Friday, September 14, 2012

A Lizard and an Aloinopsis

A couple of days ago, one of the many lizards who lives on the Rogue Kalanchoe "Mother of Millions" in my yard made my acquaintance as I photographed my baby Panda Plants.

He's baaa-aaack! I'm gonna name him Bill, after the lizard in Lewis Carroll's Alice In Wonderland.

Turns out, Bill really enjoys hanging out on an Aloinopsis. I agree with him. Much nicer than a toxic Kalanchoe daigremontiana....

During the autumn and winter, I leave some of my mesemb collection out in the sun in the mornings, then take them in at lunch. But will Bill choose the A. malherbei or the A. luckhoffii?

Aloinopsis malherbei won the lizard popularity contest. Bill hung out for a few hours, then went back home to Mother of Millions. The next morning, it was rainy, so I didn't put the mesembs out to sun. No lizards out either. Then the sun came out again....
Guess who showed up at my screen door, just staring into the house, so disgruntled he didn't care that I was 1000 times bigger and meaner than he was?? You got it. So I put that Aloinopsis out, and pronto! No disapproving lizards for me. Bill got right back to his favorite sunnin' spot, pretty much the same spot as yesterday, and I swear he winked at me as he settled in to soak up some rays....

Will he be there tomorrow? You bet I'm putting that Aloinopsis out early!
(PS: Bill is a Brown Anole, Anolis sagrei, and is not native, but actually from Cuba! Did he swim all that way?? What a lizard!)
(PPS: Of course, Bill could be a Billette, but I really have no idea! I do however, feel grateful to this little anole for helping me see the world of mesembs from a radically different viewpoint. If I were an anole, which mesemb would I perch on??? Hmmm....)


  1. Hi Marla. Bill is so photogenic and so tiny! And these photos are fabulous. I have no Bills in my outdoor plant pots, just lots of tree frogs trying to find some moisture. Gail

  2. I love the lizards, but unfortunately we don't have any here. Lots of garden spiders...
    Enjoyed the photos.

  3. Hi, Gail,
    I love those tree frogs, I hope they stay nice and wet! We have lots of coqui frogs down south, they're cute but loud!

  4. Glad you enjoyed Bill's photos, Luther! I remember the garden spiders from the W. Coast, HUGE is an understatement! They can get big here, but they're terribly shy, thank goodness.

  5. What a cool looking lizard! And great photos too. :) That last photo is excellent, and great capture of his wink too! Lol ;) The daily life of lizard, how fascinating!

    1. They are actualy pretty amazing little creatures! I have to admit, I caught that wink by accident, I didn't ask him to pose....

  6. Are you sure Bill isn't a female Anolis carolinensis? They're brown, but the males are green, and I suspect they're native to Florida as well as the rest of the southeastern US.

    The big garden spiders are out in full force here, building webs all over the place and generally having a ball. There's a huge one living on the tomato plants, so we try not to disturb it when we pick tomatoes. Don't you miss them in Florida?

  7. Doc Elly,
    I pondered that for a long time and looked at dozens of photos, because it could be the Billette Anolis carolinensis. But A. carolinensis have virtually disappeared from these dunes- the sagrei have really taken over. And we've never spotted a single green lizard here, nor have the neighbors. So I don't actually know, it could be either, but I went with the most common variety. Any herpetologists out there to clarify??