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Green Anole

Drs. Foster & Smith Educational Staff
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Also known as the Carolina Anole, the Green Anole is a fun and interesting pet. There are many Anoles found in the United States now due to pets being released into the wild, but the Green Anole is the only one native to the US. Though they are inexpensive to purchase, they are fairly expensive to house and care for properly.

Species Profile: Green Anole
Scientific Name: Anolis carolinensis
Natural Environment: Southeastern United States from Eastern Texas to Southern Virginia.
Average Size: 7" to 9" from snout to tail.
Average Life Span: About four years, though they can live as long as eight years with good care.
Appearance: Green Anoles usually have bright green coloring, but the color can vary depending on their health and stress levels as well as humidity. They have long, slender bodies and tails, and their snouts are pointed. Males are noticeably larger than females, and they have a dewlap that is used for mating behavior and aggressive displays.
Size: Minimum of 10 gallons for two adults and 20 gallons for three to four adults.
Lighting: Green Anoles are diurnal, and they will need 12 to 14 hours of UVB light each day. Other lights you will need to use include a basking lamp and a nocturnal heat light.
Temperature: Daytime temperatures should be 75° to 80°F in the cooler end of the habitat and 85° to 90°F in the basking area. Nighttime temperatures should drop to 65° to 75°F. Use at least two thermometers, one in the hot end and one in the opposite end, to monitor temperatures.
Humidity: 60% to 70%; conditions should be moist but not wet. Mist plants twice daily to help maintain humidity levels and monitor humidity with a hygrometer.
Housing: Green Anoles are mainly terrestrial, so the enclosure should be long and wide rather than tall. Accessories should include multiple 2" high potted plants for hiding places and logs and branches for basking. The plants will also help to maintain humidity.
Substrate: Appropriate substrates are sterile peat moss over approximately 1" of pea gravel or 1" to 2" of potting soil covered with bark mulch. Never use gravel by itself or sand, as these could cause impaction.
Diet/Feeding: In captivity, a Green Anole's diet consists mostly of gut-loaded crickets and mealworms. He should be fed daily as much as he will consume in one sitting, generally about two or three appropriately sized insects. If there are uneaten crickets in the enclosure, you must provide cricket food for them so they won't nibble on your lizard. Water is supplied by placing a shallow bowl in the enclosure and misting the leaves of the potted plants twice a day.
Behavior/Interaction: Green Anoles should be kept singly or in groups of one male with two or three females. Males will bob their head while doing "push-ups" in displays of territoriality.

Some Green Anoles may enjoy handling, but most will find it stressful, and they may drop their tails (autotomy) if they feel they are threatened. It's best to limit handling to when you have to move them to clean their enclosure.

Interesting Facts: Green Anoles will turn dark brown when they are severely stressed or ill. If your anole is consistently brown in color, it is sign that he is stressed.
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