What to Expect When You’re Expecting: A Green Anole
Housing, Feeding, and Caring for Your Pet Lizard
The Anolis carolinensis, a small lizard known as the green anole, is a popular choice for first-time reptile owners. Anoles are small, friendly, and active lizards who love to climb, making them fun pets, especially for children.
Anoles are often referred to by other names like the Carolina anole—since it is especially common in the Carolinas and other Southern states—and the American chameleon. The anole is not actually a chameleon, but it does change color from green to brown depending on the environment.
Housing Your Green Anole
Because of their small size, one or two anoles would be fine in a 10-gallon tank. However, we always recommend a larger habitat to give anoles more space to move around and climb. The Savannah River Ecology Laboratory’s species profile on anoles notes that in the wild they like to hide under tree bark or in a rotten log. You can try to replicate your pet’s natural environment and give your anole places to hide within his enclosure by adding plants and branches. Just double-check that the lid of the tank is secure—anoles are small, fast, and can fit through the smallest of places! We recommend keeping the humidity in your anole’s tank between 60 and 70 percent. Daytime temperatures should be between 75 and 80 degrees Fahrenheit and can drop to 65 degrees at night.
Feeding Your Green Anole
Green anoles, like other lizards, are insectivores. While they could feed on crickets, we recommend offering them heartier and more nutritious options like mealworms and waxworms. Insects can be dusted with calcium and vitamins for an extra nutritional boost.
Your pet anole will likely not drink water from a dish. Instead, your anole will lick water droplets off of plants. It is important to include plants in your anole’s enclosure for multiple reasons—not only do they give your anole a place to bask and hide, but plants also keep your pet hydrated. Common plant options include philodendrons, vines, and snake plants.
Caring for Your Green Anole
Anoles are generally very docile and hearty creatures. As long as you keep your pet’s tank clean, provide regular misting, and offer 2-3 gut-loaded insects each day, your anole should thrive. Keep in mind that some anoles will tolerate being handled, but care should be taken not to touch their tail.
Are you expecting a new pet anole? Let us know how we can help answer any other questions you might have about preparing to bring him home and planning for his care. Of course, when it comes to feeding your anole, we are your destination for high-quality, nutritious live feeder insects.