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Keeping the Green Anole ( Anolis carolinensis)
Anoles are members of the large and diverse family Iguanidae.
Anoles are one of the most commonly kept of all of the lizards.
Anoles are often called Chameleons because of their ability to change colors,
but true Chameleons can not only change colors but have eyes that
move and see independent of one another.
Anoles or “Anolies” as some people call them are from South
America and the Anole commonly seen in American pet stores is
mostly found in the Southern United States of America.
Keeping Anoles is an easy task, as long as proper conditions are met.
Anoles do very well in planted Vivarium that is set up to keep house plants.
Most Pet shop's and the library will have many books on setting up terrarium/vivarium
and your Teacher or librarian can help you choose a book that will help you get started.
The following is a simple care sheet of the basic's that you will need in order to keep an Anole alive and happy.
First, males of the species are usually the only sex to be caught and sold to the pet shop's,
this is because the males are larger
than the females and only males of the species have dewlaps
(Dewlaps are the throat flap that they display when showing off).
Females are smaller and less colorful and they lack the impressive dewlaps of the males.
Territories: Males will fight when keep together, even in the pet stores.
We recommend that you only keep a few anoles at the most together.
Larger Anoles will keep the smaller ones from eating and the
stress of the larger more aggressive Anole will cause the smaller ones to die.
You can safely keep Anoles in a tank as small as a 10 or 20 gallon
aquarium as long as you have a screen top.
For lighting we recommend both Incandescent and Fluorescent light.
For the Incandescent light, a simple light bulb of about 60 watts
will be enough to heat up the air temperature a few degrees.
A full-spectrum fluorescent light such as Duro-Tests Vita-Lite
brand will reproduce the needed U.V. light for proper calcium
absorption, a necessary function in Reptiles.
Water can be provided in a small bowl, but should
also be misted onto the plants in the Vivarium as many Anoles
will only recognize water as dew droplets as they drip off the
Anoles have to be one of the more easily fed lizards because
they will accept almost any small moving insect or spider and
they show a defiant preference for small flies and grasshoppers
(crickets make a good substitute).
A little reptile vitamins sprinkled onto the bugs will assure that
the lizards will receive all the minerals that they need.
Something that you may also want to consider adding to a tank
that contains Anoles would be a few sticks or branches as they do enjoy climbing.
For more in depth information on Anoles (all species)
see the book; The General Care and Maintenance of
Green Anoles, By; Philippe de Vosjoli, published by
the American Federation of Herpetoculturists.
Also available on the web.