Green Anoles are native to the south-eastern United States, Cuba, Jamaica, and other Caribbean islands. Other anole species such as the Cuban anole, Jamaican Giant Anole, etc. are found in the same areas, except for the United States. They are interesting pets that breed easily in captivity, are quiet, and are non-allergenic. They may live for up to 5 years.
They live in a very hot, humid and almost tropical environment. They are quite common in the south-eastern United States. In their wild environment they are hunted by not only snakes, birds and other larger lizards but they also seem to be the favorite hunting prey of wild cats. However, despite the downfalls they do make excellent pets. They are quite affordable and aren't very difficult to care for. They are recommended for any first time reptile owner.
Anoles do well kept in small groups consisting of one male and 2-3 females.
|Pet Reptile (Anolis carolinensis) Care Information|
|Years to Maturity:|
|Housing, Feeding and Climate of Anolis carolinensis|
|Reptile Foods:||What reptile foods are suggested? Should the reptiles food be live reptile food?|
|Reptile Lighting:||Are there any special reptile lighting requirements?|
|Breeding Anolis carolinensis|
|What is the average clutch size for this animal?|
|Incubation Temperature:||What temperature do the reptile eggs require?|
|What are the reptile health concerns? Is pet insurance recommended? Is reptile health a common problem?|
|Recommended Pet Supplies for Anolis carolinensis|
nb. All of these can be purchased from an online pet store
Males have a larger dewlap (fleshy area under the chin), and may have a crest down their back. Typical size of an anole is 7-8", though slightly larger sizes have been reported. Unfortunately, most captive anoles don't live long enough to reach this size due to poor husbandry.
Green Anoles have the ability to change colour between shades of green and brown. These colour changes are not used for camouflage; they are used to reflect stress or to communicate, similar to Chameleons. For example, a content Green Anole is green. When active, they tend to be bright green. When they are cold or displaying social subordinance, they will turn brown. When aggressive, they will be bright green with a dark brown patch behind the eyes.
 Preparing a home for a Green Anole
 Housing size
This will depend on how many you have. One male can easily be kept alone in a 10 or 15 gallon enclosure. Groups of 3-4, however, require much more space, as these little lizards are somewhat territorial. For a group this size, try a 29-30 gallon enclosure or larger. You will need plenty of climbing branches, hiding areas, and rocks for them to use. Remember that cleaning will be necessary, so don't get too elaborate. Other accessories you will need include a UVB-producing light bulb, such as a Vitalite, Repti-Sun5.0, or Desert 7% bulb. They will also need a basking light, an under-tank heater, and a drip or spray system (anoles don't drink from a bowl.)
When picking a substrate for your Anole, be sure that whatever you choose will hold humidity. Also make sure you don't get any pine or cedar chips or shavings because both can be poisonous to your animals. I would suggest Eco-Earth, Repti-mark, potting soil, aspen chips or cypress mulch. Of course, this list is not all-inclusive. As long as it can hold humidity and it is not one of the poisonous substrates already mentioned, whatever you use should be fine. I also add a layer of moss to the layer of substrate. This will add to the humidity of the cage and also provide the Anoles with a hiding spot to allow them to feel more secure. Additionally, you should add plant, branches and other decorations to the cage. It will not only help add to the humidity when you spray down the cage but it will also provide them with hiding spots and add to the overall naturalistic look of the environment.
 Hiding places
See Humidity section.
Green Anoles like to climb and bask, so logs or branches should be provided. Added cover such as rocks will benefit anoles if a number of them are kept in the same enclosure. Small plants should also be provided; non-toxic plants in the enclosure provide humidity, shade, and a sense of security as well as adding an aesthetic quality. Dragon plants (Dracaena), Ficus benjamina, and hibiscus are good choices. Be sure the plants have not been treated with pesticides and the potting soil does not contain vermiculite, pesticides, fertilizer, or wetting agents. Washing the plant with a water spray and watering it thoroughly several times to the point where water runs out of the bottom of the pot, should help remove any toxic chemicals that may have been used. Keeping purchased plants in a different part of the house for a while before putting them in the enclosure will also be helpful.
Exposure to unfiltered sunlight or a UVB-producing bulb such as a VitaLite, IguanaLite 5.0, or Desert 7% bulb is necessary to facilitate Vitamin D3 production. This is the vitamin that turns calcium into a usable material for bone and nerve cell building and repair. So, without it, an anole or other lizard will quickly end up with a condition similar to osteoporosis, as well as nerve damage. Sunlight that passes through glass or Plexiglas does NOT transmit UVB, and cannot be substituted. When using a UVB bulb, it must be placed 12-18 inches from where your anole will spend the most time, and it must NOT have glass or plastic between the bulb and the anole.
Daytime temperatures should range between 29-32Â°C (85-90Â°F), with a basking spot of 35-38Â°F (95-100Â°F). Nighttime conditions should recreate those encountered in the animals natural habitat so a temperature drop to approximately 18-24Â°C (65-75Â°F) will suffice. To achieve this you should use a combination of under-tank heating pads, basking spot lights, etc. NO HOT ROCKS, as they have a tendency to overheat and burn your anole. Use a high-range thermometer in several places to monitor the different temperature zones within the enclosure. To achieve the nighttime drop, put your heat light and UV light on a timer. The heating pad can be left on, especially if you live in colder climates.
Humidity should be relatively high, at between 60-70% and can be achieved by spraying your cage several times a day with fresh water, as well as by using live potted plants in your cage. A shallow pan of water may be placed in your cage, though anoles will not drink from it. Make sure they can escape from it should they fall in.
Misting is by far the best way to hydrate your enclosure. They solve many problems associated with drippers. Misting-system prices range from $59 to $159. They offer the benefit of hands-free watering. The biggest advantage is that a misting system can prevent many health problems assocated with over and under watering. We strongly recommend that you invest in one if your budget permits.
Many high-end misting systems come with digital timers. The problem is that these timers have a minimum duration of 1 minute. This can also lead to over watering. To correct this, there are timers that have a minimum duration of 1 second. Ideally, you should mist for 30 seconds, 4 times a day.
Anoles are mainly insectivorous, and will readily devour any insect you toss in. Crickets are available at most pet stores for this, though a variety of insects should be provided when possible. If your area is not usually exposed to pesticides, try raking a butterfly net through your yard. Grasshoppers, moths, and other insects are easily caught this way. Waxworms may be obtained at some pet stores as well, though they should be used as treats, not a staple diet. While mealworms are often sold as food for anoles, they lack nutrition, and are difficult to digest. Remember, if crickets are purchased, they should be fed a diet of vegetable scraps from your home for 2-3 days BEFORE using them as food for your anoles. Also, place the crickets you are using into a plastic bag and shake some calcium supplement and dry vitamins on them and shake them to coat them with the additives. Then put the insects (a few at a time) in the cage. This way you can ensure that the food you are giving your anoles are as nutritious as possible. In general, provide 2-3 bugs per day for each anole, unless you see that he/she is not eating them. If they eat them, and appear to want more, add one more at a time until you find how many they will take each day. Do NOT leave crickets or other bugs in your cage with your anoles without providing something for the crickets to eat. They may decide that your anole is good cricket food.
Maintaining a clean environment for Green Anoles is important. The enclosure, food and water bowls, fixtures, and landscaping pieces should be cleaned routinely to keep the anole healthy. Detailed instructions on how to clean a cage can be found in the article, Cleaning Reptile Cages.
Anoles breed easily in captivity, and this is certainly possible. Mating can occur during the spring and summer, and eggs are usually laid within 2-3 weeks of that. Eggs may be laid one or two at a time. Females prefer a dirt area to lay eggs, so if she is showing signs of being ready to lay eggs, a bowl of slightly moistened potting soil might be placed inside to encourage her to lay eggs there. She may lay eggs again every couple of weeks for several weeks. Remove the eggs very carefully, taking care as to NOT turn the eggs. Place them in a covered container with sandy soil and incubate to about 82-85 degrees. Check to make sure it doesn't get too dry, or too moist. Eggs take around 35-45 days to hatch. Hatchlings will be about 1.5" long, and will require pinhead crickets or fruit flies until they are large enough to eat with their parents. Keep them separate from parents until their size is at least 1/2 that of the adults, or they could be mistaken for food.
Taming anoles takes time, and may never truly happen. Frequent gentle handling with slow movements may help them "calm down", though true "tameness" is rare. Newly acquired anoles will often bite, and may also drop their tails when frightened. While this is not serious to either you or your anole, it should be taken into consideration before handling your new pet. If you are bitten, try not to "jerk" away, as this may tear his teeth out.