03 January 2016

Anole - Green Natives and Brown Invasives

Texas Monthly
Green Anoles, once plentiful, are becoming more unusual as they are being pushed out by the invasive species, Brown Anoles. 

The Texas Invasives newsleter says Brown Anoles arrived via Cuba and the Bahamas, "Anole expert Yoel Stuart, a Harvard Ph.D. and post-doctoral researcher at UT-Austin, has studied brown and green anoles and their interactions everywhere from Florida—where they first arrived in the U.S. and are now estimated to be that state’s most abundant land vertebrate—to West Texas, where their population growth is partially stymied by desert-like conditions. Stuart believes that the brown variety has been hitching rides in potting soil all these years, first on ships coming in from Cuba and the Bahamas, and now they are fanning out across the South in the back of eighteen-wheelers, their eggs or hatchlings burrowed deep in sacks of dirt."

As a result of their transportation system, Brown Anoles were primarily spotted at big box garden centers.

"Our green anoles had all of America to themselves for four million years, Stuart says. It was a pretty cushy life: lots of bugs to eat, trees and bushes to climb, with only snakes and birds of prey to harsh their mellow existence. Then Europeans arrived, bringing their cats with them, and the green anoles had another sworn enemy, but one that pales in comparison to their spikier, fiercer, and uglier cousins from Cuba."

and this tasty comment ends the article

Brown Anole tastes like bacon says
Critter Cuisine - Eat the Weeds
"There doesn’t seem much to be done to reverse this Caribbean reptilian invasion—or is there? How about this modest proposal: If you or your cat is quick enough to catch them, it’s said that sprinkled with salt and pepper and fried in oil whole, brown anoles taste a lot like bacon, making them a delicious salad topping. (As with chickens and all reptiles, you must wash them first as a precaution against salmonella.) "

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