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kingsnake.com - Tuesday, Sep 18, 2018

Loving this Blue tongue skink just chilling in our Herp Photo of the day, uploaded by kingsnake.com user PatS . Be sure to tell them you liked it here!


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Featured Contributors

One (and Maybe a Second) Native Anole
Richard Bartlett - Monday, Sep 17, 2018


Native or not, that is the question. The Florida bark anole, Anolis distichus floridana.

Of the Baker’s dozen (maybe 14) anole species that are still listed as being present in the USA, there are probably at least 2 taxa that no longer occur. And of those listed only 2 are native. These are the color changing, arboreal, green (or Carolina) anole that has 2 recognized subspecies (the northern form, Anolis c. carolinensis, and the very questionable southern form, A. c. seminolus). And then there’s the primarily treetrunk dwelling Florida bark anole, A. distichus floridana.

The northern form of the green anole ranges westward and southward from southern Virginia to eastern Texas and southern Florida, surrounding the relatively small range (western Sarasota to Collier counties) of the southern race.

The subspecies of the the green anole are recognized and differentiated by dewlap (throat fan) color. The northern race has a red dewlap and the southern has a gray dewlap. I feel that the gray throated race is “questionable” because when utilizing the subspecies concept there supposedly cannot be 2 subspecies existing sympatrically. However throughout the South Florida range of the southern green anole one can also encounter green anoles with red dewlaps. Perhaps just calling the gray throated form an occasional variant would be more accurate.

Questions of a different kind are often raised about the Florida bark anole; is it or is it not a native form. It would seem that the current concept is either “yes” or “maybe” to that ques

This race of the bark anole (A. distichus is a Bahaman and Hispaniolan group) is found from southeastern Palm Beach County southward to Monroe County and in many areas has intergraded with the non-native but established green bark anole, A. d. dominicensis. In its purest form it is a gray or brownish lizard with dark dorsal chevrons and a yellow to orange dewlap.

These two are only the tip of Florida’s anoline iceberg. I’ll say a few word about the others in future blogs.



Native or not, that is the question. The Florida bark anole, Anolis distichus floridana.

Green anoles in southern Florida may have a red or a gray dewlap. Currently those having gray dewlaps are considered A. c. seminolus.


Red dewlaps are the more common color with the green anole, A. c. carolinensis.


Continue reading "One (and Maybe a Second) Native Anole"


The Gray Treefrogs
Richard Bartlett - Monday, Sep 10, 2018


Once thought to be restricted to southernmore locales, Cope's gray treefrog is now known to occur pretty much over the entire range of the gray treefrogs. This is Hyla chrysoscelis.

Two genetic terms, diploid and tetraploid come into play when discussing these 2 lookalike species, the Gray treefrog, Hyla versicolor and Cope’s gray treefrog, Hyla chrysoscelis. At one time it was thought the the two could be identified by range and/or call with versicolor being the more northerly and having the more slowly trilled, more pleasing (=musical) call. These are now known to be invalid criteria. A friend has found versicolor as far south as Tallahassee, FL and others have found chrysoscelis as far north as Michigan and Massachusetts.

So, exactly how do you separate these 2 common treefrogs? Well, unless you have a genetics lab available you do so inexactly. With a lab, chromosome count can be determined. The gray treefrog is tetraploid, having twice the number of chromosomes as the diploid Cope’s gray treefrog. Without the lab you’ll have to extrapolate and hypothesize, determining the findings of previous researchers for the frogs from a given locale, then comparing whether the calls are pleasant and rather slowly trilled or harsh and rapidly pulsed (almost like a rivetgun)—and of course this latter will only work on the males—the females are silent. And I still find that gray treefrogs are the more common in the northerly climes while Cope’s gray treefrogs are more common in the south.

So you should now be able to at least guess at the identification of the treefrog you are listening to or watching. And of course the name, “gray”, is definitive, right. Nope. While they are often gray, they might actually be a pretty green through shades of gray to almost white. But in all phases they do have a white marking beneath each eye and extensive orange in the groin region.

Have fun.
Continue reading "The Gray Treefrogs"
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