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Knight Anole

The Knight Anole is a newcomer to Florida – first found here in the 1950s near Miami, and now found almost anywhere in the state. It is a native of Cuba that has also been spread to other islands of the Caribbean and to California – in part as a result of stowaways hiding in plants and among crates being shipped taken from Cuba and Florida, and in part through the pet trade. The Knight Anole is a handsome lizard – and a very large one – sometimes reaching 17 inches from the tip of its nose to the tip of its tail. It is also an omnivore – eating almost anything, including other lizards, baby birds, mice, fruit, and more. It has been known from southwest Florida for several years and its numbers are growing. Watch for this green invader with white stripes on its face and side. Between April and August it can often be seen clinging head down on a tree trunk – waiting patiently for potential mates or the arrival of competitors. The rest of the year it is typically in the canopy of trees or palms feeding on whatever it can find among dense foliage.