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My Office Mate

September 25, 2017

 My “office mate” here on the Big Island is a Green Anole (Anole carolinensis) mistakenly, but often called a “chameleon” in the mainland pet trade. He (or she) routinely takes up its post on the window screen next to my computer and chases all the flies and other pesky things away while endeavoring to eat them. I call her/him "Om," (for Office Mate).


The Anoles are not native and are thought to be pet store escapes from the 1950s but are doing very well on their own here on the island, thank you very much. Many introduced species are unwelcome as they crowd out native flora and fauna and do irreparable harm to habitats. The Anole primarily eat non-native insects so are not considered a threat to endemic species. It’s funny, Green Anoles and cockroaches are rarely seen together, coincidence or cause and effect? You decide!


One very interesting piece of their anatomy is their “third eye.” Not linked to any form of mysticism (that we know of ;-) and found on many types of animals, it is called the parietal eye. While it possesses no rods or cones, it is light sensitive and is thought to help this lizard orient properly to the sun for thermoregulation or may even warn of the presence of predators.  


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