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How to Look After a Pet Anole

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Common in south eastern United States, Cuba, and some parts of the Caribbean, anoles are favorite pets among children. Dubbed the American chameleon, children are mesmerized by the reptile’s ability to change color from green to brown depending on the occasion. They can’t change color in full spectrum like real chameleons, however. Regardless, anoles still make safe, educational, and fun pet reptile for the kids and kids at heart.

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Aside championing the shopping of pet reptile supplies, though, there are other things you have to learn in caring for anoles. These are the following:

Common Pet Anole Species and Description

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There are over 372 species of anoles, but the common species you can find in pet reptile supplies store are the Cuban brown, Carolina green, and the bark anole. As the name suggests, Cuban anoles come from Cuba, but since its introduction to the U.S. as pet, the species had encroached the natural habitat of the Carolina greens driving them further up north.

Anoles are averaged size pet reptile that are capable of changing color. The males, and females of some species, have dewlaps, an extendable flap of skin on the neck. Depending on the species, too, dewlaps contain color patterns that the pet reptile uses to attract a mate or ward off enemies.

Choosing a Healthy Anole

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It’s best to get captive bred anole from pet reptile supplies stores to avoid a sickly or diseased anole. When shopping for anoles in pet reptile supplies stores, choose the ones that are not emaciated; a loose flab of skin is an indication of dehydrated, disease, or malnourished anole.

Housing Pet Anole

Anoles are semi-tropical pet reptile: they can’t live in too dry or too wet habitat. Replicate the right condition in your pet reptile’s tank to ensure the animal can live to its maximum lifespan.


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The minimum tank requirement for a single anole is 10 gallon. At least another 5 gallon per pet reptile is needed if you’re planning additions to your first pet lizard. That goes to say bigger is better for pet anoles. You can house female anoles together provided there’s plenty of room to hide and areas to bask, but males shouldn’t be housed in a single reptile tank. Keep a tightly close mesh lid all the time because anoles are great escape artist.


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Pet reptiles are susceptible to impaction, so avoid high impaction substrate at all cost (e.g. sand, gravel, other very fine, cottony substrate materials). For anoles, the ideal substrates are peat moss and orchid bark. Even old carpets can be used as substrate for this lizard species.


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The range of temperatures for anoles is from 75 to 80 degrees Fahrenheit. But the basking area should be at least 85 to 90 degrees Fahrenheit. Basking temperature should be limited during the day only and should not be the temperature of the entire tank. Use under tank heating pads to regulate tank temperature, not the basking lamp.


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In general, pet anoles are for sight only pets. To increase the entertainment level even more, be creative when it comes to tank décor. You want a good size tree branch in the tank, some artificial tropical plant, and a rock for basking. These are the basics.

Feeding Pet Anole

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As main diet, you can give your pet reptile 2-3 gut loaded crickets every other day. You can purchase your supply of crickets from pet reptile supplies store, or you can raise your own feeder insects . For variety, give moth, grasshopper, beetle, or mealworm to your pet.

Unlike other lizard species that know how to drink from a water dish, anoles can only lick water on leaves, stones, and tree barks. So mist the artificial plant decor in your pet’s tank at least once a day to provide water for your pet.

These are the basic care for pet anoles, so now you should be ready to shop for your first pet lizard anytime. Just don’t forget to avoid grabbing an anole by the tail when shopping for your pet in pet reptile supplies store. Or else you may be forced to buy the animal because you just unintentionally dislodge its tail.

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