8 November –
A second invasive lizard species has turned up during the Department of Environment’s (DoE) ongoing hunt for Green Iguanas.
This Knight Anole (Anolis equestris – see attached photograph) was discovered last week at Vigoro Nursery on Agricola Drive in Lower Valley. The species has been seen previously on Grand Cayman, but is not currently believed to be here in large numbers.
This species is similar in appearance to the common Green Iguana (Iguana iguana) and is often mistaken for a Green Iguana, although the Knight Anole is much smaller, with adults typically growing to between 12-20 inches long (30-51 cm). Also, like the Green Iguanas, Knight Anoles are prolific breeders. They eat small birds and other, smaller reptiles, therefore Cayman’s own indigenous lizards could fall prey to Knight Anoles, if these become established.
“This little lizard could potentially be a big problem for Cayman’s ecosystem,” said Fred Burton, manager of the DoE’s terrestrial resources unit. “They eat anything smaller than themselves and are voracious predators. The folks at Vigoro did the right thing reporting it to the DoE.”
Mr. Burton’s unit has taken possession of the Knight Anole to euthanise it and asks members of the public to be vigilant for the invasive lizards, and if they see similar creatures, to take photos and report sightings to the DoE either via phone at 949-8469 or email Doe@gov.ky.