Tuesday, March 6, 2012


There was another cold front passing through Miami last night... only a mild one, but that seemed to be too much for this "chispojo" fellow. That's the Cuban name for this critter that was found unconscious this morning. Well, that's what chispojos do: they pass out during cold spells... just like me!

The knight anole (Anolis equestris) is a species of lizard in the Polychrotidae family, and it is the largest species of anole. Other common names include Cuban knight anole. Chispojo is native to Cuba, but has been introduced into Miami-Dade, Miami Beach, Broward, Palm Beach, and Collier counties of Florida. It grows to a length of 13 to 20 inches (33 to 51 cm) including the tail. It is now widely introduced in South Florida where it reproduces and spreads readily. They absolutely cannot withstand freezing temperatures and in winter freezes in south Florida they drop semi-consciously from tree canopies. This guy was not entirely unconscious, but he was rather lethargic and easily got caught. He is in some kind of trouble by the look of his tail. Two minutes after I took this picture, a surgical intervention was performed and he became much uglier than he looks right now with his long tail. I was told he didn't feel a thing. Really? I would scream murder if someone snips off my tail like this, even if it's a bad tail! Can you tell me if the tail will grow again? I know the answer to that question. Yes? No? May be?
Cuban knight anole

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