How to Take Care of A Green Anole

The Green Anole is also known for its various names: Carolina Anole, American Green Anole, American Anole, and Red-throated Anole. Frequently, it is referred to as an American Chameleon due to its ability to change color from brown to bright green, gray, or yellow, but in reality, it is not a real chameleon species. Reptile hobbyists love this lizard because of its bright red dewlaps situated under the chin, which contrast beautifully with its bright green body. Equipped with a small body, long tail, vibrant colors, and easy-care requirements, the Green Anole makes a perfect lizard pet for first-time owners. If you are eager to read more about this lizard species, make sure to read further!


The Green Anole is a small to medium-sized lizard species categorized under the Dactyloidae family. It was first described by German zoologist Friedrich Siegmund Voight in 1832. The species is endemic to North America, particularly in North and South Carolina, Florida, Georgia, Alabama, Mississippi, Texas, Louisiana, and Texas Hill Country. Green Anoles have also been introduced into Ogasawara Islands, San Diego, Orange County, and Hawaii. They inhabit subtropical areas with brushy clearings and moist forests of the mentioned areas.

Characteristics of a Green Anole

Average length: 8 inches

Average weight: 2 to 6 grams

Average life span: Up to 5 years in captivity

Both male and female Green Anoles have long tails that account for more than half of their lengths. Their scale colors vary, but in most cases, the colors range from brown to gray or green. Color variation happens due to the layers of pigmented cells, giving them the ability to change color according to external factors, like excitation and temperature.

There are physical distinctions between sexes. For one thing, females often possess a line that runs from their neck down to their back. Meanwhile, males have dewlaps underneath the neck. A dewlap is usually pinkish or reddish, and the more vibrant the color is, the more the male is attracted to the opposite sex. Displaying the dewlap may also mean a competitive status between males, as dewlap displays are correlated with territory boundary disputes.

Caring for a Green Anole

A Green Anole can live alone or in a small group, but keep in mind that there should be only one male per cage. This is because male Green Anoles display dominance and territoriality by bobbing their heads and flaring their dewlaps. If you are only housing one Green Anole, buy a 10-gallon terrarium at the very least. Expand the size if there will be more than one. Since Green Anoles are arboreal species, the enclosure should be at least 18 in high with a secured screened lid.

Green Anoles require a warm, humid environment. The enclosure’s temperature should be warmer at the top and cooler at the bottom. Set the ambient day temperature between 85 and 90 degrees Fahrenheit and the ambient night temperature between 65 and 75 degrees Fahrenheit. Its basking spot’s temperature should be mid 90 degrees Fahrenheit. Make sure to monitor its habitat temperature using two thermometers, one at the bottom and one at the top. As diurnal species, a Green Anole would require a UVA/UVB bulb inside the enclosure to mimic sunlight for 12 hours a day.

The habitat’s humidity should fall between 60% and 80%. Use a hygrometer to monitor the humidity. Always make sure to keep your pet’s water dish full and mist the enclosure twice or thrice a day.

When it comes to substrates, avoid those that are oily, scented, or resinous such as wood and pine shavings, as well as scented paper towels because Green Anoles do not occur in arid areas. They are temperate species that would appreciate untreated soil or bark substrates with decaying leaf-litter.

These lizards are insectivores. Therefore, you should feed your pet with crickets, farm-raised maggots, roaches, mealworms, and the like. Avoid kingworms and superworms because they possess sharp mandibles that can injure your pet’s digestive system. Grasshoppers and leafhoppers can serve as supplements for your pet, but make sure that wild-caught insects are free from pesticides and other agricultural chemicals.

They can also tolerate gentle handling and usually prefer to perch on your hand or shoulder. Green Anoles are fragile, and their tails dismember easily, so handle them with care.