- Puerto Rican giant anole - Anolis cuvieri :
Anolis cuvieri (Vernacular Spanish: lagarto verde, lagarto chipojo; Vernacular English: Puerto Rican giant anole, Cuvier's anole, green giant anole.) is a species of lizard endemic to Puerto Rico in the Dactyloidae family of the Squamata order. This reptile is common in the Toro Negro State Forest.
Scientific classification :
Binomial name :
Anolis cuvieri Merrem, 1820
Xiphosurus cuvieri— Fitzinger, 1826
Dactyloa cuvieri— Wagler, 1830
Ctenotus (Semiurus) cuvieri— Fitzinger, 1843
Anolis cuvieri— Boulenger, 1885
Xiphosurus cuvieri— Nicholson et al., 2012
The specific name, cuvieri, is in honor of French naturalist Georges Cuvier.
Anolis cuvieri is a relatively large (for an anole) lizard with a mean snout-vent length (SVL) of up to 132 mm (5.2 in). It has a large, robust skull and long hind legs, as well as a serrated ridge of raised scales along its back. Like most anoles, this species has large flattened disks under the second and third phalanges of each toe which enable it to adhere to vertical surfaces. This species is predominantly green in body coloration with some individuals displaying faint light green stripes on the sides and dorsal surface.
In some animals, particularly large adult males, the head is heavily blotched with sky blue coloration which suffuses onto the nape.
coloration may extend onto the neck area or even onto the dorsal surface running the length of the spine. In females where the blue coloration is present it is only as a sky blue tint on the head which does not extend onto the neck.
In both males and females the orbital area is either bright yellow or vibrant yellow-green. Both male and female Puerto Rican giant anoles possess a large dewlap; however, it is noticeably larger and colored bright yellow in males whereas in females it is light green with a blue green superior portion and faint black stripes running horizontally across the upper two thirds. The coloration of Anolis cuvieri is ontogenic, with juveniles of both sexes being gray brown or brown in color with brown vertical stripes running along the entire dorsal surface of the body as well as the limbs. As they mature, juveniles gradually acquire the green adult coloration. There also exists a rare brown adult morph of A. cuvieri which is solid brown in body coloration with black spots on the sides and neck and a yellow blotched orbital area. Both sexes possess a large erectile crest on the tail, though it is usually higher in males.
Rare brown morph of A.cuvieri.
Anolis cuvieri belongs to a group of anoles known as crown giants, these are large species which inhabit the uppermost canopy of tall trees and rarely descend to ground level. Anolis cuvieri is only found in intact forest regions where large quantities of large trees are present. They are typically active several meters above the ground and are found mainly in palm, Ficus, and other large trees. This species locomotes by jumping from branch to branch within the canopy, a lifestyle for which it has evolved long hind limbs. It is a mesic species, preferring areas of wet forest over more xeric conditions, where it is rarely found.
Like all anoles, Anolis cuvieri is primarily insectivorous, feeding on arboreal insects such as large beetles and lepidopterans. This species is also an opportunist species and its robust skull and powerful bite allow it to take a wide range of prey including other anoles, juveniles of its own species and small birds as well as large snails and occasionally fruit.
Both sexes are extremely territorial and aggressive. Males, however, are particularly agrressive not only towards other males but also towards any organism or object that the anole perceives to be a threat. Males that encounter intruders in their territory will generally perform elaborate bodily displays, extending and recoiling the dewlap and performing various head bobs or pushups. This is usually done well before the intruder manages to get within close proximity of the defender and the display is often successful at warding off the intruder. However, if the intruding male is persistent then a fight may ensue with the males locking jaws and biting at each other's extremities until either male either gives up and flees or dies of exhaustion. Fights may also prove fatal if a serious wound, such as an amputated limb, occurs and subsequently becomes infected. This species attempts to bite when handled and its powerful jaws are capable of breaking skin. It may also display at a potential predator or captor if one is sighted. Like many reptiles the mouth of this species harbors Salmonella and an infection may occur if a bite breaks the skin.
Threat and conservation :
This species is currently under threat in Puerto Rico due to the effects of past deforestation and environmental degradation. It is now only found in a select few areas of intact natural forest but its population appears to be stable. During Puerto Rico's period of rampant deforestation in the early twentieth century this species disappeared almost entirely and was not sighted for many years. It was feared extinct until after the agricultural collapse in Puerto Rico (late 1950s) which resulted in an end to deforestation. After this, the species made a remarkable recovery and, though its distribution is still limited, it has become quite common in some of the remaining areas of natural rainforest on the island.
Anolis cuvieri consuming a beetle.
Rare brown morph Puerto Rican giant anole.
Hind legs of A.cuvieri. This individual is in the process of jumping.
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Care of Giant Anoles :
Common Name : Giant Anoles
Scientific Name : Anolis cuvieri
Region : Caribbean Islands
Country :Puerto rico
Location :Puerto Rico
Enviroment :Tropical Rainforest
Animal Type :Reptile - Lizard
Activity Period : Diurnal
Temperature : 82 to 84 F
Humidity : High
Gestation Period :Unknown
Incubation Period : 90-100 days
Incubation Temp : 80-82 F
Natural History :
These very large Caribbian anoles are native to Puerto Rico. In the wild, Puerto Rican giant anoles are found on the trunks and at the tops of large trees, including coconut palms. They are most common in areas of mid-elevation, living on coffee plantations. The diet of these lizards consists of a variety of mid and large sized insects, other invertebrates and, to a lesser extent, smaller lizards, small rodents and nesting birds. These anoles have good-sized teeth, so use caution when handling large males. A note of interest: A common Puerto Rican superstition states that when one of these lizards bite, it will not let go until "the sky thunders" or until "a black cow begins to moo loudly."
Males can reach a snout-to-vent length of more than 5 inches, with a total length that can surpass 16 inches. In addition to a huge, pale yellow-or lemon-colored throat fan (dewlap), males also possess a prominent serrated dorsal tail crest. Females can be distinguished by their smaller overal size, smaller, light greenish-yellow throat fan and a less-impressive caudal crest. Unlike many other anoles, the forehead is distinctly raised from the snout. Their color is typically an attractive lime green with irregular light blue spotting on the head, body and legs. However, a mainority of individuals can be greenish-grey with brown mottling.
If you intend to breed thse anoles, observe them closely as they grow larger. Once you are able to determine their sexes, do not keep more than one male with one or two females, as males will become very aggressive toward one another. These diurnal lizards require a very large, vertically oriented enclosure. Keep them indoors at 82 to 84 F with high humidity and natural spectrum lighting during the day, with temperatures of 68-70 F at night. In Puerto Rico or South Florida, they can be maintained outdoors in screened setups. Use an earth or orchid bark substrate to maintain necessary humidity and for egg laying.
Prior to mating, the male postures and makes a series of displays with its throat fan, similar to the American green anole (A. carolinensis). During mating, he grabs the female by her neck and positions his body over hers with his lower body turned sideways, keeping his vent near her ventral surface to facilitate hemipenile penetration. Like other anoles, the female lays only a single egg at a time. Egg laying data is sketchy, but females probably bury their eggs in leaf litter substrate.
Artifically incubate the egg at 80-82 F. Hatching time is typically 90-100 days.
Hatchlings are initially brown and begin turning green at about 15 weeks of age.
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Anolis cuvieri - Video Learning - WizScience.com
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Species : - click here for Wikipedia list of Anoles
The popular Anolis :