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Green Anoles (Anolis carolinensis) Care Sheet

  Green anoles are semi arboreal lizards found throughout the southeast United States.  They are very common lizards and are very inexpensive.  Male green anoles have a colorful dewlap and display it when protecting their territory.  Green anoles have the ability to change color from brown to green.  They change color depending on their mood, temperature, and surroundings.  Males are larger than females and adults can grow up to eight inches in total length.  With proper care green anoles can live up to seven years. 

Temperature and UV Lighting

     Green anoles should be maintained at a daytime temperature of 85-90 degrees, with a basking spot reaching up to 94.  Night time temperatures should be maintained between 70 -75 degrees.  If your home is cooler than these temperatures at night you will need a red or other dark colored heat light.  Green anoles come from a humid environment and ideally humidity should be maintained from 60-70%.  This level of humidity can be accomplished by misting the cage daily with water.  Green anoles require 10-14 hours a day of UVB light. This light enables the lizard to produce vitamin D3.  The vitamin D3 produced by UVB metabolizes the calcium in the lizards’ diet.  In general it’s what makes anoles bones hard and without it they usually die.  This process of inadequate UVB and calcium is called Metabolic Bone Disease.  Also it is very important to change your UVB light every 6-8 months, after this time the light stops producing adequate UVB.  If you’re not sure if your UV light is still producing UVB, bring it in and we’ll be happy to test the light for you. Calcium

     Green anoles also require a calcium and vitamin supplement. This supplement works with the UVB light allowing the lizard to receive the proper amounts of calcium and vitamins. This should be used every day as babies and reduced to 1-2 times a week as adults.  Calcium is sold in a powder form and is sprinkled on the insects that you feed your lizard.  You should apply a very light coating to the food items, being careful not to waste any excess powder.

Bedding

     Our recommendation for bedding is bark, coconut bark or some other type of mulch.  This bedding absorbs water and helps maintain a high relative humidity.

Food and Water

     Green anoles should be fed appropriate sized crickets, mealworms, waxworms, and superworms.  A mixed diet of these food items, five to seven times per week, is ideal and will ensure proper growth and health.