REPTILE / new pets
Anole Care Guide: How to Take Care of an Anole
6 Cool Facts About Anoles
- 1. Anoles are a species of lizard that like to live on trees.
- 2. Anoles can grow to be 8 inches long.
- 3. These awesome pets can live up to 5 years on average.
- 4. Anoles are very fast and are often hard to catch, do not like to be handled too much (only gently). Male anoles can sometimes be dominant and territorial.
- 5. Because male anoles are territorial, it is normal to see a group of anoles with mostly females and only one male in the wild.
- 6. Anoles can slowly change color from bright green to brown, yellow or gray depending on their mood and the temperature/humidity of their environment.
Things to Consider When Learning How to Take Care of an Anole:
Anoles can make great pets. They are relatively low maintenance and are great beginner reptiles for anyone who is interested. They do not take up too much space, and they are absolutely beautiful. So what do you need to know to make sure you give them the best care, and what reptile supplies do you need?
What Should Go in My Anole’s Habitat?
- Terrarium Size - Anole’s require a reptile terrarium that is at least 10-gallons (40 liters) and 18 inches (46 cm) tall that has a screened lid. If you have multiple anoles, then increase the size of their habitat.
- Substrate - Line the bottom of the terrarium with 2 to 3 inches of coconut-fiber, moss or bark bedding. Additional moss is a reptile substrate that can help raise the humidity in the terrarium if necessary. Spot-clean the bedding at least once a week and change it completely once a month.
- Lighting- Anoles are diurnal, meaning they’re active during the day. Install a UVA/UVB bulb with a timer in the terrarium to mimic sunlight for about 12 hours daily. At night, switch to a night-specific bulb so you can watch your pet with minimum disturbance.
- Temperature - Your anole’s terrarium should be warmer at the top and cooler at the bottom. By day, keep the temperature at the top of the terrarium between 85-90° F (29-32° C) and the temperature at the bottom of the terrarium between 75-85° F (24-29° C). At night, the whole tank should be 65-75° F (18-24° C). Monitor the temperature of the habitat with 2 thermometers, one at the top and one at the bottom.
- Heating - Use a heat bulb or ceramic heat emitter to keep the warm part of the tank at the correct temperature.
- Humidity - Habitat humidity should be between 60% and 80%. Use a hygrometer to keep track. Create and maintain humidity by keeping the anole’s water dish full and by misting your pet and the habitat 2 to 3 times a day. Or use an automatic fogger, mister or drip system. You can also utilize moisture-retaining substrates such as coconut fiber and moss.
- Habitat Décor - Create a hiding place with natural or artificial rocks or wood. Then provide live plants, branches and other reptile habitat décor for your pet to climb.
If you’re looking for something that comes with all of the essentials, try a reptile starter kit.
What Should I Feed My Anole?
Learning how to take care of an anole involves knowing what reptile food will fill their tummies and help them thrive. An anole needs a balanced diet of the following things:
- Gut Loaded Insects - An insect is “gut-loaded” when they have been fed strategic ingredients, like calcium and other nutrients, to increase their nutritional value before giving them to a reptile. Anoles are insectivores. Crickets should make up their primary diet. Feed anoles 2-5 crickets daily. Insects should be no more than half as big as the anole’s head.
- Treats - Supplement your pet’s diet once or twice a week with mealworms, appropriately-sized hornworms, or phoenix worms as treats.
- Vitamins - Dust your anole’s food 2-3 times per week with a calcium reptile supplement and once a week with a multivitamin. Always speak to your vet before making changes to your pet’s diet.
- Water - Provide a shallow dish of water. (Anoles will drink from this and also lick moisture from their skin and habitat.) Refresh the water daily.
Advice for Handling Your Anole:
- Try not to handle new anoles for 3 or 4 days to give them a chance to get acclimated to their new surroundings.
- Use caution when handling pets, and remember they may bite (especially when stressed).
- Supervise children around pets as they learn how to take care of an anole.
- ALL ANIMALS can potentially carry viral, bacterial, fungal, and parasitic diseases contagious to humans. Thoroughly wash your hands with warm, soapy water before and after contact with any pet or its habitat.
- Adults should assist children with hand washing after contact with a pet, its habitat or aquarium water.
When Should I Contact the Vet?
Before you bring your anole home, make sure to find a vet in your area that is familiar with them. Whether your anole is new or settled-in, be sure to contact a vet if you notice any of these signs of illness or distress:
- Avoiding the basking area
- More time hiding
- Eating/drinking less
- Weight loss
- Swollen joints
- Discharge from the eyes, nose or mouth
- Runny droppings for more than two days
- Shedding problems
- Discolored skin.
PET SAFETY TIPS
- ALL ANIMALS can potentially carry viral, bacterial, fungal, and parasitic diseases contagious to humans
- Thoroughly wash your hands with warm, soapy water before and after contact with any pet or its habitat
- Adults should assist children with hand washing after contact with a pet, its habitat or aquarium water
Information in this article isn't intended to diagnose, treat or cure your pet and isn't a substitute for veterinary care provided by a licensed veterinarian. For any medical or health-related advice concerning the care and treatment of your pet, contact your veterinarian.