Knight Anole

Knight Anole

Cuban knight anole, Cuban giant anole, Chipojo ( in Cuba)

Kingdom
Phylum
Subphylum
Class
Order
Suborder
Family
Genus
SPECIES
Anolis equestris
Population size
Unknown
Life Span
8 yrs
WEIGHT
16-137 g
LENGTH
33-51 cm

The Knight anole is the large species of lizard native to Cuba. It is mostly bright green in color with a yellow stripe on the side of the head and another on the shoulder, but it is able to perform some color changes. It has a pinkish-white dewlap. Juveniles have light bands on the body.

Distribution

Knight anoles are native to Cuba but have been widely introduced into South Florida, where they reproduce and spread readily. In Cuba, they live in a wide range of habitats with trees, such as forest, mangrove, savanna, cultivated areas, and gardens. In their introduced Florida range Knight anoles even occur in trees along roads in Miami.

Geography

Continents
Subcontinents
Countries
Introduced Countries
Regions

Climate zones

Habits and Lifestyle

Knight anoles are generally solitary creatures. However, as they cannot withstand cold temperatures in highland parts of their native Cuba, a few individuals may rest adjacent to each other during the relatively cold winters. In winter in Florida, they even have been known to freeze and fall to the ground from tree canopies. Knight anoles are arboreal and mostly found high in trees on the trunk or branches in the canopy. However, they will descend to the ground to get from one tree to another, or for thermoregulation, when occasionally seen on warm asphalt, rocks, or sidewalks. Knight anoles are diurnal and fiercely territorial. Initially, they turn to face almost any perceived threat, if only from a distance. During its challenge display, a lizard will sit high on all fours, gape menacingly, turn green, and perhaps bob its head. The male will extend its dewlap, and both females and males will "puff themselves up" with air.

Group name
Lifestyle
Seasonal behavior

Diet and Nutrition

Knight anoles are carnivores (insectivores) and their diet consists mainly of insects and snails. They also eat fruits and may occasionally take small vertebrates such as small birds and reptiles (including other anoles).

Mating Habits

MATING BEHAVIOR
REPRODUCTION SEASON
summer
BABY NAME
hatchling

Knight anoles are polygynandrous (promiscuous) which means that both males and females have multiple partners in a single breeding season. They are oviparous (egg-laying) and usually breed in summer.

Population

Population threats

There are no major threats facing Knight anoles at present.

Ecological niche

Knight anoles regularly take fruits and can function as seed dispersers in their ecosystem.

Fun Facts for Kids

  • In Florida, Knight anoles are sometimes referred to as "iguanas" or "iguanitos", but this generally stems from confusion with the Green iguana.
  • Knight anoles are popular in the pet trade and are known to make a good pet.

References

1. Knight Anole on Wikipedia - https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Knight_anole

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