Brown Anole

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Species group:

Other common names: Caribbean Anole; Cuban Brown Anole; Bahaman Anole; De la Sagra's Anole

Scientific name: Anolis sagrei

The basics:
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

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