Citizen Science and Anole Introductions

One of the great advantages of citizen science is having a massive increase if the number of people making observations. Full-time scientists only have so many eyes and ears and so much time for taking data, so relatively rare events can be difficult to observe. With enough citizen scientists on the case, though, the chances of someone recording one of these rare events can increase dramatically.


An (as yet) unidentified anole hatchling transported from Puerto Rico to Virginia. From user kimjy3 on

Biological invasions often start from a small founding event when one or several individuals of a species arrive in an area they have not previously occupied. These are notoriously hard to observe as are “failed” introductions, where an individual is transported to a novel habitat, but does not establish a reproducing population. One recent such event was brought to my attention on iNaturalist: an anole hatchling arriving outside Washington, DC in a shipment of plants from Puerto Rico. But what species is the hatchling from? Check out my post on Anole Annals for more details or to help ID the little one!

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