Fun Jamaican Giant Anole Facts For Kids

Anusuya Mukherjee
Oct 20, 2022 By Anusuya Mukherjee
Originally Published on Aug 30, 2021
Edited by Jacob Fitzbright
Check out these great Jamaican giant anole facts!

The common names for Jamaican giant anole include Jamaican anole, iguana (in South Florida), iguanito (in south Florida), and more. However, the Jamaica giant anole is only similar in resemblance to the iguana (Lacerta bullaris), the two being completely different species.

The Jamaican giant anole, Anolis garmani, was given a synonym name by Savage and Guyer in 1991 - Norops garmani.

The Jamaican anole is fairly larger than other anoles and has an emerald green color on its body with an orange and green dewlap pattern. The Anolis garmani is an arboreal lizard and can be found living on the same tree day after day.

This lizard is native to Jamaica and is largely used for the pet trade, the reason why it was introduced to Florida in the first place.

The giant anole is often confused as iguanas; that is how they were introduced to Florida and the Cayman Islands. However, these lizards have no negative impact on the native biodiversity range or their introduced range.

For more relatable content, check out these lava lizard facts and Bahaman anole facts for kids.

Jamaican Giant Anole Interesting Facts

What type of animal is a Jamaican giant anole?

The Jamaican giant anole, Anolis garmani, is a reptile species found mostly in Jamaica.

What class of animal does a Jamaican giant anole belong to?

Anolis garmani, a Jamaican anole, belongs to the Reptilia class (order Squamata) of the family Dactyloidae.

How many Jamaican giant anoles are there in the world?

The exact population of Jamaican giant anoles is difficult to tell since the species can be found in many locations. However, since it is of Least Concern, it is safe to say that the Jamaican giant anole can be found in abundance throughout the world.

Where does a Jamaican giant anole live?

The Jamaican giant anole is native to Jamaica, but it can also be found in the Cayman Islands and Florida, USA.

What is a Jamaican giant anole's habitat?

The Jamaican giant anole, Anolis garmani, can be found in the tree canopies in gardens and secondary and mature forests. They are mesophilic and arboreal, which means that they associate themselves with only one large tree and do not ever leave it.

Even if disturbed, they would simply come down from the tree to hide in the rocks but would not leave it. They live in large trees or bamboo clumps at lower elevations with moderate altitude.

Who do Jamaican giant anoles live with?

The members of the family Dactyloidae are known to be solitary animals. They prefer to live alone, but during winters, they might rest adjacent to each other.

How long does a Jamaican giant anole live?

The lifespan of a Jamaican giant anole is two to eight years.

How do they reproduce?

The Anolis garmani is an oviparous species, which means that they produce their young simply by laying eggs. The adult female giant anole produces one egg at a time.

The chances of the success of the reproduction depend on the size of the adult male giant anole. The larger the male giant anole to mate with, the more the chances of reproductive success.

What is their conservation status?

Jamaican giant anoles are of Least Concern according to the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. There are no threats that could cause the decrease of their population. However, the subpopulations of the species can be affected by the loss of larger trees.

Jamaican Giant Anole Fun Facts

What do Jamaican giant anoles look like?

The Jamaican giant anole has an emerald green color.

The Anolis garmani has an emerald green to black color with an orange and green dewlap pattern on them. They are larger in size and length as compared to the other Jamaican anoles.

Their body has two to three scales between their supraorbital; two to four scales between their interparietal and supraorbital semicircle; six on postrostrals and four on postmentals. Their dorsal and lateral scales are swollen and keeled and are either equal to or smaller than their ventral scales.

The male Anolis garmani has a distinct dorsal crest with high and pointed scales. This crest is lacking in the female.

How cute are they?

If you like lizards, you would definitely like Anolis garmani for their beautiful green color. Their emerald green color gives them a really unique look.

How do they communicate?

These species of reptiles use visuals to communicate with others. This mostly includes color variations or actions such as head bobbing and neck biting or by the use of their dewlap. Their dewlap is also used for communication during the breeding season by the opposite sexes.

How big is a Jamaican giant anole?

The male Jamaican giant anole can reach a length of 5.2 in (131 mm), and the females can grow to the length of 3.1 in (80 mm). The Anolis garmani are related to iguanas and are about 12 times smaller than them in length.

How fast can a Jamaican giant anole move?

The exact speed of a Jamaican giant anole is unknown. However, it is known that the green anole can run at a speed of 6 mph (9.7 kph).

How much does a Jamaican giant anole weigh?

The weight of a Jamaican giant anole is unknown.

What are the male and female names of the species?

The male and female giant anoles do not have separate names. However, you can distinguish between a male and a female giant anole by looking at them since the males tend to be bigger than the females.

What would you call a baby Jamaican giant anole?

A baby Jamaican giant anole is called a young anole.

What do they eat?

The Jamaican giant anole prey by descending to the ground level in search of food. Anolis garmani feeds on insects, other lizards, large crickets, and cockroaches.

Are they poisonous?

The Jamaican giant anole is not poisonous at all and hence does not pose any harm to humans or other animals. In fact, they are friendly lizards and can be seen in your yard or home if you do not use any harmful pesticides.

Would they make a good pet?

The Jamaican giant anole is considered an exotic pet. These anole lizards are small, hence making these reptiles perfect pets for beginners. The Jamaican giant anole care is inexpensive and very easy, but they need to be handled with care.

Did you know...

The large green anole lizard species were introduced to south Florida as exotic pets. They are commonly mistaken for iguanas because of their resemblance to them, although the two species are completely different and from completely different families.

Is the Jamaican giant anole endemic?

Anolis garmani is a reptile that was endemic to Jamaica. However, the species was introduced to south Florida as an exotic pet. This resulted in their populations now present in not just Jamaica but also Florida and the Cayman Islands in the USA.

Do anoles eat their skin?

All reptiles are known to shed their skin as they grow older. Similarly, anoles also shed their skin, but some anoles like Cuban anoles are known for eating their own shed skin.

This is done for two major reasons. First, the shed skin contains a lot of important nutrients and minerals. Secondly, by eating their own skin, they remove any evidence of them being in the area.

Here at Kidadl, we have carefully created lots of interesting family-friendly animal facts for everyone to discover! Learn more about some other reptiles from our monitor lizard interesting facts and Gila monster surprising facts pages.

You can even occupy yourself at home by coloring in one of our free printable lizard mask coloring pages.

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Written by Anusuya Mukherjee

Bachelor of Arts and Law specializing in Political Science and Intellectual Property Rights

Anusuya Mukherjee picture

Anusuya MukherjeeBachelor of Arts and Law specializing in Political Science and Intellectual Property Rights

With a wealth of international experience spanning Europe, Africa, North America, and the Middle East, Anusuya brings a unique perspective to her work as a Content Assistant and Content Updating Coordinator. She holds a law degree from India and has practiced law in India and Kuwait. Anusuya is a fan of rap music and enjoys a good cup of coffee in her free time. Currently, she is working on her novel, "Mr. Ivory Merchant".

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