How To Care For Your Anole
The most commonly kept Anoles are Green Anoles (Anolis carolinensis), native to southeastern United States, Brown Anoles (Anolis sagrei), native to the Bahamas, and Cuban Knight Anoles (Anolis equestris) , native to Cuba. Green and Brown Anoles are small (5-8”) diurnal, arboreal reptiles, though Green Anoles tend to be more arboreal than their brown cousins. Cuban Knight Anoles are significantly larger (13-15”) and are also diurnal and arboreal. Their habitat is the temperate rainforest, featuring high humidity and moderate (65-85F) temperatures. Green and Cuban Knight Anoles are emerald green while Brown Anoles are brown, tan and beige patterned. The males of all 3 species have colorful throat “dewlaps” which are displayed for mating and territory marking purposes. Green and Brown Anoles are generally considered to be beginner pets, while the larger and more aggressive Cuban Knight Anoles would be considered best for intermediate keepers.
Anoles are active, arboreal reptiles who enjoy climbing and jumping. Adult Green and Brown Anoles can be kept in a vertically oriented cage with a minimum size of 12”x12”18”recommended. Cuban Knight Anoles require a larger enclosure; 18”x18”x24” is suggested for them. Anoles appreciate a fairly densely planted enclosure with either live or artificial plants. Since they tend to orient themselves upwards, a front-opening enclosure is best to reduce the chances of them escaping. Many Anoles are kept in planted enclosures with an expanded clay ball and mesh drainage layer topped by coco fiber or other vivarium soil mix. Whether or not the enclosure is equipped with real or artificial plants, there should be sufficient branches, perches and cover to enable the Anole to feel secure. The plants in the Cuban Knight Anole’s enclosure should be sturdy and able to tolerate its weight.
Heating and Lighting
Anoles do not require additional heat as long as the ambient temperature in the room is usually between 65-80F. As diurnal reptiles, they require full spectrum UV which can be provided with a compact florescent or regular florescent bulb. Bulbs should be changed every 6-12 months in order to insure continued adequate UVB. A small halogen puck light or other light and heat source should be provided as a basking spot of approximately 90F. Humidity of at least 80% in the mornings should be provided by heavily misting every day.
Food and Supplementation
Anoles are insectivorous (insect eating), though Cuban Knight Anoles have been known to enjoy fruit as well. Anoles are generally attracted only to live food. They thrive on a variety of bugs (worms are difficult to feed effectively since they will tend to bury themselves in the substrate) locusts, crickets and Dubia Roaches. Care should be taken to feed appropriate sized prey and not to leave prey in the enclosure for long periods of time. Adult Brown and Green Anoles will do well with the medium sized crickets and medium sized Dubia Roaches. Cuban Knight Anoles should be fed large crickets and Dubia Roaches. Anoles require calcium to build strong bones, vitamin D3 to metabolize the calcium and a variety of other vitamins and minerals. It’s generally recommended to dust their prey with calcium,vitamin D3 and other vitamins using a commercially available product at every feeding.
Anoles require calcium to build strong bones, vitamin D3 to metabolize the calcium and a variety of other vitamins and minerals. It’s generally recommended to dust their prey with calcium, vitamin D3 and other vitamins using a commercially available product at every feeding.
*This care sheet contains only very basic information. If you are new to anoles, please do additional research to obtain additional information from more detailed care sheets.