Catching Anoles

As I alluded to in a previous post, we had to catch a lot of lizards from these sites! We needed at least 80 A. sagrei from Andros and we were also on the lookout for any other anole species we could find.

Much like my lizards in Greece, we used long fishing poles with a little loop at the end to slip around the lizard and grab them. Here’s a video demonstrating the process from Greece:

Very different however was that these anoles are quite a bit smaller than my wall lizards. Many of them weigh less than half a decent-sized Podarcis from Naxos. That meant that the nooses had to be tied with light dental floss, and the catching was a little less forgiving. If the noose was too “stiff” then the lizards would just dash right through the hole before the string could close around them.

There was one positive however: if you spook a Podarcis they often dash off and it’ll be a few minutes before you see them again for a second try. With these anoles if I startled them with a missed catch they’d often run four inches to the side and then stare up at you, allowing a second chance. And a third, and a fourth, and a fifth. Too often it came to that, they can be a bit squirrel-y around tree trunks and in the undergrowth.

One missed catch however particularly stands out in my memory – it was a first of its kind for me. I was nicely lined up for a grab of a nice sagrei when all of a sudden this bird landed on my pole! It stayed long enough for me to get a picture with my phone – see the lizard just on the other side of my noose? Well, just after I snapped the picture the bird spooked the lizard, and I didn’t see that particular sagrei again, but I think the picture is worth the missed catch. Any thoughts on the identity of the cheeky percher?

Bird on pole

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One thought on “Catching Anoles

  1. Pingback: More fieldwork on the horizon | Colin Donihue

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