Anole Mating, Reproduction and Courting
Anole Mating and Reproduction FAQs
Estimated reading time: 11 minutes
Anole Mating, Reproduction, Courting and Love!
Here is a closer look at anole mating and anole reproduction. Anoles, like most reptiles, are solitary creatures. However, the only thing to get together for seasonally is mating and breeding, and that’s about the extent of the social life and community activity. Some alligator and crocodile species will have their young for a year, but this is rare in the reptile world. So, the social relationships of most reptiles, including anoles, are not lifelong.
Frequently Asked Questions About Anole Mating, Reproduction and Courting
It is often hard to differentiate males from females with the naked eye. The easiest and most accurate way to determine the sex of an anole is to use at least a 10x magnifier and look for enlarged post anal scales on the underside of the tail—the male has them and the female doesn’t.
The dating and mating season for anoles begins in April and lasts through September. Even before it begins, male anoles are getting ready and establishing locations for the coming season’s amorous activities. In other words, in spring they scout out thick shrubs for a comfortable home that can be protected effectively.
The male anoles have two reproductive organs—called the hemipenes—and places one inside the female cloaca. The female cloaca vent is used for waste elimination and for reproduction. Male anoles, and some other lizards and snakes have two such organs that are attached to a separate testis. The male will alternate hemipenes, from left to right, ensuring the maximum efficiency with each mating event. In addition, females can store sperm for up to several months, so if the male disappears and there is no replacement, she has potential to lay fertile eggs for the remainder of the breeding season.
Brown anoles reproduce prolifically in a safe environment. They like warm and humid plant nurseries or habitats. Finally, anole mating, courtship and copulation in the adult anole is very similar for brown and green anole garden lizards.
Green and Brown Anole Reproduction
When a male approaches a female in the mating ritual, she presents herself through body language to let him know that she is available. The male displays his dewlap, and his head bobbing movement shows that he is ready, willing, and eager. The female recognizes the dewlap and rhythm of the head bob as one of her own species. The male approaches from the rear and quickly clamps his jaws around her neck, then straddles her by placing one foot over her body and slipping his tail under hers—this is called a tail-tuck. Finally, the male may continue to display his dewlap and bob his head up and down, like he did for a fight, while he keeps a grip on the female by the fold of skin on the back of her neck.
It is important to know that green and brown anoles never crossbreed. Their chromosomes are incompatible, so even if they did have a mating encounter, there would be no chance of offspring.
During the mating season, males regularly get into scraps with other males attempting to move in on their turf. Bobbing and bouncing and displaying their back crests, ready to rumble as they size up each other and the temperament of the challenger. Males, both green and brown, turn dark when they enter into a conflict situation and when they encounter a challenging opponent. Above all, most of this is just macho intimidation.
Anole Lizard Eggs
Yes, anoles are oviparous and not viviparous. This means that female anoles are egg-laying mammals (oviparous), like most reptiles. The female’s abdomen becomes noticeably swollen and her appetite increases. The egg she produces is so large that it fills almost her entire body cavity.
Both green and brown anoles lay on average one egg per week during the breeding season. Therefore, if the season lasts four months, each female will lay 15 to 18 eggs. Each time she lays an egg, it is called a clutch.
Popular spots are in damp earth or humus; in holes or cracks in rotten moist trees; beneath rocks, decomposing wood or in leaf litter; in a grassy clump; or even in a structures like a shed. Therefore they do not build a nest or sit on the eggs to keep them warm. The most important thing is that the eggs are laid away from direct sunlight, so that they don’t overheat and dry out.
Anoles are reptiles. Most reptiles lay soft-shelled eggs which is an adaptation that allows them to lay eggs on land without the eggs dying. In other words, the eggs have a yolk that provides the growing embryo with nutrition.
Once exposed to air the egg will begin to harden and return to a round shape. Eventually, the eggshell becomes leathery and dry, though a little moisture and oxygen still passes through the hardened shell.
IA newborn anole lizard is called a neonate and is less than 2 inches long (50 millimeters) from snout to tail when born. It takes about a month for the eggs to hatch. In addition, the hatchlings don’t require any special maternal attention and has all the necessary tools and skills needed to survive.
On the dark side, anoles also occasionally eat baby anoles or hatchlings. While not the mainstay of the anole diet, there is some cannibalism, such as a green anole eating a green anole hatchling, and predation, such as a brown anole eating a green anole hatching.
More Frequently Asked Questions
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