Buckeye Herps Blog

A photographic journal of the reptiles and amphibians of Ohio, Michigan and other places interesting wildlife call home.

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Hawai'i Herps: Lizards

The vast majority of the herps on Hawai'i are lizards.  I have had a good amount of luck turning up some of the "big game" but there are still quite a few that I probably won't see.  I was really hoping to find a few more of the skink species, but I never made it happen.  That being said, there are some pretty neat lizards currently living in Hawai'i, and I hope you enjoy!

There are currently a few species of skinks living in Hawai'i.  I really hoped to find the moth skink and the snake-eyed skink, but alas, I settled for a ton of metallic skinks. All of these species are native to other south pacific islands, and it is thought they might have come over with early polynesian settlers or on land rafts.  You might argue this makes them "native" in a way, and I can't really fight that point. 

Metallic Skink  Lampropholis delicata

I found these fairly common in certain areas.  They were easily heard scurrying along in the leaf litter.  Sometimes, I was even lucky enough to see one or two.  Catching them was much harder, and I was only able to bring the third individual photographed to hand.  It looked a little worse for the wear, and I suspect I was only able to grab it and pose it secondary to a mild case of death.

The most common lizards on the island were by far the brown anoles.  I saw these basically every place on the island that I bothered to look.  I will choose not to talk about them much, they don't desearve any attention. 

Brown Anole Anolis sagrei

One of my favorites, the Green Anole, Anolis carolinensis, I was happily suprised to find hanging on most places.  These have been decimated in their native SE US by the brown anole and even speaking to local Hawaiian residents, used to be much more common.  They turned up most places though, in much smaller numbers. 

Last, but definitely not least, is the jackson chameleon.

Jackson's Chameleon Chamaeleo jacksonii

Female jackson, showing the teloscopic eyes

These have become extremely common in parts of Oahu, and Maui.  The are large, beautiful lizards that are often collected as pets and then moved around.  I found them best by spot lighting for them at night, after striking out a number of day hikes.  Veiled chameleons are also being found on Maui, but to the best of my knowledge, are not yet established on Oahu.

A nice male, found nearby

Next up, the geckos!


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