Brown Anole

Anolis sagrei


While far more common in states such as Florida and Louisiana, the nonnative Brown Anole can be found in coastal urban centers and occasionally in other city areas of Mississippi. Currently, this species has established populations in Jackson and Harrison counties. Other county records represent a few individual observations. Anolis sagrei usually spreads to new locations via ornamental plant commerce. They are characterized by more complex brown patterns, occasionally with yellow spots, and blunter snouts than Green Anoles. While the native Green Anole may change color to brown, Brown Anoles can never turn green. Females have a lighter row of scales down the middle of the back. Adult males will compete for territory by doing “pushup” motions and flashing the bright orange-pink dulap (extending neck flap). They may be found in a wide range of habitats and feast on invertebrates.

Male Brown Anole on a fencepost, Jefferson Par. (LA)

Identifying Traits

  • Patterned brown body
  • Shorter head and snout than the native green anole


Urban areas, may invade natural habitats when excessively established.


Males are territorial and will do “pushups” and flex their dulaps when other males are present. They occasionally do this upon encountering people as well. May outcompete native anoles in areas of high brown anole density.


Various invertebrates

Female, Jefferson Par. (LA)
Adult Male, Jefferson Par. (LA)