The Smallwood's anole is a green lizard with blue spots. It is native to Cuba, where it spends time hunting the trees for insects, grubs and frogs.

Physical Description

The Smallwood's anole is part of a group of similar anoles that are endemic to Cuba. The group is called the equestris species complex. A species complex is a group of species that are closely related and so similar that it is often unclear where species boundaries occur.

All of the species in this group are crown-giant ecomorphs. Ecomorphs are species that occupy the same niche in the same microhabitat. These crown-giant ecomorphs are found across various Caribbean islands. Crown refers to their tendency to be found in tree canopies, and giant references their large size. Other Anolis ecomorphs incude grass-bush, trunk, trunk-crown, trunk-ground and twig ecormorphs.

The Smallwood's anole's coloration varies geographically. They are typically deep-green and may have blue spots. Males have a colorful flap of skin underneath their chin, called a dewlap. When provoked, males extend their dewlap to appear large and more threatening to territorial enemies or predators. They also flash their dewlap during the breeding season to attract females.

Size

These lizards reach an average of 8-9 inches in length. The largest ever recorded was 12 inches long.

Native Habitat

These lizards inhabit both lowland and highland areas in Eastern Cuba, including semi-deciduous, evergreen and gallery forests, rainforests, mangroves and coffee plantations. They maintain a large home range and are well known for adapting to fit in very specific niche environments.

Food/Eating Habits

Smallwood's anoles are arboreal hunters that climb through the trees in search of insects, grubs and tree frogs. They consume water by licking it off of leaves. 

At the Smithsonian's National Zoo, they eat crickets, mealworms, earthworms and roaches.

Social Structure

Multiple individuals are rarely observed together, except for male-female pairs during the breeding season.

Conservation Efforts

The Smallwood's anole has not been assessed by the International Union for Conservation of Nature, but most studied populations are stable.  These lizards are highly adaptable and can switch niches in order to survive in new or changing environments.

Habitat loss is their primary threat. Smallwood's anoles and similar species are also commonly taken from the wild to be kept as exotic pets. 

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