Calling all lizard experts
April 13, 2012 2:26 PM   Subscribe

Please help me identify this lizard found at my home near Ft. Worth.
posted by punkfloyd to Pets & Animals (13 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
Looks a lot like an ordinary anole. Look at his throat pouch.
posted by Ery at 2:30 PM on April 13, 2012

2nding an Anole.
posted by jquinby at 2:32 PM on April 13, 2012

Thirding anole; look at his hind foot toes. He's clearly saying "Uncle! Uncle!" because you've got his arm pinned back.
posted by Specklet at 2:42 PM on April 13, 2012 [2 favorites]

I'm pretty sure it's an anole. Something weird I noticed: I grew up in East Texas where they were the norm, and I think the first few years I lived in North Texas (in Denton, 1991-5) I saw them and defended them from my cats often enough. I'm fairly certain I saw them at least occasionally when I first lived in North Richland Hills (1999).

But by the time I left NRH and moved to Carrollton (2007), I was only seeing horny toads and geckoes. I never noticed an anole the 5 years I lived in Dallas - our garage door was covered in geckoes at night, and I'd occasionally find one inside near the front door.

So it may not be weird that you don't recognize it even though they're pretty standard lizards - I think they're no longer the lizard of choice in North Texas. Maybe they're more water-dependent than geckoes.
posted by Lyn Never at 2:43 PM on April 13, 2012

"A" is for Adorably Angry Anole.
posted by infinitywaltz at 3:14 PM on April 13, 2012 [3 favorites]

Yup. American Anole. They turn neat colors, and for some reason there seem to be a lot of them around Fort Worth this year.
posted by cmoj at 3:34 PM on April 13, 2012

Knight anole.
posted by vegartanipla at 3:35 PM on April 13, 2012

Now the question's answered, do I get to say "Squee!" now?
posted by scruss at 4:57 PM on April 13, 2012

Response by poster: Thank y'all. My wife can sleep soundly now.
posted by punkfloyd at 5:25 PM on April 13, 2012

Boy, you've sure got a firm grip on him. You must be anole-retentive.
posted by The otter lady at 5:48 PM on April 13, 2012 [9 favorites]

Yup, anole. Anolis caroliensis or Carolina anole is my guess. That far inland you're not likely to find the incredibly invasive cuban/brown anole (a. sagrei) and if you ever do, it's noteworthy.

You've got a full-grown male, judging by the dewlap and spinal ridge, and being that dark he's pretty freaked out. Usually they're green or a light brown, dark means stress. Unless you have very small hands, that's about as big as they get.

If you flip them upside down and gently stroke the belly, you can hypnotize them - but it's a breathing reaction, so don't do it for too long. They eat any bugs that can fit into their mouths (whether whole or in bites), and you can wear them as earrings if you're feeling particularly daring.

... yes, I am a bit obsessive about my backyard lizards.
posted by cmyk at 9:18 PM on April 13, 2012 [6 favorites]

Response by poster: @cmyk: Makes sense, we rescued him from our kitty's clutches.
posted by punkfloyd at 6:39 AM on April 15, 2012

By the way, they're non-toxic, so kitty can hunt its little heart out. Though if my cats are any indication, they like to barf them up later on as tasty bite-size gifts.
posted by cmyk at 11:57 AM on April 16, 2012

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