Brown Anole

Brown Anole

Bahaman anole, De la Sagra's anole

Anolis sagrei
Population size
Life Span
5-8 yrs
3-8 g
7.6-20 cm

The Brown anole is a small lizard native to Cuba and the Bahamas. This species is highly invasive. In its introduced range, it reaches exceptionally high population densities, is capable of expanding its range very quickly, and both outcompetes and consumes many species of native lizards. Brown anoles are normally a light brown color with darker brown to black markings on their back, and several tan to light color lines on their sides. Like other anoles, they can change color, in this case, a darker brown to black. Their dewlap ranges from yellow to orange-red. The tail has a ridge that travels all the way up to behind the head. Female Brown anoles can be distinguished from males by a light brown stripe that runs over their back.



Brown anoles are found in Cuba and the Bahamas. These lizards live in almost any habitat and are often seen in suburban and urban areas. They occur in areas with open vegetation, grasses, shrubs and in moist forested areas.

Climate zones

Habits and Lifestyle

Brown anoles are active during the day and are often seen basking on tree branches or rocks. When the weather is cold they hide under tree barks and inside rotten logs. They are social creatures. Female and male territories are separate but there are usually two or more female territories within one male territory. Males are very territorial and often fight with each other protecting their home range. Anoles use visual cues as their primary signaling mode. Males like to have high vantage points so they can overlook their territory in search of females to mate with or to spot other rival males that have encroached on their territory. They'll often bob their head up and down quickly before displaying their dewlap and will do sets of push-ups. When pursued or captured, Brown anoles can detach most of their tail. The piece that breaks off will continue to move, possibly distracting the predator and allowing the anole to escape. The lost tail will partially regrow. If provoked, Brown anoles will bite, urinate, and defecate. Also, some Brown anoles may do a short hiss if caught, injured, or fighting.

Group name
Seasonal behavior

Diet and Nutrition

Brown anoles are carnivores (insectivores) and feed on small arthropods such as crickets, moths, ants, grasshoppers, cockroaches, mealworms, spiders, and waxworms. They may also eat other lizards, such as skinks and Carolina anole, lizard eggs, and their own molted skin and detached tails. If near water, they eat aquatic arthropods or small fish - nearly anything that will fit in their mouths.

Mating Habits

late spring- early summer
6-8 weeks
at birth
1-2 eggs

Brown anoles are polygynous meaning that one male mates with more than one female. They breed between late spring and early summer. Females lay 1 to 2 eggs every one or two weeks throughout the breeding season. For successful developing of eggs females search for moist habitat. After laying eggs the female covers it and leaves. Incubation takes around 6-8 weeks. The young are fully-developed and independent at birth. They become reproductively mature at 1 year of age.


Population threats

There are no major threats to Brown anoles at present.


1. Brown Anole on Wikipedia -

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