How to Create a Habitat for a Green Anole Lizard

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Anole Habitat for Optimal Viewing, $113.98

  • Glass terrarium for reptiles or amphibians
  • Patented front window ventilation
  • Raised bottom frame in order to fit a substrate heater; Waterproof bottom
  • Escape-proof dual doors lock to prevent escape
  • Closable inlets for wires and/or tubing management

Items Needed to Create a Habitat

If you plan to have an anole as a pet, be sure to have his habitat ready before you get him. After doing some careful research and talking to employees at our local pet store, I found out that their habitat should contain several items to keep them safe and healthy. Here is a list of the items you will need for an optimal anole habitat.

  • peat moss
  • bark and vines (can be manmade) for climbing
  • thermometer
  • 10 gallon tank for 1 anole and larger tank for more than 1
  • misting system or spray bottle
  • live plants: philodendron, ivy, orchids, or bromeliads
  • incandescent basking light
  • full spectrum UVA/UVB light
  • vitamin/mineral supplement
  • crickets for feeding
  • heating pad or ceramic heating element (optional)


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Putting the Anole Habitat Together

Place the peat moss on the bottom of the aquariam, Make it thick enough to allow anoles to hide in it if they want to. Use tree bark and plants to create shaded spaces in the aquarium. They should be able to go underneath items to be completely out of the light. A fixture that provides shade can be bought at your local pet store, in the reptile section, if you feel that the bark and plants are not adequate. Place a thermometer inside of the tank where it can be easily read. A dome light system can be used to regulate UV light and incandescent light for day and night. These dome lights can be placed on a stand.

The Art of Feeding Anoles

Anoles are insectivores and enjoy eating live insects. We offered ours dried crickets, but they would never eat them. Be sure to feed the appropriate sized crickets to your anoles. They usually come in small, medium, and large sizes at the pet store. A general guide to size is that the prey should be about half the size of the anole's head. Anoles need to be fed usually every couple of days and about 3 crickets per feeding. It is recommended to dust the crickets with a vitamin/mineral supplement before feeding. Crickets can be purchased at your local pet store, or they can be ordered online. There are many online stores that offer reptile food. Crickets can even be raised in their own habitat if you find that this is more convenient. For more tips about feeding anoles, visit Exotic Pets.

Anoles have a flap on their throats called a dewlap.  It appears when they are showing aggressive behavior.
Anoles have a flap on their throats called a dewlap. It appears when they are showing aggressive behavior. | Source

Important Tips You Must Know

  • Do not keep more than 1 male in a habitat with other anoles. They will not get along and it will end badly. The females usually get along when put together.
  • When misting anoles, use water that has been sitting at room temperature for at least 24 hours. This will prevent a cold temperature of water, and will allow water to be safe for anoles.
  • Keep live healthy plants in the aquarium, as they help keep moisture in the air, and provide a structure to climb and drink water from. Anoles typically lick water droplets off of leaves.
  • Make sure anoles have places to go that are shaded, and places to go to bask in the light.
  • When feeding, check to see that all anoles get a chance to eat, as one may be very aggressive and eat all of the food every time.
  • According to ExoticPets.com, habitat should be kept at "75-80 F (24-27 C) with a basking spot of 85-90 F (29-32 C). Night temperature can drop to a gradient of 65-75 F (18-24 C). Do not use basking lights to achieve nighttime temperatures - use heating pads and/or ceramic heating elements."

Anoles in the Classroom

Last year I ordered anoles for my science class, in order to enhance our unit about ecosystems. I'll never forget the day they came. The office called over the intercom to let us know they had arrived and I sent two students down to get them. They came back with a styrofoam box wrapped in packing paper. As I carefully opened the box, I felt the warmth coming from the inside, where there was a warming satchel and a burlap bag.

The class waited patiently, anticipating their first glimpse at our anoles. As I tilted the bag into an aquariam we had prepared for them, three large anoles leaped out and into their new habitat. Suddenly, a fourth one sprung out of the bag and onto the chalkboard. The students went nuts, and I panicked. All I could see were visions of this large green lizard racing through the classroom, while children leaped on top of their seats screaming. Fortunately, it never came to that, as I was able to coax him onto my arm and into the aquarium. The students and I all exhaled with relief. That was the first of many exciting moments with the anoles. If you are interested in having anoles as pets, be sure to read the following instructions and tips at the end of this article.

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