Reptile Report: New Baby Knight Anole

Posted on Posted in Reptiles, World of Creepy Crawlies

Our youngest juvenile – hatched last January 18, 2016 – at the World of Creepy Crawlies loves posing for the camera! Check out these shots and facts and get hooked by the charm of this little creeper.

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“One step at a time! Soon, this plant won’t be able to handle me.”

Although very young and tiny, this baby Knight Anole will soon grow into one of the largest species of anole. The Knight Anole (Anolis Equestris) is a species of lizard in the Polychrotidae family that grows to a length of 13 to 20 inches (33 to 51 cm) including the tail. Its whip-like tail can grow up to twice its body length! Some specimens have reached up to 24 inches (61 cm). Amazing!

(Photo credits to the owner)

Anoles have expanded toe pads that let them cling to vertical perches and cross smooth surfaces (Yes, even on glass walls!); they also have long claws for climbing.

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(Photo credits to flowerhippie22.deviantart.com)

This adaptation is very advantageous for tree-dwelling animals to help them climb and stay on top. Anoles can also change the colors of their bodies, usually from brown to green then back to brown again. Excitement or environmental shifts – e.g. changes from hot to cold temperature – can trigger these transformations.

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“Hmm.. Should I be green or brown today?”

Summer is the breeding season for knight anoles. They may look like they’re fighting but they’re actually courting. The male will nod his head once or more and frequently expands his dewlap before seizing the female to bring their cloacas into contact. Females usually lay up to four clutches of one to two eggs. When the eggs hatch, cute tiny hatchlings come out in bright green with white bars on their skin.

Take a look at the new baby’s mother! You can see her in the Knight Anoles exhibit inside the World of Creepy Crawlies. Don’t forget to drop by and say hi!

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“Pleased to meet you!”

Usually, about a month after breeding, the female anole will start digging and will lay an egg underneath. Every week or so, she’ll lay new eggs in the area. The incubation can take up to two months before new babies will hatch at about 5 inches long. Within two years, they can already reach up to 15 inches or more.

The diet of a young anole consists mainly of insects. As they grow older and bigger, they’ll need to feed on larger prey such as tarantulas, other anoles, geckos, and even adult birds and mammals.

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“I can’t wait to grow bigger, longer, and healthier so I can meet you all!”

Our new knight anole baby is still under the tender loving care of our staff in the back of the house of the World of Creepy Crawlies. We have to wait until it gets bigger before we determine its gender and before we expose the baby to the public. What do you think? Is it a boy or a girl? ☺

Let us all wish our new baby anole a long and happy life! We hope to see you soon at the World of Creepy Crawlies!

Manila Ocean Park’s banner CSR program is called “I LOVE MY OCEAN PLANET” . A campaign that encourages volunteerism, public education and community mobilization activities designed to increase public awareness and action on coastal management issues and instil pride in our country’s natural resources. It is an expanded responsibility of stewardship not only with marine biodiversity but also with other creatures who are dependent on the wellness of the ocean.

Manila Ocean Park is fully aware of its obligation to reach a broad public and impart necessary information relevant to current environmental issues. It is our aim that the “Back to the Wild” Release program will be a step in the right direction for marine education and conservation. We hope that more people will do their share in ensuring the future generations will be able to enjoy and see these fascinating animals in their natural habitat.

Sources:

https://nationalzoo.si.edu/Animals/ReptilesAmphibians/Facts/FactSheets/Knightanole.cfm

http://www.amnh.org/exhibitions/lizards-and-snakes-alive/sight-hounds/a-world-of-sights/chameleon-cuban-knight-anole/

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Knight_Anole

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