Anole Care and Pet-Keeping Information Care Sheet
Anoles are small and common lizards that can be found throughout the southeastern United States, the Caribbean, and various other regions of the Western world. A large majority of them sport a green coloration, including the only species native to North America, the aptly named Green anole, although the green anole can change its color based on its mood and surroundings. Anoles are an exorbitantly diverse and plentiful group of lizards. There are currently about 372 known species. The Knight, Green, Bark Anole, and Cuban Brown Anoles can all be found in the United States, primarily in Florida, although the most prevalent of these species by far is the Cuban brown anole, which has pushed the native green (or “Carolina”) anole population farther north.
Anole is Native to:
Small and common lizards that can be found throughout the southeastern United States, the Caribbean, and various other regions of the Western world. Interestingly, when green anoles and brown anoles cohabit the same area, the brown anoles are primarily terrestrial or restrict themselves to the lower branches of bushes, while the green anoles stay higher. Brown anoles have also spread into East Texas.
Anole Average Lifespan:
Most anoles are said to live between 4 and 8 years. Even anoles captured from the wild can live for several years if given acceptable living space and cared for properly—a healthy anole in captivity, being free from predators and natural disaster, may live well beyond seven years. Some anoles may even reach 14 years with careful and proper care.
Anole Average Size:
Many anoles are between 8 and 18 cm (3–7 inches) in length. Some larger species, such as the Knight Anole, can surpass 12 inches (300 mm); some males of the Knight Anole species can even reach 20 inches (510 mm) in length.
Anole Enclosure and Housing:
As a general rule, anole lizards should be kept in a minimum 20 gallon terrarium with a secure terrarium lid. Remember, anoles are curious and agile creatures … so a secure cover is necessary or else you’ll be searching all over your home for your pet.
Actually, we recommend a terrarium larger than 20 gallons so the anole has plenty of room to explore. You can safely house two female anole lizards in one terrarium, or a male with a female or two. Be sure to never house two males together, as they will be enemies and fight!
These guys like to climb and hanging fake plants and branches are a must. Overhead heating is a must. You should also supply a reptile heat lamp which will keep one portion of the terrarium warmer than others. The ideal temperature for a terrarium housing anoles is 75 to 80 degrees, with a warmer spot approaching 90 degrees (courtesy of the basking lamp). They are diurnal and a daytime heat lamp as well as a night-time light are needed as well.
Never use a heat rock!!! They can get badly burned and even killed.
We recommend using a jungle mix bedding as it holds moisture well and will help to keep the humidity at an optimum level. It contains peat moss and coconut shell to mimic the floor of a jungle or rain forest.
Anole Heating and Temperature Requirements:
The ideal temperature for a terrarium housing anoles is 75 to 80 degrees, with a warmer spot approaching 90 degrees, and a cooler area of 70 to 75 degrees. High humidity is a must as well. A mister or a spray bottle 2 to 3 times per day will help, this also aids your pet in shedding and digestion.
Anole Feeding and Watering:
You can also supply a water dish if you wish, although some anole lizards may never drink from it. The usual way that your friends drink, is to lap the droplets of water off the hanging plants and branches. Misting the tank 2 to 3 times per day will be helpful to both the lizards and help to humidify the tank. Anoles are conditioned to lap water off branches, so we recommend either lightly misting the terrarium with tepid water (not too cool or warm). You can also use an inexpensive but very handy device called an automatic terrarium waterer which removes the watering chore from you. Water dishes should be shallow, and stable. Note too, that most insects you feed to your pets, will often drown in a bowl, so instead of a water dish, misting is preferred. Gut load cricket drink in a small dish will prevent this, and still give them adequate moisture.
Anoles’ diets include live insects and other invertebrates, with crickets, spiders, and moths being some of the most commonly consumed prey. Anoles are opportunistic feeders, and may attempt to eat any attractive meal that is small enough. The primary foods for captive anoles are small feeder crickets that can be purchased at most pet stores. Be sure to use a “gut load” powder on their food and not to over feed. Every other day is usually enough to maintain and keep them healthy a long time. Remember, well-fed crickets are well-fed lizards. Foods you can feed crickets to make them healthier for your Anole are: potato slices, apple or pear slices, fish flake food, oats, spinach leaves or other greens.
Anole Handling and Temperament:
These little guys are more for show than anything. They are difficult to hand tame and will stress quickly if chased of cornered. They change color too, if stressed or other wise upset. They do well if left to their own devices, and simply observed. It’s critical to let an anole lizard adapt to their new surroundings slowly and on their own time schedule. If you have children in the house, be sure they understand that it’s best not to try to handle them for a few days at least. We recommend speaking to your new pet in your natural choice for a while before attempting to handle them so they become used to your presence.
In terms of diseases or pests, anoles are remarkably resistant and tend to remain in good health, all things being equal. If they do become afflicted with a parasite, you will normally be able to view it on your pet’s body. A gentle tug with tweezers should be all that’s needed to remove it.
Finally, don’t be too concerned if your new pet doesn’t eat for a few days. Anole lizards can go up to two weeks without eating, although they will typically eat every other day or so when they are full-grown adults. Once your anole lizard adapts to their new habitat and feels comfortable, they’ll begin to show a healthy and consistent appetite.