I was shocked to see a red colored anole lizard sitting on a green hedge here in Sarasota, FL on May 26, 2016. The next day I brought my camera and photographed the female specimen sitting on the lamp seen here. Its underside was white like most normal anoles, while the tail was vivid red.  It was very skittish and ran off into the nearby hedge and vanished.  Looking for it, I also saw a newly hatched baby red anole​ run under some leaf litter   within three feet from where this one was.  I suddenly realized that whatever this lizard is, it has offspring. 


Two days later I photographed and filmed another specimen.  This one was slightly larger and is a male.  Notice that the underside is not white like the female and it has a beautiful crest on its head and back.  This one lives about ten feet away from the female.  These anole lizards live within a very large and healthy colony of Jamaican anoles (anolis sagrei) of normal brown and tan coloration.  All three specimen's tails are especially vivid red near the base and they seemed "extra alert"  compared to the brown and tan specimens around them.  I also noticed that many, if not most of the brown and tan anoles were missing most of their tails from either fights with other lizards or bird attacks.  I speculate that the red color of their tails may not appeal to the predators attacking the "normal" colored lizards.  A fourth red specimen was seen by a resident of the property in the back of their house on their pool cage.


​To the internet... what?  No scientific papers?  All I could find were a few photos of another specimen elsewhere in southern Florida that was orange and the person who submitted them was inquiring what kind of a lizard was this???  In the absence of scientific info, I would like to label this species or subspecies as THE SARASOTA RED LIZARD.  I believe these lizards to be coming from the Jamaican anoles root stock even though there are no records of red specimens being found in Jamaica.  With no formal scientific record of them, I would like to assign a latin name to them ........Anolis sagrei canfieldi....aka THE SARASOTA RED LIZARD.


​I would like the Florida Fish and Wildlife Commission to study and protect these "new" and certainly rare animals.  I will agree to reveal their location on the express condition that they leave them alone and do not injure or kill even a single specimen.  DNA can be obtained from shedding skin.  There is no need to injure or kill any of these precious animals.  If they can't agree to that, they don't deserve to be informed.  Changes in solar radiation or subtle climate changes may be forces behind this beautiful emerging species.


​Russell J. Canfield




 

IS THIS A NEW SPECIES?


NEWS