Green anoles (Anolis carolinensis) are inexpensive lizard pets that are popular among reptile enthusiasts. Giving them the proper care they need is a fine art that every anole owner must master.
Are you looking after a green anole for the first time?
Then in this article, we’ve put together the best green anole care guide with the advice you need to look after your new pet. Make sure you save this page.
A green anole will live for about 5 years in captivity. It will need a 10-gallon terrarium fitted with a heat lamp and at 60-80% humidity. Feed it gut-loaded crickets every other day and give it water to drink by misting the leaves and walls of its enclosure. Take it to the vet once a year.
Are you ready to find out more about green anole lizard care and even learn some fun facts about green anoles?
Then check out our complete guide coming up next.
Table of Contents
Green Anole Care
So you’re excitedly taking your new anole home from the pet store and can’t wait to settle it in its environment.
But what if you’re not sure how to care for a green anole?
Then take a look at the green anole care sheet, which will let you in on everything you must know about tending to the needs of your new lizard pet.
The Lifespan of Green Anole
Looking after a green anole (Anolis carolinensis) is a big responsibility. You want your pet to live a long and satisfying life.
But, what is the average green anole lifespan?
The green anole lizard’s lifespan averages 5 years. These pets can live for up to 8 years or even longer in captivity when you look after them well.
The green anole life cycle tends to be longer in captivity, where they do not need to worry about the predators they would face in the wild. (More about those in just a mo).
Natural Predators of Wild Green Anoles
Green anoles in captivity often live longer than those in the wild. Wild green anoles must constantly be on the lookout for the following predators.
- Broad-headed skinks
What kind of predators do they face in captivity?
In captivity, many green anoles fall prey to cats. So, you must ensure to keep cats away from your new pet.
Male Green Anoles
Male green anoles are distinct from the females.
How can you tell a male from a female?
Here are a couple of ways.
- Male anoles are bigger than females. They are about 15% larger and can grow up to 8 inches long.
- Their throat fans (dewlaps) are three times bigger than the females.
- Their dewlaps differ in color from pink to bright orange, and they use them more often than the females do. They attempt to attract females via head bobbing and expanding their throat fans.
- Males are very territorial and will fight one another. When in front of a mirror, one male might even fight his own reflection.
- To show their territory, the male anole will change its body color to bright green.
Female Green Anoles
Female green anoles are very different from the males.
How can you tell a female from a male?
Here are a couple of features that are unique to the female.
- The females are smaller than the males.
- Their throat fans (dewlaps) are 3 times smaller than the males.
- Their dewlaps are lightly colored, and they use them less often than the males do.
- Most of the females have a white dorsal line down their backs that starts just behind the anole’s head.
Green Anole Enclosure Size
You want your green anole to feel comfortable in its new environment and have plenty of space to move about.
What size enclosure does it need?
One green anole needs to live in a 10-gallon terrarium with a screened lid.
If you have multiple green anoles, you will need to get an even bigger terrarium. You must always get the biggest enclosure you have space for.
Green Anole Cage Mates
Green anoles are not social animals in the wild and only nest together during mating seasons.
Do you need to buy these lizards in pairs?
If you have only one male or only one female, do not worry, it will not get lonely.
But, if you want to get more than one green anole, put the following pairs together.
- Two females
- One male and one female. Do not put two anoles of the opposite sex together unless you want them to mate.
Do not put two males together, as they will fight.
Green Anole Diet
For your green anole to live a healthy and long life, it will need to consume a balanced diet.
Its diet must consist of the following:
- Feeder insects. These include wax worms, pinhead crickets, flightless fruit flies, red runner roaches, and other insects. Feeder insects must make up the majority of its diet.
- Grains and seeds
Green Anole Water
Green anoles do not drink from a water bottle.
How do they drink water in the wild and in captivity?
In the wild, green anoles will drink the water that settles on the leaves of plants or dew before the morning sun burns it away. In captivity, they will drink the water you mist onto plant leaves or the sides of their enclosures.
If you worry about your green anole not getting enough water, put a small amount of water in a shallow dish. Do not overfill the water dish, as the anole will not be able to escape from deep water.
Green Anole Feeding Schedule
Feeding your pets at the right time is the key to good green anole care.
How often must you feed it?
Reptile keepers must feed adult anoles once every other day, while they must feed juvenile anoles every day.
Feed your anoles 2 to 5 gut-loaded insects like crickets. As an occasional treat, just once or twice a week, feed them wingless fruit flies or mealworms.
Take away any uneaten food after one hour.
Baby Green Anoles
If there’s anything cuter than a green anole, it’s a baby green anole.
What do baby anoles look like?
Baby green anoles are only 2 to 2.6 inches in length when they first hatch. The babies take about 8 months to mature, and until then, you must keep them away from other adult anoles and other reptiles that might view them as prey.
Green Anole Behavior
Green anoles are popular reptile pets.
What is the nature of this reptile?
Green anoles tend to be shy and rather skittish animals. They can become used to handling by their owners as long as you are consistently gentle with them and keep handling sessions short.
Although they can become tamer, they will usually run away when you attempt to handle them.
These animals are popular in the pet trade because of their attractive green coloration and because they are non-poisonous and only attack when they feel threatened.
Green Anole Terrarium Light
Green anoles are easy to take care of. But part of taking care of your lizard pet is making sure his terrarium is set up properly.
What is the right light cycle for your terrarium?
Here are some guidelines.
- UVB lighting. Green anoles love the sun and need 8 hours of UVB light every day. You will need to install a 5.0 UVB bulb in the enclosure.
- Basking surface. To ensure your green anole gets enough UV rays, it will need various basking hot spots in its enclosure. Use a blue day bulb or a basking bulb to achieve this.
Green Anole Terrarium Heat Lamp
You must set up your green anole’s terrarium with everything it needs to stay warm enough throughout the day and night.
What must you do to make sure it is warm enough?
Use an under-tank heater to keep the enclosure at the right temperature.
- Green anoles live long and healthy lives when the daytime temperatures in their enclosures are between 74 and 84 degrees Fahrenheit.
- The nighttime temperature in their terrariums must be between 66 and 72 degrees Fahrenheit.
Green Anole Terrarium Humidity
Your lizards are used to a tropical and warm, high-humidity environment.
How humid do they like it?
The humidity in your green anole’s habitat must always be between 60 and 80%. Putting a water dish over an under-tank heater can help you achieve this.
Green Anole Terrarium Accessories
Although green anoles are hardy animals, many find it difficult to adapt to life in captivity. You must do everything possible to make the enclosure feel more inviting.
What kind of accessories do they need?
Here is a list of some of the most important accessories.
- Put live plants in the green anole’s enclosure. They love potted plants such as ivy, orchids, and sansevierias. Natural plants are also good for increasing the humidity levels in the enclosure.
- Put peat moss or sphagnum moss and soil down as substrate. Make sure there is at least 2 to 3 inches of substrate inside the terrarium. Do not use scented substrates such as pine shavings or dry substrates like sand.
- Place pieces of bark and large, sturdy branches inside the green anole’s enclosure.
Green Anole Activity
We all like pets that are up and about when we are.
But what time of the day is a green anole active?
The green anole is a diurnal lizard. This means it is more active eating, basking, and moving about during the day, and then it rests at night.
It sleeps for about 6 to 8 hours per night.
Green Anole Veterinary Care
You want your green anole to live a long and healthy life.
How often must you take it to the vet?
To ensure your small reptiles stay healthy, we recommend you take them to the vet once a year. Green anoles are prone to diseases such as mouth rot and metabolic bone disease, which your veterinarian will check for during each examination.
In the meantime, your anole might show he is not feeling well if he turns brown. Turning brown is a sign of stress and that something is not right, either in his enclosure or with his health.
Green Anole Fun Facts
Don’t know much about green anoles?
Then check out the following list of interesting green anole facts that will help you to get to know these fascinating reptiles a little better.
Where are green anoles from?
Let’s find out.
- The scientific name for the green anole is Anolis carolinensis, and it is also known by the name Carolina anole and American Chameleon.
- Green anoles are from the Dactyloidae family of anole lizards.
- Friedrich Siegmund Voigt, a German zoologist, and botanist, gave this species a name in 1832.
- This lizard is native to the southeastern United States. It is mostly arboreal, but you will also find it in shrubs and on the ground.
What do green anoles look like?
- A green anole has a slender body and a long tail. It is a small to medium-sized lizard.
- Green anoles are not chameleons, but they can change color. The color they change depends on their mood, the temperature of their environment, and the humidity.
- They use adhesive pads on their feet to help them climb on just about any surface, including vertical surfaces.
- Their eyelids move, and their eyes move independently from one another.
- The males are 15% bigger than the females.
Mating and Behavioral Facts
How do green anoles mate and behave?
- A female green anole will lay eggs totaling 15 to 18 per breeding season. She will lay one egg per week. She will abandon the eggs as soon as she lays them.
- The eggs take 5 to 7 weeks to hatch and do so during the months of May to October.
- The males use their dewlaps to attract females and to frighten off other males. They also do push-ups to attract females.
- The males are very territorial and will even attack their own reflection in a mirror.
- Green anoles drop their tails as a defense against predators. Their tails can still wiggle after they have fallen off. When they grow back, they will be a slightly different color and texture to the rest of the lizard. Their new tails will also be slightly shorter than their original tails.
- These lizards are most active during the spring and fall.
Green Anole FAQs
What would you like to know about green anoles?
Check out our list of FAQs to find the answers to some of the most searched questions about this species.
What Do You Need For a Green Anole Tank?
For a green anole tank, you need a UVB light, a basking surface, an under-tank heater, and a mister. You will also need the right accessories, including live plants, moss, soil, bark, and sturdy branches.
Are Green Anoles Hard to Take Care of?
Green anoles are relatively easy to take care of as they exercise on their own, entertain themselves, and prefer not to be handled.
What makes these lizards more difficult to look after is keeping their environment optimal. This means making sure the lighting, humidity, and temperature in the enclosure are just right.
For more details on keeping the enclosure in optimal condition, review the green anole care sheet in this article.
Do Green Anoles Need to Be Misted?
Green anoles need the humidity levels inside their enclosures to be between 60 and 80%. Misting can help you achieve this level of humidity as well as using the right substrate and putting plants inside the enclosure.
You must mist the enclosure to ensure that your anole has water to drink. It will drink the water that settles on the plants and the walls of the terrarium.
How Big of a Tank Does a Green Anole Need?
One green anole will need at least a 10-gallon terrarium. The enclosure must have more height and less floor space, as this reptile loves to climb.
If you have space for a bigger enclosure, get it. The bigger the better.
The Ultimate Green Anole Care
Green anoles are not your average pet, so it’s often a little tricky to work out how to look after them properly. Thanks to the green anole care sheet in this article, you now know everything you must do to keep these reptiles happy and healthy.
Green anoles have a lifespan of 5 years. They live longer in captivity, where they are safe from certain predators like snakes and broad-headed skinks.
The males are larger than the females and have dewlaps which they show off to attract females. Adults must eat 2 to 5 gut-loaded insects every other day.
You must mist the environment inside the terrarium to give them something to drink. These animals will tolerate handling as long as you keep sessions brief and you are gentle.
Did you find this article interesting?
At Oddly Cute Pets, we always strive to provide you with the best articles about green anoles and other reptiles. For more information about how to set up a terrarium or what to feed your lizard, check out our website.
Thanks for reading!