other lizard species do.



Photo of an Emerald Anole showing its dewlap, Lagartijo Verde mostrando su gaita Emerald Anole males are 7 centimeters (2.75 inches) snout-to-vent length, while females measure about 4.5 centimeters (1.75 inches). They are a bright emerald green in color. Emerald anoles have a flattened body, pointy snout and flattened head with short legs and large toe-pads. The male Anolis evermanni has a dewlap (under neck fan) that is yellow with brown scales, the female has a similarly colored but smaller dewlap. When excited, A. evermanni can change color from green to very dark (almost black) brown, passing through an intermediate yellowish-green stage.



Photo of the Emerald Anole, Lagartijo Verde The Emerald Anole is territorial; both males and females will defend their territories from others of the same species with a territorial exhibition consisting of push-ups, dewlap extension, tail-wagging, tongue extension, and so on. When all of this fails, a fight may begin consisting of pushing and biting with the defeated lizard retreating quickly. When in combat they make high-pitched growls and chirps. Females lay one egg at-a-time in leaf litter, below rocks and debris. The reproduction cycle usually occurs during the rainy season.



Photo of a juvenile Emerald Anole, Lagartijo Verde juvenil A. evermanni is found on perches of large diameter and at any height on the thick stems of bamboo and on palms on the upper green parts of the trunk, The species occurs mostly in the upper highlands of the Luquillo mountains and the Cordillera Central, but can also be found almost at sea level in wet forests.


Where to look for this animal in the EYNF

On bamboo and palm trees near Yokahu tower, on the Baño de Oro and El Yunque trails.

Additional Information

USDA Forest Service
El Yunque National Forest
HC-01 Box 13490
Rio Grande, PR 00745-9625


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