Nonnatives - Jamaican Giant Anole

Jamaican Giant Anole - Anolis garmani


Florida's Exotic Wildlife. Species detail.

First year: 1975

Extirpated year:

Established status: Populations are confirmed breeding and apparently self-sustaining for 10 or more consecutive years.

Estimated Florida range: 2 counties  At least 10 years, 2 counties  Less than 10 years

Statewide trend: Unknown status

Jamaican Giant Anole
Photograph by Kevin M. Enge © 2003

Threats to natives: Possible competitor of the green anole (Anolis carolinensis), but it is apparently not predacious on smaller lizards, despite its large size (Bartlett 1995a).

Species Account: This anole from Jamaica probably escaped from pet dealers and has established colonies in Lee and Dade counties. Males may exceed 30.5 cm (12 in) in length, 2/3 of which is a tail. They are often bright green in color but may turn brown. A low crest of enlarged serrate scales extends from the neck to the first 1/3 of the tail. Males have a large yellow dewlap with an orangish center, and females have a smaller, darker dewlap. During cooler weather, this species resides in the canopy, but in summer it can be found, often hanging head down, on the trunks of shade trees 1-2 m above the ground. It feeds on insects, fruits, and petals (Bartlett 1995a, Bartlett and Bartlett 1999).

Habitats: Low density suburban development, areas peripheral to core urban areas, and small towns, Rockland Hammock

County First Year Extirpated Year Breeding status Notes 
DADE 1975


At least 10 years Occurred prior to 1975 (Wilson and Porras 1983)
LEE 1988


At least 10 years Fort Myers (Bartlett 1995a)
MARTIN 1986 1991 Less than 10 years Introduced on a reptile dealer's property on the eastern shore of Lake Okeechobee in 1986, but did not survive freezing weather in 1991 (J. Watt, Port Mayaca, personal communication)


Less than 10 years A population has reportedly been established by a reptile collector in Lake Worth (Ron Dupont, West Palm Beach, personal communication)


Bartlett, D. 1995a. The anoles of the United States. Reptiles 2(5):48-62, 64-65.

Bartlett, R. D., and P. P. Bartlett. 1999. A field guide to Florida reptiles and amphibians. Gulf Publishing Company, Houston, Texas. 278pp.

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