Northern Green Anole

Anolis carolinensis carolinensis

Photo by Todd Pierson


Description: This lizard has the ability to alter its coloration from varying combinations of green and brown, though sometimes it may appear all green or all brown. It is a fairly small lizard that gets from 5 to 8 inches in length, although females are often smaller. It has special toe pads that help it cling to vertical surfaces.

Habitat: These lizards prefer a moist habitat with lots of vegetation. In Tennessee, these animals primarily inhabit rock-faces that occur in forested areas.

Photo by Steven Spach

Life History: May breed from late march to October. Females lay a single egg as often as every 2 weeks. Eggs hatch within 5 to 7 weeks.

Behavior: Male anoles have ritualistic territorial and breeding behaviors. Males show dominance by bobbing their heads and they may also flare their dewlap. In a direct confrontation, they may extend their throats and expand their bodies to appear as large as possible.

Range: Sporadic populations throughout the southern half of Tennessee.


Photo by Adam P. Summers


Map by S. Marden, TWRA, GIS Lab


          Kingdom - Animalia

                    Phylum - Chordata

                              Subphylum - Vertebrata

                                        Class - Reptilia

                                                  Order - Squamata

                                                            Suborder - Iguania

                                                                      Family - Polychrotidae

                                                                                Genus - Anolis

                                                                                          Species - Anolis carolinensis

                                                                                                    Subspecies - Anolis carolinensis carolinensis