The green lizard below the Green Treefrog apparently thinks the frog might be dinner. That can’t happen since the frog is much too large. The green lizard, which usually eats fly-sized meals and occasionally grasshopper sized ones, is a Green Anole (Anolis carolinensis) sometimes known as the American chameleon. This is our most common lizard. Every tree and shrub in the yard harbors at least one.
Male Green Anoles have an extendible pink throat patch. They extend it and bob their heads to attract females and intimidate other males. Two males often meet at their territorial boundary to stand head to tail sizing each other up. Almost all fighting between two matched males is ritual. During these stylized fights the males often turn brown or even black and erect head crests to make them look larger. A male’s territory usually overlaps those of two to three females. During our long growing season these lizards mate and the females lay small white eggs in soft soil several times a year. The neonates are about two inches long, but grow rapidly to six to seven inches with males being larger than females.
In our yard their most serious predator is the Copperhead Snake. These snakes crawl up into the shrubs and sometimes high into trees hunting the lizards, usually at night. To avoid being eaten the lizards often sleep out at the tip of stems. Another predator is Garter Snakes, which hunt the lizards during daylight hours.