Anoles are small lizards native throughout the southeastern United States, the Caribbean and other Western regions. Most anoles are green in color although they can change color to blend in with their environment based on their mood and their surroundings. They can change color pretty quickly, but if they stay brown for a long period of time it is a sign that they are stressed or ill.
As an adult, anoles are about eight inches long, and most of the length is in the tail. If you have one or two anoles, it is best to have at least a 10 gallon aquarium, preferably a tall tank with a lid. If you have three or four you will need at least a 20 gallon tank. Anoles are best kept singularly or in small groups. If you are to get more than one, the best combination is two females and one male.
The best substrates to use in anole habitats are sterile peat moss potting soil over pea gravel. Stay away from sand or gravel substrates. Anoles like to have hiding and climbing areas. Logs and branches are perfect for these basking areas. Heating rocks and heated caves are not recommended for anoles.
The overall habitat temperature should be 75-80 degrees Fahrenheit with the humidity at 60%-70%, while night time should be 65 to 75 degrees. Basking temperatures should be slightly higher at 85 – 90 degrees Fahrenheit. In order to reach these temperatures use an incandescent light, ceramic heater, or under tank heating pad. Electronic timers are recommended for consistent heating.
Anoles need UVB lights on for 12-14 hours a day and nocturnal heat lights at night to keep consistent night temperatures. Anoles don’t drink from a bowl so you need to mist the plants and aquarium two times a day. You should clean your anoles tank at least once a week.
Anoles eat live insects, crickets, spiders and moths. Small feeder crickets are a perfect diet for anoles. Smaller anoles can’t eat big bugs, so if they are under three inches you can feed them pinhead crickets or fruit flies. Anoles should be fed daily and can eat as much as they care to.
Anoles can become highly stressed, causing dehydration, emaciation and parasites. Signs of dehydration include lack of appetite, sunken eyes or significant skin folds. If your anole becomes dehydrated you can boost the humidity in the tank for 24 hours before a vet visit is in order. When stressed, a green anole will turn brown during the day.
With proper care and housing, anoles can live between 4 and 8 years, sometimes longer.