As the name suggests, green anole is a lizard with a green body, a pointed nose and a very long tail. Scientifically, it is known as Anolis carolinensis and is native to Southeastern United States. It can also be found in Cuba, Mexico, and Bahamas. A green anole has the ability to change its color from green to brown when it feels stressed or cold. It usually grows to a size of 9 inches however, some may even grow as large as 12 inches. Life span of this lizard is generally 3-5 years, but may also live up to 10 years when taken care of properly. Male anoles are larger than females and lose the bluish-white strip present on their back, when they turn adults. Females, however, retain this strip during adulthood. The size and bluish-white strip can be used to distinguish between adults of both the sexes.
Green anole lizard is an inexpensive pet, but the overall expense in maintaining and taking care of it is quite high. For first-time reptile owners, this lizard is a good choice. Taking good care of the pet is the responsibility of the pet owner. So, let's have a look at the basic needs to take care of this pet.
Caring for Green Anole Lizards
A tank of a minimum size of 20 gallons is well-suited for a pair of green anoles. A tall vivarium can also be used to provide large living space for the lizards. The tank must have a sliding mesh on top and sufficient provision to prevent the escape of these creatures. It must also have a good amount of natural or artificial plants to simulate the natural environment. The tank must be filled to around 3-4 cm with sterilized reptile bark to form an even base in the tank. It is advisable to use a bark which you have tried earlier. It is better to consult the pet shop owner in case you have a doubt.
Temperature and Humidity
Green anoles are dependent on surrounding temperatures to maintain the temperature of their body. Therefore, maintaining optimum temperature conditions is important. Lighting is provided using UVA and UVB bulbs. Green anoles synthesize Vitamin D3 by the help of this light. The bulbs must be placed outside the tank so that lizards do not burn themselves by coming in their contact. Replacement of old UV bulbs with new ones should be done every six months, as they gradually decrease in effectiveness. Day temperatures should be maintained between 75-80°F, while night temperature should be between 65-75°F. Basking temperatures should be between 85-90°F. Green anoles require high humidity in their surrounding environment. Misting the tank everyday will help in maintaining the humidity required for shedding process of the lizards.
Cleaning the tank regularly is necessary to keep the anoles healthy, and that's why a cleanliness check must be performed daily. Feces must be cleaned immediately from the tank. The water bowl must be scrubbed to remove soil and filled with fresh water everyday. These lizards prefer drinking running water so, misting the tank must be done without fail, as they drink water droplets that form on the side walls of the tank and leaves of the plants. To encourage them to drink water from a bowl, an aquarium bubble maker can be used to simulate a source of running water in the tank.
Green Anole Health
Anoles are prone to develop infection around their mouth. Any such infection should be treated by gently applying hydrogen peroxide using a cotton swab. If you are not sure of the treatment, do not take any risk and talk to the vet, who can prescribe right medications for the infection. Mold growth in the tank can be dangerous for anoles and must be removed. Try keeping the tank dry if you suspect excess humidity causing the problem. If the sick lizard is not cooperating for treatment, it is better not to force it because this can leave it stressed.
Maintaining a variety in the diet will provide necessary nutrients to the anole. These are insectivorous and love to feed on mealworms, crickets, wax worms, fruit flies, cockroaches, and other small insects. The tank must not be overloaded with food and only required amount of food must be provided, as overeating may adversely affect the lizard's health.
Care is easy once the tank has been set up. These lizards are fragile and call for minimum handling. It is better to see and enjoy their activities rather than holding them in hands. Handling them roughly or picking them by their tails often triggers them to drop their tails. To avoid this, it is better to leave them alone and let them live peacefully in their surroundings.