Leaping Lizards, One of Many Different and Amusing Lifeforms Found Here!

By
Real Estate Agent with Florida Supreme Realty SL514814

Leaping Lizards, while being an excellent and often heard alliteration does not always apply to all things Florida.  Yes, we have the largest cockroaches in the U.S. probably.  But we politely refer to them as Palmetto bugs.  You see they don't sound so awful when it's said like that.  We enjoy Panthers, Bear, Alligator, Crocodile, Rattlesnake, Coyote, Fox, Deer and just about the most species of fish you can find anywhere.  Eagles, Falcons, Hawks, Pelican, Osprey, Egret, Heron & Ibis, we're a veritable cornucopia of feathered friends.  My focus here is on the prolific and abundant anole.  They are seen scurrying almost every which way you turn while you're out walking here.  This tropical American lizard of the genus Anolis has the ability to change color from dark brown to green and are almost always mistakenly called chameleons.  The "chameleons" sold in pet shops and at fairs belong to this genus.  One species is native to states along the Gulf of Mexico and to parts of the West Indies.  Another species is found in the West Indies and the southern tip of Florida.  There are more than 100 related species throughout the West Indies, Central and South America. Anole with sky above

Chameleons on the other hand are not native to Florida, they do of course have the ability to change color and to move each eye independently.  Their color change is involuntary brought about by light, temperature, anger or fear and is not related to the color of whatever the chameleon happens to be perched on.  Green, yellow, or white one minute then brown or black the next they may even take on a spotted appearance.  Native to Madagascar, Spain, Sri Lanka, India and Africa about 90 species of chameleon are known.  Unlike most lizards, a chameleon is not slender and swift.

If you grew up in Florida or spent any time here as a kid you know that anoles will bite and hang on to whatever they can.  Catch them, get them to bite onto your earlobes and wear them like earrings until they get tired and jump off.  Make sure that they match your wardrobe color before applying.  

Now that you know how, go out and have some good old-fashioned Florida fun next time you're here!

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Ambassador
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Tammy Lankford,
Lane Realty Eatonton, GA Lake Sinclair, Milledgeville, 706-485-9668 - Eatonton, GA
Broker GA Lake Sinclair/Eatonton/Milledgeville

I'll stick to traditional earrings I think.  I am actually terrified of every little baby dinosaur on the planet.  I accidentally brought one in on a house plant and nearly died when it leaped onto me as I set the plant down inside.  Your sky leapin' lizard gives me chill bumps.  Ewww.

Jan 26, 2011 11:19 AM #1
Rainmaker
1,315,185
Li Read
Sea to Sky Premier Properties (Salt Spring) - Salt Spring Island, BC
Caring expertise...knowledge for you!

Wow...I think I'll stick to the deer, eagles, seals, orca whales, ospreys that are our kind of "wildlife".    Great photo!

Jan 26, 2011 11:20 AM #2
Rainer
131,370
James Harner
Considering Selling Your Home? Call 610-310-7646 first - Royersford, PA
James Harner Group - Philadelphia PA Real Estate

Very informative blog..thanks! I didn't know that there are 90 species of chameleons...90?! whoa!

Palmetto bugs sure sounds nicer than gigantic cockroach! And you sure made Florida sounds like a one big happy zoo!

Have fun blogging and sharing your passion about science =)

Jan 26, 2011 11:22 AM #3
Rainmaker
1,794,277
Ginny Gorman
RI Real Estate Services ~ 401-529-7849~ RI Waterfront Real Estate - North Kingstown, RI
Homes for Sale in North Kingstown RI and beyond

Was that Batman or Robin who said that Kevin?  Those little things I remember well from my stays in FL but one never got a hold of me thank goodness!  interesting scientific info you always pass along....do you have something to help push the snow away?

Jan 26, 2011 12:08 PM #4
Rainmaker
1,010,596
Kevin J. May
Florida Supreme Realty - Hobe Sound, FL
Serving the Treasure & Paradise Coasts of Florida

Tammy, why do these littlle guys get such a bad rap?  This one is portrayed at just about actual size and wouldn't even hurt a fly.  I take that back, now I understand exactly what you mean!  

Li, you are fairly well protected from an anole onslaught at your location.  You sure you don't want to trade some of your Orcas for these?  How about 50 for 1 of your seals?

James, oh yeah, and the Palmetto bugs, they like to fly making them doubly annoying.  Nature surrounds us in Naples and Collier County does a great job protecting that, we're truly blessed.

Ginny, it had to be Robin.  THWAP!  That's the sound they make when they hit your skin.  They aren't that easy to get a hold of but they would compliment your "do" quite nicely.  I'm sending you a few, they'll be in a box marked from Zappo's!  I'll head to the Bat Cave now re: the snow issue!            

Jan 26, 2011 01:26 PM #5
Rainmaker
671,751
Sandy Shores FL Realtor®, Melbourne Real Estate
M & M Realty of Brevard Inc. - Melbourne, FL
Brevard County Real Estate, Florida's Space Coast

Hey Kevin, Great lesson on the difference between chameleons and lizards. Years ago my youngest daughter, Sam, and her friends would spend hours playing with lizards. They would carefully gather 2 or 3 of them to put on rafts in the pool. This would amuse them for hours. Like you mentioned, they would wear them as jewelry.  They would "clip" them on their ears and walk around with these little guys hanging on.  It was a great time! When they were finished playing the poor little lizards would scurry away as fast as they could.

Jan 27, 2011 02:30 AM #6
Rainmaker
1,010,596
Kevin J. May
Florida Supreme Realty - Hobe Sound, FL
Serving the Treasure & Paradise Coasts of Florida

Sandy, I didn't know they made little rafts for those guys.  You've got brave girls apparently, and much FUN!

Jan 27, 2011 02:57 AM #7
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Kevin J. May

Serving the Treasure & Paradise Coasts of Florida
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