Lacertus from The natural history of Carolina, Florida and the Bahama Islands.
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Image ID: SIL-SIL7-52-03_crop
Original Caption: Lacertus.
If you grab ahold of this tree-loving green lizard by the tail, you just might find a wiggling tail in your hand without a lizard. That's right: its tail can come off! And, after it comes off, it keeps moving! The Carolina Anole uses its detachable, wiggling tail to distract predators while it escapes. In time, it will regenerate a new tail, but for a while, it will go without. You may be thinking this lizard looks like a chameleon. Well, it’s not a chameleon, but sometimes the Carolina Anole is called the "American Chameleon" because it can change its color too. It can range in color from bright green to brown or gray. Another special characteristic belongs to the males. Male anoles have a pink flap of skin hanging in an arc below their necks called a "dewlap," which they display to attract females or to intimidate other males. If you want to see something funny, put a mirror in front of a male Carolina Anole. Thinking there is another male anole nearby, it will likely make its dewlap visible, do push-ups, and bob its head to signal its number one. Then, it will probably attack the mirror!