A pair of Smallwood’s anole lizards at Niabi Zoo in Coal Valley are now proud parents of four hatchlings.
“These beautiful lizards were first displayed at the Niabi Zoo in 2018, and we are excited to see them settle in and start reproducing,” said Lee Jackson, Niabi Zoo Director. “These are a relatively rare species in North American Collections.”
The lizards, native to the coastal forest of eastern Cuba, typically lay only one or two eggs at time, with an interval of 5 and 25 days between each laying. The first two eggs hatched on March 22 and 28, while the second two emerged April 10 and 26. There was about a 60 day incubation period for the eggs.
“It’s too early to tell the sex of these guys just yet,” said Jackson. “It will take 8 or 9 months to be able to tell the girls from the boys.”
The Smallwood’s anoles typically spend most of their time high in a tree canopy and are related to the America Anole, once a common pet in the United States. Although, they are many times larger than their American counterpart, growing to lengths of up to 12 inches.
Eventually the four hatchlings will be sent to other zoos to help support the continued management of the species in captivity.
The Smallwood’s anole can be seen by visitors in the reptile house at the Niabi Zoo, once it is able to open for the season.