Species group: Anoles
Other common names: Caribbean Anole; Cuban Brown Anole; Bahaman Anole; De la Sagra's Anole
Scientific name: Anolis sagrei
Brown Anoles originated in Cuba, the Bahamas, Honduras, and the Cayman Islands. They are currently also found in the southern states of the United States, Hawaii, and Taiwan. They are observed to thrive in tropical and generally warm and humid environments.
Brown Anoles inhabit open forest sites, urban and suburban gardens and conservation areas, climbing and basking in shrubs and the lower branches of trees (no higher than 5 feet above ground).
Appearance / health:
Adult Brown Anoles are 5-9 inches in length, with the laterally compressed tail sometimes longer than the body. They are generally brown or gray but can change colors, especially when threatened, to dark shades of brown or black, sometimes with yellow markings on the sides. Various dark mottled markings are sometimes seen on the back and legs. Toes are long with sticky toe pads for climbing, leaping, and running. The distinguishing characteristic of the Brown Anole is the dewlap (throat fan) under the chin, yellow to red-orange in color, which is extended to express territories and attract mates. Males have a dark crest-like ridge down the back, while females have a light dorsal stripe (zigzag, wave, or mottled pattern).
Behavior / temperament:
Brown Anoles are active and love to scamper about on the ground, and jump up and down foliage and structures. They can climb vertical structures because of their sticky toes. Their first reaction to threat is to quickly leap or run away; therefore handling is not a common practice among pet owners.
Brown Anoles are best kept in a medium to large woodland terrarium that is relatively humid. Cage must be decorated with plenty of places to climb and hide like dense vegetation, pieces of bark, or driftwood. Substrate should be a mixture of sand and soil with a top layer of fallen leaves to help maintain moisture levels. Day temp: 77-86F; night temp: 63-71F; basking temp: 104F; day humidity: 60-70%; night humidity 80-90%; lighting: 12-14 hours, UV radiation required.
Cuban Brown Anoles can be kept in pairs or groups with one male. They can be aggressive towards other males. Misting several times a week is recommended. Under good captive care, Brown Anoles can live up to two years. They have a 5-year lifespan in the wild.
Often referred to as cannibalistic predators, Cuban Brown Anoles are carnivorous, feeding on insects (crickets, cockroaches, spiders, grasshoppers), worms, snails, frogs, slugs, and other lizards. They also prey on the eggs of other lizards, as well as their own hatchlings, and molted skin.
The breeding season for Brown Anoles occur in the spring and summer with males fighting over and guarding territories. They will display their dewlaps to ward off other males and attract females. Females lay one to two eggs on the ground under decaying leaves, every one or two weeks throughout the breeding season. Eggs hatch in about two to three months.
fine little pets, good beginner lizard
specific environmental factors, wildcaught stock, feisty guy hiding, improper feeding
popular lizards, Live crickets, numerous basking sites, humid environment
Easy catch; Easy release
My older brother and I caught a few of these around the house one day to keep as pets when I was quite young, but they were not even as interesting to watch as fish. They were very good at finding ways to escape and hardly what one would call either friendly or lovable. We soon let them go again..
From EllieB Jan 5 2019 6:54PM
Cheap does not Equal "Low Maintenance"
Small, active, and willing to breed in captivity, the brown anole can make a wonderful pet for novices and pros. However, they have specific needs which must be met if they are to thrive – a diminutive stature and low price does not translate into “low maintenance”!
They are stressed by tight quarters…a pair or trio should be provided with at least a “hi style” 20 gallon aquarium, preferably with live plants, and numerous basking sites. The ambient air temperature should range from 82-87 F, with a basking spot of 92-95 F, and UVB exposure is essential. Crickets alone, even if powdered with supplements are not a suitable diet. Small roaches, waxworms, calciworms, butterworms, silkworms and lab-reared houseflies should also be provided. A mixture of papaya baby food, honey and water should be offered weekly. The adults’ food should be sprinkled with a vitamin/mineral supplement 2-5 times per week, depending upon dietary variety. Young animals require supplementation with most meals. Anoles do best with small feedings on a daily or every-other-day basis.
High strung and on the menus of predators ranging from large spiders on up, anoles do not enjoy handling. Best considered a pet to observe…and they will give you much to watch!.
From findiviglio Nov 3 2015 8:28PM
Skittish and needs certain housing
I had my anole lizard back when I was a teenager, before I seriously researched reptiles. I hadn't expected to be taking care of one at the time--I won Damion from a carnival game unexpectedly, so we just walked into the nearest pet store and asked a salesperson for whatever we'd need to care for him--and so he didn't last very long. Unfortunately, I've found over the years that a lot of major chain pet stores like Petland don't have the most knowledgeable staff sometimes.
Now that I've researched reptiles to properly care for my beardie, I think there were two factors at play in Damion's poor health: improper lighting and improper feeding. We fed him crickets that I think may have been too large, as well as too many mealworms which tend to clog their intestines and cause impaction due to their thick husks. I'm also fairly certain he didn't have a UV bulb, which is a very basic need for them.
As with any animal--especially exotics--make sure you thoroughly research their needs before picking up an anole. If you're looking for a pet you can hold and carry around on your shoulder, I strongly recommend something larger like a bearded dragon; my anole was very skittish and fast, which made it almost impossible to hold outside of the tank.
(Photo from Wikimedia Commons)..
From CRGuarino Jul 31 2015 10:17PM