An interesting wildlife discovery…Green Anole…What’s that?…

We speculate based on appearance, that there’s some sort of permanent pouch beneath this shedding skin of this Green Anole. We had difficulty finding details on the shedding process of these lizards.

Late yesterday afternoon Tom and I took off on a walk. The bright sun and heat of the day had waned with a cooling trade winds breeze wafting through the air. I wanted to show him a different perspective of the familiar ocean view I’d found on the prior day’s walk on my own. 

After admiring the view, he spotted some possible photo ops I’d missed the previous day while we’ll share tomorrow. He’s got quite the eye for spotting things I’d easily miss, which makes taking walks together enjoyable in more than one way. 

Apparently, this Green Anole, not a gecko is shedding his skin.

He never hesitates to remind me that he didn’t dream of walking when he retired. It wasn’t on his “bucket list.”  It was on mine. He walks more than I’d ever expected he would, merely to please me, bless his heart. However, for both of us, that which we find on walks together never ceases to amaze us.

When I sense he’s open to walking I bring it up and he usually agrees. Once we’re on our way he seems to get into it. He’s a good walker, able to navigate tough terrain better than I, and can manage a pace requiring me to practically run in order to keep up.

We were fascinated by the deep green color.

At the end of the major part of the 40-minute walk, we wandered over to the overlook across the street from our condo for that amazing view that continues to take our breath away.

A few weeks ago, he mentioned spotting a gecko in the vegetation along the railing, change from brown to green right before his eyes. Since that time I’d looked in that area many times hoping to see the same. I’d yet to see one gecko since his sighting, let alone one changing color.  Until yesterday.

He moved from leaf to leaf staying within our view for quite a while.

Although we didn’t see a gecko changing color, we did see the same species Tom had seen in his/her “brown” state.  More excitingly, we saw another creature which we assumed was a gecko with a most interesting white pouch as shown in today’s photos.

I was like a kid in a candy store while Tom was pointing out which candies to buy. Snapping one photo after another, I was squealing with delight as I carefully positioned myself to hold the camera as still as possible while I zoomed in for the shots.

This was a tiny weed Tom spotted as we watched the anole.

I’m no expert at macro photography, nor do we have the equipment that is sophisticated enough to do the kind of job I’d like to be able to do. But, I’m fascinated to be taking photos of “small things” as most of our long term readers are aware.

My biggest problem is avoiding the natural instinct to stand too close to the subject when it appears standing further back and zooming in provides the best result with the inexpensive (under $400) camera we use. 

This is the Brown Anole, the same species Tom had watched change color.  He was also shedding the skin around his mouth. It must be a springtime thing.

After taking shots of the what-we-thought was a green gecko of some sort, we headed home while I immediately began looking online for the name of the type of gecko. No luck. Not a single possibility popped us making me frustrated and hungry for more information. 

I knew my only hope was to contact Cathy Granholm, the knowledgeable docent with the Los Angeles Zoo for over 26 years, who helped me with information for my many posts regarding the Laysan Albatross, here in Princeville.  

Discovering this is Green Anole, not a gecko, was quite a thrill. Perhaps, some of our readers may find us goofy for our enthusiasm overseeing such a creature. We find all creatures and vegetation fascinating in one way or another.

Cathy’s not only a rare expert on the albatross which she monitors twice daily for seven months each year, but she also has a wealth of knowledge on wildlife in general. Surely, she was my best bet for information.

It’s interesting how each body part of a creature, including us humans, has a purpose. Our creator, whoever you may choose to believe, certainly didn’t miss a beat in creating life.

I couldn’t have been more appreciative when in a short time Cathy responded to my email with our question as to what we expected was a Green Gecko with this response: “This is not a gecko, which is nocturnal, it is a diurnal green anole, which is shedding.  Up until 5 or 6 years ago, I saw lots of green anoles in my garden, but they have been largely displaced by brown anoles. Neither species is native to Hawaii, in fact, there are NO lizards that are native to Hawaii.  

 I found this interesting article about how green anoles in Florida are evolving to avoid having to compete with brown anoles, which seem to be more aggressive.  I think some graduate students at UH should study the anoles in Hawaii to see if they are evolving in the same way. I can tell you that I rarely see green anoles on the ground or on lower branches of shrubs or trees, they are usually higher up.

I think this kind of adaptation is fascinating!”

From time to time, the Brown Anole would move her head to see what other predators may be in the area.

In researching the above link in Cathy’s response, there is considerable information about the Green Anole which is a lizard, not a gecko. It appears to be shedding its skin but, beneath the white shedding pouch lies another pouch-like protrusion from the neck, used in the male to attract the female.

She was far enough from us that our presence didn’t inspire her to change colors. Look at those toenails useful for climbing trees!

Oh, Mother Nature, you never disappoint. Keep presenting us with the opportunities to see what other gifts you have in store for all of us to treasure.

                                             Photo from one year ago today, April 3, 2014:

One year ago on this date, we didn’t post any photos we’d taken. Instead, we discussed the seasonal changes we’d experienced thus far in our travels, much of which was near the equator. For details of that post, please click here.