Nov 29, 2010

Macro Monday - Orbweavers and Anoles

Our Sago palm hosts a number of wildlife but today's post focuses on two critters I find very interesting and entertaining.

The first is the Orchard Orbweaver spider, Leucauge venusta. This little lady has bright markings but is not dangerous to humans. She is dangerous to small insects though.

She is part of the orbweaver family and as such she makes large round webs. When you think of the classic spider web shape, that is an orbweaver.

The interesting thing about Orchard Orbweavers is that they build their web in an upright position, usually at a slight angle. Then they hang out below the center, waiting for their prey to get stuck in the web. Then they pounce "GOT YOU!"

The other Sago inhabitant is the Green Anole, Anolis carolinensis, also known as Carolina Anole. The Green Anole is the only anole native to the United States. All others are escaped specimens.

Some people refer to them as Chameleons, but they are not related other than they are both lizards. It is like confusing a person with an ape. Both are primates, but we aren't even second cousins.

The confusion comes in because Green Anoles can change to brown or gray if they are in distress, ill, or as a form of camouflage. Some scientists speculate the color of the anole when in a social situation with other anoles, reflects dominance or submission.

Anoles eat an assortment of small insects. Some of the prey they will devour are crickets, cockroaches and even spiders. I have a feeling that the orbweaver is safe. Maybe she tastes yucky and her orange spots warn the anoles away. Whatever the case, they seem to cohabitate without issue.

Male anoles are aggressive to one another. They may go through elaborate displays before fighting, but they will fight if necessary. Some of their displays include extending their dewlap (a bright colored fold of skin under their chin), raising the crest on their back and doing a dance that looks like push ups.

Anoles also make great pets, but you should ensure that the pet shop you go through is not selling wild caught. You run the risk of buying one that is ill or malnourished. Captive Bred would be preferable in this situation. They are used to being in an aquarium and have not had a chance to be exposed to disease. We raised anoles when I was a child and they were a lot of fun. If you would like more information on anoles as pets, I will list some websites with more information in the post script. As for me I will enjoy them in the wild on my sago palms.

For more macros, please visit:


Keeping pet anoles references:

PetsMart Care Sheet
Melissa Kaplan's Herp Care's Green Anoles As Pets


Charlene said...

I love anoles. They are so delicate and quick. You did a great job taking his photograph.

Nikki . said...

I love your green lizard... amazing... loved seeing the shots of him in the palm and then the closeup one, gave a real feel for what size he is...

Kala said...

Wonderful details in these images.

CollectIn Texas Gal said...

Great photos and information on the Anoles. My Grandson would love this as he has had green lizards as pets in his aquarium. Doubt if it was an Anole, though!

David & Melanie said...

Wow! I love your blog!!! You are very creative. I have that exact spider in my garden and I tried to guess your location based on those anoles. So you are in Florida.
Happy Macro Monday
David/ Tropical Texana/ Houston
I'll be back to visit.

Jay at The Depp Effect said...

What a sweet little guy the anole is! I've never seen one, but then, I live in England. I had no idea you could keep them as pets.

The spider shot is great, too!

Anonymous said...

Nice post. Thanks

Anonymous said...

Thanks a lot for writing this, it was unbelieveably informative and told me a ton