You've met Cricket-Catcher, our Cuban White Knight Anole, or Cuban Knight Anole, or Knight Anole, right?
I've written about this lizard on and off over the past several years - however long we've had it. Including that matter with Dinoraptosaurus, may he rest in peace.
All this time, we've just assumed it was a male.
After all, whenever Bill holds the lizard, we see that dewlap get bigger. You know, like male reptiles do to show how big and scary they are.
And then tonight, after dinner, Bill and Alex took the lizard tank into the bathroom, shut the door, placed a towel along the crack under the door, let Cricket-Catcher out, and proceeded to do some lizard habitat cleaning.
Julia waited outside the door. She half wanted to go in, but half knew that if the lizard made any kind of a move in her direction, she'd freak out. So she (uncharacteristically) chose to wait outside.
I was doing the dishes.
And then I heard Alex shouting excitedly about something.
And he came out of the bathroom.
Bill found it less than an inch under the dirt in the tank directly below the heat lamp.
A lizard egg.
I held it briefly. Very light, a bit flat. About the size of one of those little chocolate eggs you find in the stores before Easter.
A lizard egg.
Alex let Julia hold it. (He didn't want her to - he thought she was too young and might squish it. I intervened.)
Bill put it back in the dirt and put the lizard back in the tank. I went back to doing the dishes, all the while hearing Eddie Murphy's voice, as Donkey in Shrek, saying "You're a...a GIRL dragon!" Julia was overjoyed. A girl lizard!
The kids were just excited about the egg. They don't know a whole lot of reproductive info at the moment...they know some, but not enough to be counting months - no, YEARS - on their fingers and trying to figure out how this lizard could have a years-long gestation period, because it's been that long since there was another lizard in that tank.
I thought, maybe they have some weird ability to wait until a time of their choosing before laying the egg. I had no idea. Neither did Bill.
So a little while ago, I looked up stuff online, and found a forum thread that made mention of female anoles laying infertile eggs.
And I guess it's not at all uncommon.
So Cricket-Catcher, the GIRL LIZARD, has apparently reached some level of maturity and is now producing eggs.
We're thinking she could have been doing this for some time, because it's not like Bill gets in there and cleans the tank very often. It's not like a litterbox - it's a complete little habitat.
And besides, Cricket-Catcher bites.
So anyway, who knows how long she's been making little nests under the loose top layer of dirt? We sure as heck don't.
Oh, and that egg?
It's rather big, in my opinion.
I actually felt a bit of sympathy for the lizard. I truly hope, for her sake, that the eggs are soft when they're...expelled.
But then, if they're not, that could explain her perpetual hostility.
Okay, I need to go get some sleep. We're in full-tilt-painting mode now, trying to get a lot done before the humidity returns.
Hope you enjoyed our joyful news.