What Do Green Anoles Eat? (Ultimate Diet Guide)

Green anole, or Carolina anole, the stylish reptile trendsetter, rocks a sleek bright green bod and snazzy pink dewlap. He is the coolest beginner reptile pet ever. This lizard climbs like an acrobat and hunts like a stealthy ninja, bringing non-stop entertainment to your crib. Plus, if you treat him right, he’ll be your loyal sidekick for a solid eight years.

Caring for a green anole includes feeding him the right diet. But the question is: what do green anoles eat?

Key Takeaway:

Green anoles are insectivores. They eat all sorts of bugs, including ants, termites, roaches, mosquitoes, beetles, and grasshoppers. Spiders are their favorites too. Mealworms and waxworms make excellent snacks for green anoles. Just don’t give them plants; they can’t break that substance.

So, I’ll have to become a gourmet bug chef for my green anole lizard?

Yep, if you want a satisfied green anole, prepare to serve a ‘bug’ilicious meal.

In this article, we have answered the question: “What does the green anole eat?” so you can properly care for your new lizard. Let’s get started.

What Do Green Anoles Eat in the Wild?

Green anoles are natural insect chompers! They chow down on all sorts of creepy crawlies, whether they are red or blue, have wings or legs, or are big or small.

So, green anole lizards are insectivores?

Precisely! Green anoles love insects.

Let’s check out what their everyday meal looks like:


Can green anoles eat ants?

Oh, anoles are crazy about ants! And if they happen to find huge colonies, it’s like a fast-food joint for them, with ants lined up and ready to be gobbled. The best part is that ants are everywhere, and catching them is a piece of cake for these nimble lizards. No hunger pangs, no matter the season.

But ants are so tiny. Do they even make a difference to the green anole’s health?

You won't believe it, but ants make up a whopping 40 percent of an anole's diet. So, even if they are tiny, ants will keep your anole's belly full and happy. They are a source of protein, calcium, and zinc. There's a lot of antioxidant goodness packed in that little thing too.


green anole eating an insect

Grasshoppers are juicy snacks that anoles can’t get enough of. They provide a hefty serving of protein and fat. Plus, their exoskeleton is made of chitin, which helps green anoles with muscle growth and digestion.

Can anoles eat large grasshoppers too?

Large grasshoppers have hard skeletons, so they are tough to bite into. But, if your anole is hungry and feeling brave enough, he’ll give it a try! Green anoles are intelligent and can size up their prey. So, if the grasshopper is too big, they’ll look for smaller ones instead.


Cockroaches, especially Dubia Roaches, are popular treats for lizards. Their nutritional value is impressive, too – high in protein and low in fat. They are fantastic for your young green anole. Plus, cockroaches are pretty easy to catch and digest.

The only downside is the clash in routine. Roaches party hard at night, while anoles are all about daytime adventures. But anoles are opportunistic eaters too. So, they’ll prey on cockroaches during the crack of dawn or as the sun sets in the late afternoon.


Crickets, the rockstars of the insect band, are just as yummy as they are noisy. Anoles snatch them up in no time and munch their way to full tummies. Crickets bring a ton of protein to the menu and are also rich in calcium. About 40 percent of an anole’s diet is made up of crickets.

Can anoles eat the cricket’s legs?

Yes, anoles can eat all parts of crickets – including their spiny little legs. Crickets also offer a good source of phosphorus to balance out the calcium. The minerals help develop cartilage tissue, giving anoles healthy bones.

green anole eating an insect with long legs


Spiders, nature’s eight-legged ninjas, are popular among hungry anoles. And why not? They have a chunky body packed with nutrients. Plus, they are bite-sized and easy to eat.

But spiders have venom, don’t they? Can Anoles handle it?

Anoles digest small amounts of venom neatly without taking damage. But do not feed them large spiders with more potent toxins; that could be dangerous for your lizard friend.


Anoles don’t mind mosquitoes. They are crunchy and packed with protein. But catching these fast bloodsuckers is a task. It means an anole would spend more energy on catching one than he’d get from eating it. So, mosquitoes are more like a bonus snack than a regular meal.

Other Insects Green Anoles Eat

As we know now, anoles are insectivores. But are the insects mentioned above the only ones they eat?

Nope! Anoles eat a wide variety of insects, including:

  • Moths
  • Termites
  • Butterflies
  • Mealworms
  • Waxworms
  • Beetles
  • Flies
  • Fruit flies

Are there insects that green anoles don’t prefer?

Yes, the dead ones! Anoles can’t even see them. And if we include arthropods, like scorpions and centipedes, they are a little too spiky for anoles. So, they don’t have them on the regular menu.

green anole eating a worm

What Do Green Anoles Eat in Captivity?

What to feed green anoles in captivity?

Pet green anoles should get the same tasty grub that wild ones enjoy. As a responsible owner, offer your green anole lizard a variety of insects to keep his diet as balanced as possible.

Do captive green anoles get all the nutrition they need from live insects?

Not quite. For a well-rounded diet, it’s a good idea to dust those insects with calcium and vitamin powder before offering them to your lizard.

What about treats?

Do you want to praise your anole when he does something good? Sweet! Offer some live mealworms or waxworms as a reward.

Can green anoles eat mealworms daily?

Nope! Moderation is key here! Mealworms and waxworms are yummy but have a lot of fat content. If you feed your lizard too many, your anole might become obese.

Feeding Green Anoles

How often do green anoles eat? Also, how to feed a green anole?

Anoles are opportunistic eaters. They aren’t even picky about their bugs. So, no matter how much you give them, they’ll eat it all.

But is that okay? Nope!

Never feed your anole out of routine or without measuring the food.

How much should I feed my green anole?

The amount of food you provide your anole lizard depends on his age and size. A baby green anole requires more nutrition to grow healthy and strong, while adult lizards eat less.

Offer a young green anole about two to three pinhead crickets per day or a good helping of other small gut-loaded insects. An adult anole can be fed two to five medium-sized crickets every other day.

Monitor your pet lizard’s behavior and keep track of his weight and size too. These will help you determine the right amount of food for him. For instance, if he’s not enthusiastic about food, decrease the number of insects.

Can I leave live insects in my green anole’s tank? Is it safe?

Leave a few live insects in the tank; it’s safe. Plus, it’ll help the baby lizards work on their hunting skills.

But if you leave a lot of them at once, they’ll pee and poop everywhere, contaminating your lizard’s terrarium. That’s unhealthy. You should avoid that.

How Do Anoles Catch Their Prey?

Anoles like working for their meals. So, it’s only the moving targets that attract these lizards. They’ll chill under the sun for hours, looking epically lazy, waiting for an unsuspecting critter to present itself. Once they spot their snack, they’ll stick their tongues out and devour it in a blink. It’s an amazing show.

Once they catch their prey, these red-throated lizards flick the unlucky bug with their tongue and swallow it whole. Yummy! Anoles also use powerful limbs to grab huge bugs like grasshoppers and beetles.

What’s really cool about these anoles is that their eyes can move separately and can see even in the ultraviolet range. It’s like having two independent scanners with their own set of lenses! So they can check out their surroundings without even lifting a finger. Talk about convenience, right?

Frequently Asked Questions

Do Green Anoles Eat Fruit?

If you’re wondering, “Can green anoles eat bananas and oranges?” the answer is yes! They do eat fruits occasionally. If you’re offering bananas, make sure they are ripe. Green anoles also enjoy fruit purees.

Do Green Anoles Chew Their Foods?

Anoles aren’t big on chewing. Their teeth are more like tiny grappling hooks, perfect for crushing, puncturing, and perforating their grub. They can’t tear their prey apart. So, it’s mostly a “slide it down the throat and swallow whole” kind of situation for green anoles. That’s why we suggested ripe bananas.

Do Green Anoles Need Water?

Of course, they do! Anoles usually drink from shallow water dishes. But they love misting. So, spritz some water on the leaves in the terrarium, and they’ll lap however much they need from there.

Will My Pet Green Anole Eat Dead Bugs?

Nope, your pet green anole won’t give a second glance to dead bugs. These little lizards have a serious case of bug blindness when it comes to motionless critters. So, to keep your anole’s tummy happy, you’ll need to stock up on a never-ending supply of live snacks.

What Do Brown Anoles Eat?

Brown anoles eat the same insects as green anoles. Some might even eat green anole hatchlings! The only difference is that brown anoles are more active hunters than their green counterparts. So they tend to spot prey from far away or hang around in the leaves to ambush unsuspecting insects.

The Green Anole’s Tasty Bug Binge

Understanding green anole eating habits is crucial for keeping them safe, healthy, and happy in captivity. Thanks to our guide on the green anole diet, we figured out that anoles are opportunistic insectivores. They love bugs in all shapes and colors, from ants and grasshoppers to cockroaches and spiders.

Anoles are also active hunters, preferring live prey over dead ones. So, you’ll need a constant supply of fluttering, wriggling creatures for your pet lizard.

Most of all, don’t forget to sprinkle some calcium and vitamin powder on their food every now and then. It’ll help them grow strong and healthy!

It’s up to you now: turn your terrarium into an anole-friendly bug buffet and watch your pet lizard’s eyes light up with joy.

Did you find the information in this article interesting?

At Oddly Cute Pets, we strive to provide the most informational guides on reptiles like snakes, turtles, and lizards, so you can keep your pet healthy and happy. If you want to learn more about how to care for your reptile pet, check out our website. We’re sure you’ll find something of your use.

Thanks for reading, fam!

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