I was on the rear deck and out of the corner of my eye, perceived some flashing movement and a crash to the ground. It was a pair of male anoles who opted for a physical encounter to determine who would be dominant. I went and grabbed the camera (Nikon D300 & 300mm tele lens)
I have seen previous fights between males but never one that lasted so long. A number of times the two disengaged and I expected one to turn tail but not this pair! The fight consists of grabbing an opponent with the mouth and then using the legs and tail for leverage like wrestling. On occasion the pair would get to flipping and twisting too fast to follow what was going on. Each lizard had the strength to lift the other off the ground . At times, one's chest would be heaving with quick breaths while the other was completely still with only eye movement indicating any life.
The shots below are in cronoligical order and in some cases, you can follow the subsequent moves of the same engagement sequence. The torquing and twisting of the bodies was amazing to witness
The darker green anole on the right above is caught in it's lunge attack, below:
The dark green anole walks and twists the head of the other as it then sideways climbs the rock for beter leverage and torque.
At the moment caught above, I expected one of them to disengage. They had been at it for quite a while already. neither was willing to quit. The light green anole got an effective grab of the others neck.
This particular engagement went for a good period of time I and I was convinced the light green anole would greak away as the victor and I was concerned about the health of the other.
When the tumbling resulted in a break, again, neither was willing to call it quits!
With a good amount of posturing and moving about each other, I assumed this fight was finally winding down. I would guess these guys had been at it for 45 minutes by now.
I had to leave ring side to get ready for a diner engagement. I don't kow if this fight went into dusk or not. I did go out late in the night to the area and spotted one of them sleeping on a plant close by and its chest was heaving noticibly even though its eyes were closed. The next day, I spotted what I was sure was one of these anoles and the top of its head was discolored and likely to scar some.
The more I observe these lizards in their activities and feats of speed and agility, the more impressed I become. When one crawls over my hand and arm to get a bug being offered, they weigh so little and are so light on their feet. I have seen them jump to the ground from many feet up and leap a few feet through the air to snap a bug up in their mouth. At their level, they certainly rule the garden!
There were a number of times during this fight that I considered intervening but I figured it was not my place and these guys would just get into it again at a later time. With the long lens, I was able to get some close up shots and still remain 3' or so away from the action itself.
A couple days later and I took a few pics of one of these warriors:
And again a few days even later, with something on his mind..