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Anoles - What do they eat? 

Housing and Feeding ANOLES 

Anole Facts

The Anole (Anolis carolinensis) is a tree dwelling lizard found in North America and in some parts of the Caribbean islands. Anoles are a popular choice pet lizard since they're easy to look after and inexpensive to house.  Anoles live 4-6 years in their natural habitat and even up to eight years, or more, in captivity, if properly cared for.

If you plan on keeping anoles as pets you should make sure their diet is as similar as possible to their natural diet in the wild.  It's important to provide a good variety of bugs: worms, insects, grubs and flies.

Green anole eating moth and Blue anole on a log

Green (Caroline) Anole eating a moth    Blue Anole (only found in Columbia)

 6 Cool Facts about Green/Brown Anoles 

 The Blue Anole (Anolis gorgonae)  is the only blue lizard found  worldwide, and is an endangered  species.

Anoles, sometimes also called the American chameleon, although not a true chameleon, can change colour from green to brown, especially when stressed. They are usually inexpensive to buy and quite available in pet stores, but the equipment required to setup a proper terrarium is costly.  

Adult size is around 8 inches (tail included) in captivity, and a little large in the wild.  They easily are stressed from handling and can drop their tail, if grabbed by the tail, as a means of escape.  Their tail will usually grow back again.  

They are diurnal so you'll see them at all times of day or night in various modes of activity.

<< 6 Care Tips for Green and Brown Anoles

The best live feeders for your anole will come from specialty breeders who raise healthy worms and insects on fresh and natural food stuffs.

 Most Anoles love Phoenix Worms (black soldier flies), silkworms, butter worms, wax worms and mealworms, ... and crickets.

Make sure you buy good quality, moisture filled, gut loaded live feeders, and also make sure you properly continue gut loading the insects with fresh vedgies and fruits to pass on all of those good nutrients and healthy dietary fiber to your pet anole.  (You may feed insects you catch yourself only if you are sure they are clean -'pesticide-free').

Brown Anole on leaf

Brown Anole on a leaf 


A fairly small (10 gallon) tank is sufficient for a single anole, larger for a pair, as long as they have enough room (females only as males will fight) and plenty of basking spots and hiding places, with a securely fitted lid.  A substrate of peat moss and soil with a layer of bark (e.g. orchid bark) with live plants to maintain humidity and cover - try snake plants (Sansevieras), bromeliads, ivy, philodendrons, orchids and vines, and pieces of bark and branches for climbing and basking.

Provide temperatures of 75-80 F (24-27 C) during the day with a basking spot of 85-90 F (29-32 C) using a combination of under tank heating and a heat light on one side of the tank, making sure you have the right temperatures by checking various spots in and around the tank.  Night temperatures of 65-75 F (18-24 C)  achieved with heating pads or ceramic heating elements, not with basking lights.  In addition to the incandescent basking light also provide a full spectrum UVA/UVB light for 10 to 12 hours per day.

Anoles require a humidity level of 60-70%, which can usually be achieved by manually misting the inside of the tank daily, or installing an automatic misting system.  If you find it difficult to maintain the proper humidity levels try covering part of the top of the tank or putting more live plants in the terrarium.  Anoles will not drink from standing water. They will lick droplets of water off the  misted plants.

FEEDING Anoles:  

Anoles are insectivores and usually good eaters.  While crickets can be a part of their diet, they do need to have a good variety of insects to stay healthy, such as: BSFL, silkworms, butter worms, wax worms and mealworms.  They should eat from 2 to 4 appropriately sized live feeders (about 1/2 the size of the anole's head) every second day only.  

All feeders should dusted with a good quality vitamin/mineral supplement (except for the BSFL which never need any supplementation as their have the ideal Calcium:Phospherous ratio (about 2"1) and are the absolute best live feeder grub you can feed your anole.

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