Green Anoles With Raised Dorsal Crests

Green anoles warn each other with raised crests

Pictures can be deceptive. These two green anoles may seem to be watching my sweetheart gardening, but were actually disputing territory on the boundary fence of a herb garden.

Green anoles displaying with dorsal crests raised

It was dramatic, more so than I’m showing here. As the stand-off deteriorated into battle, we witnessed one of the anoles hanging vertically from the other, its head completely within the other’s jaw, as if being eaten alive. I didn’t try to take a picture because it looked horrific. My sweetheart scared the stronger one so it dropped the weaker, which scuttled away, but we both felt he was delaying the inevitable.

At the time, I was fascinated by the display. Lizards posturing with their heads bobbing, displaying pink dewlaps and raised dorsal crests, trying to eat each other reminded me of politicians. I know that should not be so. I didn’t realise it was about to get worse.

30 Replies to “Green Anoles With Raised Dorsal Crests”

  1. Great observation resulting in an impressive photo essay! It pays to have your camera ready to document such an event from the animal kingdom!

    1. Mmm… I’m not sure innocent would have been your first thought if you’d seen them fighting. Unless they were just playing rugby (up and over) and hadn’t mastered the rules.

  2. Not a lizard to be seen in our yard or immediate vicinity which is too bad. Of course our environment isn’t lizard friendly but it would be cool to have these around our garden…I think. Maybe the weaker one took the hint and headed for a more hospitable garden.

    1. Let’s imagine so. That garden is the best bit for some distance for a lizard, with plants attracting insects, and structures to posture and sunbathe on, so I can imagine they would be keen to stay put.

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