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Species Description

Green Anole

Anolis carolinensis

Species Image


Phylum: Chordata
Subphylum: Vertebrata
Class: Reptilia
Order: Squamata Suborder: Lacertilia
Family: Polychrotidae


A green or brown lizard covered in small granular scales. Males have a pink colored throat fan (called a dewlap), which is used in both territorial and courtship displays. Green Anoles are also known as "chameleons" based on their ability to change color. The color varies from brown to mottled green and brown to pure green, depending on the anole's body temperature, activity or behavior. Adults average from 125 - 203 mm (5 - 8 in) in total length.

Life Cycle

Green Anoles lay their eggs throughout the spring and summer months. Eggs are laid one at a time and buried in moist soil, rotten stumps or logs, or forest floor litter. After an incubation period of about six weeks the eggs hatching can occur from late May through early October. Hatchlings average about 67 mm (2.6 in) in total length.

Natural History

Green Anoles are one of the most arboreal lizards in the United States. Preferred natural habitats are mesic (moist or wet) forests with brushy clearings and forest edges that have an established shrub layer or vine tangles. They are commonly seen on or around homes and other buildings or structures, taking advantage of exposed elevated surfaces on which to bask and forage for food. The diet includes a variety of insects; moths, crickets, beetles, flies, grasshoppers, and butterflies are eaten. Predators include Broadhead Skinks Eumeces laticeps, snakes and predatory birds. Active Green Anoles have been recorded from every month of the year, with peaks in spring and fall. In the winter months they become active during periods of sunny, warm weather.


Green Anole Region Map A lizard of the southeastern United States, it ranges from North Carolina and southern Florida west to southeastern Oklahoma then south to southern Texas. Green Anoles are found throughout the state of Georgia except the mountainous regions.

Conservation Status

The green anole is a common lizard throughout its range.

Similar Species

The Green Anole is the only anole native to the United States. The Brown Anole Anolis sagrei was introduced in Florida and is established in some of Georgia's Coastal Plains cities. The Brown Anole is never green and has a light streak on the throat.