Florida's Exotic Wildlife. Species detail.
First year: 1975
Established status: Populations
are confirmed breeding and apparently self-sustaining for 10 or
more consecutive years.
Estimated Florida range: 1
county At least 10 years, 1 county Not reported
Statewide trend: Expanding
Photograph by Kevin M. Enge © 2003
Threats to natives: Possible
competitor of the green anole (Anolis carolinensis).
Species Account: This native of
Puerto Rico has been introduced at several localities in Dade
County via pet trade escapees, and in recent years has spread
widely and is now frequently seen in urban, suburban, and
agricultural situations. Males may reach 19 cm (7.5 in) in length
and have dark-bordered dewlaps that range in color from olive-green
to yellow or orange. Males typically have a wavy tail crest, and
the vertebral and nape crests can be erected by muscular
contraction. The dorsal color ranges from olive-tan to almost
black, with lighter colored anoles exhibiting dark bars or blotches
on the trunk and tail. This somewhat arboreal species is usually
seen close to the ground, often perching head downward, on tree
trunks, shrubs, fenceposts, building walls, brush piles, and rock
piles. When frightened, it usually climbs upward, but it may seek
refuge in ground debris. It feeds on insects, blossoms, and fruit
(Bartlett 1995a, Bartlett and Bartlett 1999). It competes for
structural habitat with the brown anole (Anolis sagrei), and in
areas of sympatry, crested anoles reduce the perch height of brown
anoles (Salzburg 1984). Brach (1977) speculated that crested anoles
may reduce brown anole populations as they expand their range.
Habitats: Low density suburban
development, areas peripheral to core urban areas, and small towns,
Agricultural habitat, Recently disturbed, early successional
|Not reported breeding
||Riverside Inn (Seigel et al. 1999)
|At least 10 years
||(Schwartz and Thomas 1975); several populations in the Miami
area and on Key Biscayne
Bartlett, D. 1995a. The anoles of the United
States. Reptiles 2(5):48-62, 64-65.
Bartlett, R. D., and P. P. Bartlett. 1999. A field
guide to Florida reptiles and amphibians. Gulf Publishing Company,
Houston, Texas. 278pp.
Brach, V. 1977. Notes on the introduced population
of Anolis cristatellus in south Florida. Copeia 1977:184-185.
Salzburg, M. A. 1984. Anolis sagrei and Anolis
cristatellus in southern Florida: a case study in interspecific
competition. Ecology 65:14-19.
Schwartz, A., and R. Thomas. 1975. A check-list of
West Indian amphibians and reptiles. Carnegie Museum of Natural
History, Special Publication No. 1. 216pp.
Seigel, B. J., N. A. Seigel, and R. A. Seigel.
1999. Anolis cristatellus (Puerto Rican crested anole).
Herpetological Review 30:173.
Links to more information
Wild Herp pictures