Oct 162011

Anole: Anolis carolinenis

Adult Size
6+”, males up to 8:

Life Span
4 Years, possibly longer in captivity

Male/Female Differences
Males anoles are larger than females and have a dewlap, a flap of skin at the base of the throat. Males have a more oblong skull than a female does.

Males fight for territory, so keep a few females for each male. Mixes well with other lizards or amphibians, like tree frogs, that have the same needs and are not large enough to eat them.

Southeastern United States.

Hot and humid tree tops and bushes.

Day Cycle
Crepuscular, being more active in the morning and the evening.

Maintain a temperature of 80 degrees or higher. Low temperatures adversely effect their energy and digestion. Use a combination of a heating pad and basking lamps to
provide daytime heat, and just the heating pad at night to maintain at least 70 degrees.

UVB lighting is needed to stimulate a natural environment, to stimulate hunger, and to help assimilate calcium and vitamin D3. Provide a small basking lamp above branches to allow them to warm up.

Keep humid; either mist with a spray bottle several times a day or install an automatic misting device. Providing a waterfall not only provides a drinking place for the anole but also increases humidity.

These small fast lizards make their home among the leaves and vines of trees.

Substrate is less important here as these lizards will spend almost all of their time in the plants or on the walls. Gravel can be used, as it is easy to clean, while shredded coconut bark helps maintain humidity. Cage carpet can be used as it
is easy to clean and reduces mites. Cover with moist moss to maintain humidity.

Hiding Place/Den
Provide plenty of hiding places with plants, either real or artificial, rocks, wood, vines, or even baffles made of cage carpet.

Cage Type
Glass terrariums are ideal for anoles, as they hold in humidity and are easy to clean. It should be large enough to create plenty of hiding places. Aquariums can be used, too.

Anoles are insectivores, so feed small crickets, a few mealworms, and flightless fruit flies. Anoles are also nectar drinkers, and can be fed small pieces of fruit and small amounts of fruit puree, such as baby food. These foods must be removed soon or they will attract fruit flies (which can be eaten by the anoles).

Additional calcium and vitamin powder can be lightly dusted over the crickets occasionally – it is recommended to alternate days of vitamin powder and calcium powder. Since crickets are naturally high in phosphorus, choose a
calcium powder that lacks that mineral.

Diet Precautions
Too much phosphorus, as excess phosphorus will be absorbed instead of calcium. Avoid too many mealworms, as these are hard to digest.

Feed about 3 small crickets a day. Gut load the crickets with nutritious cricket food to give additional vitamins and minerals to your anole.

Water Source
Anoles rarely drink from water bowls. Mist several times a day or use a slow drip system to mimic the dew they drink in the wild. A waterfall also provides a drinking place.

Anoles need humidity to help shed their skins. Their grooming needs are minimal.

Oral and Foot Care
Toes can get caught in loose strands of cage carpeting; check your cage carpet when you clean it. Anoles can develop mouth rot from unsanitary conditions.

Proper Handling
Most anoles are nervous and very fast, making them difficult to hold. When tame and used to you, they can sit in your hand. Handle gently, as their tale can snap off as a defense mechanism.

Habitat Maintenance
Clean the cage weekly, spot clean soiled areas daily.

Health Concerns
Dehydration is a risk as these lizards need moisture.

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