Brown Anole, a new exotic lizard for Singapore

on 22nd June 2014

“The Brown Anole is a small brown lizard from the Carribean (Anolis sagrei) recently introduced to Singapore, most likely by being unintentionally brought in with plants for Gardens by the Bay (above).

“The male has a bright orange dewlap, a flap of skin below the throat, which it displays to attract females as well as when warding off predators, as a protracted dewlap makes the lizard look bigger (above). The dewlap display is also sometimes accompanied by head-bobbing. Here is a video of a male protracting and retracting his dewlap:

“The female Brown Anole is slightly smaller in size, and here one is seen moulting (below).

“Moments after the above picture was taken, the male which was nearby made his way over and mounted the female right in front of my camera (below)!

“On my next visit a few months later, I noticed a few more Brown Anoles in various parts of the Gardens, as well as tiny baby anoles scuttling around the plants (below).

“As far as I’m aware, the growing population of Brown Anoles is still confined to the Gardens by the Bay, or at least the Marina Bay area. Only time will tell what impact, if any, this new species will have on local biodiversity.”

Lena Chow
June 2014

If you like this post please tap on the Like button at the left bottom of page. Any views and opinions expressed in this article are solely those of the authors/contributors, and are not endorsed by the Lee Kong Chian Natural History Museum (LKCNHM, NUS) or its affiliated institutions. Readers are encouraged to use their discretion before making any decisions or judgements based on the information presented.

YC Wee

Dr Wee played a significant role as a green advocate in Singapore through his extensive involvement in various organizations and committees: as Secretary and Chairman for the Malayan Nature Society (Singapore Branch), and with the Nature Society (Singapore) as founding President (1978-1995). He has also served in the Nature Reserve Board (1987-1989), Nature Reserves Committee (1990-1996), National Council on the Environment/Singapore Environment Council (1992-1996), Work-Group on Nature Conservation (1992) and Inter-Varsity Council on the Environment (1995-1997). He is Patron of the Singapore Gardening Society and was appointed Honorary Museum Associate of the Lee Kong Chian Natural History Museum (LKCNHM) in 2012. In 2005, Dr Wee started the Bird Ecology Study Group. With more than 6,000 entries, the website has become a valuable resource consulted by students, birdwatchers and researchers locally and internationally. The views and opinions expressed in this article are his own, and do not represent those of LKCNHM, the National University of Singapore or its affiliated institutions.

Other posts by YC Wee

6 Responses

  1. Very nice big photos. I wonder if this lizard can compete against the highly successful changeable lizard, which seems to have taken over all of Asia. They are literally everywhere, in almost every country in this region, even on Maldives! How they crossed the stretches of sea to spread to all the different atolls stumps me! Also, some of the atolls are so small that it makes me wonder how their population can sustain itself.

  2. Just sighted this today (9th aug 2017) in a flower garden at bah soon pah road– its range expanded quite far here. Immediately after the dewlap display the male mounted a female as well.

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