The Knight Anole (Anolis equestris) is the largest anole in the world. Adult males may slightly exceed 18 inches (45 cm) in length. Although this anole is usually a brilliant green color, it can take a deep brown hue when it is cold. In all colors, two light-yellow marks are visible: the one the shoulder and the other from the eye to the ear opening. The skin between the scales is colored differently than the scales. The rear of the Knight anole is heavily casqued.
This species is a carnivore. Anoles are mainly insect eaters but will take fruit and plant material when it is abundant. Its diet mainly consists of large insects and fruit, but it will also prey on small lizards, frogs, small birds, bird eggs, and hatchlings. The anoles are agile lizards and can stalk & catch insects as agile as houseflies.
As pets Knight anoles do best when kept in small groups (1 male to 2 – 3 females) in spacious, well ventilated cages. They like high humidity. When frightened, this lizard will bite their attackers. Before biting, it will extend the dewlap and erect a prominent nape and anterior crest.
Distribution & Habitat
This species is native to Cuba, but it was successfully introduced to Florida and is now a common sight in the southeastern United States and the Hawaiian Islands. The long-established populations in Florida appear to be sensitive to cold weather, thus restricting their spread northward.
Knight anoles live high up in the tops of the trees, but sometimes they can be spotted on tree trunks, especially during midsummer, their head facing the ground while basking in the sun.
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