Species group: Anoles
Other common names: Cuban Knight Anole, Cuban Anole
Scientific name: Anolis equestris
The Knight Anole is native to Cuba but are also found in central and southern Florida. They are tree-dwellers.
Appearance / health:
Considered the largest of the Anoles, the Knight Anole matures up to about 20 inches in length. Their base body color is bright green with white or yellowish stripes under the eyes and over the shoulder. They can change their body color to dull grayish brown color with yellowish markings. Males have a colorful head patterns and a pink dewlap or throat fan, which is extended to claim territory or attract mates. The Knight Anole’s snout is long and triangular, and the head has a bony ridge. The skin is granular in texture. A small dorsal crest runs along the spine. The tail is somewhat laterally compressed with a serrated upper edge. Toes are long and have adhesive pads to help them climb vertical walls. The belly is usually white.
Behavior / temperament:
The Knight Anole’s aggression is quickly displayed at anything that approaches it or invades its territory. The male opens its mouth, bobs its head, inflates the body, raises itself on all fours, and extends its dewlap. They can be hand-fed, but they are known to be shy and dislike being held. Wild-caught individuals dislike being handled, and can defensively leave a nasty bite with their sharp and strong jaw.
Knight Anoles are arboreal; therefore, the best cage would be a large vertically oriented, well-ventilated, relatively moist enclosure with sturdy horizontal and vertical branches for climbing and basking. Foliage should be added for hiding and shelter. A shallow bowl of water should complement a regular misting schedule to provide drinking water. Substrate should be about 6 inches deep to allow burrowing. Day temp: 82-86F; night temp: 68-77F; basking temp: 95F; day humidity: 50-60%; night humidity: 80-90%; lighting: 12-14 hours, UV radiation required.
Knight Anoles are best kept singly because they are highly territorial and will prey on lizards that are smaller in size. They are aggressive to other males, sometimes even to females. They are somewhat aggressive when stressed, and can resort to inflicting nasty bites on their owners. Nevertheless, they are popular in the pet trade for being hardy, living up to 16 years under optimum conditions.
Knight Anoles are carnivorous, preying on a wide variety of forest animals including spiders, frogs, worms, baby birds and rodents, and smaller lizards. They also eat insects like crickets, grasshoppers, beetles, dragonflies, katydids, cockroaches, and moths. Mineral-dusted insects and other prey are recommended for optimum health.
Knight Anoles are egg-layers, with the female laying one to two eggs every two weeks during the breeding season from March to October. The female buries the eggs in the soil, and the clutch hatches in about 6 weeks.
cool lizard, nice personality, interesting color patterns, brightest greens, Stunning display
wild caught animal, sharp teeth, parasites, strong bite, huge enclosure
larger prey, diurnal predator, aboreal tree dwellers
What a crazy little guy
I got a call to meet my husband at home one afternoon, as he had a 'surprise'. I was still getting over the devastating loss of... well, my cat, to put it very nicely, killing my juvenile iguana. But we won't get into those gory details.
My husband wanted to find a lizard that would scare the crap out of the cat and keep him at bay, and boy did he! I was presented with a box, and told not to open it until it was in the terrarium. I followed the directions, and had to crane my neck to find the feisty guy hiding in a corner. He would NOT come out of the box and present himself (it literally took 1.5 days for that to happen).
When the pet store employee heard my husband's description of what happened to the little iguana and his plea for a 'feisty or scary' lizard, he certainly found the right solution! This Cuban Night Anole could hiss, hide, and run with the best of them. He had a huge enclosure with a variety of 'habitats', but it didn't honestly seem like he ever got comfortable. He CERTAINLY never got used to being handled. Unfortunately at that point, we owned our own coffee shop and I was working a second job, so I didn't get to devote the proper amount of time to working with Che on handling and training. And my husband was certainly too afraid of him to even try. (He told me when they picked up Che in the enclosure at the pet store, they used a thick, leather glove, and he thrashed and hissed and fought. I call my husband a fuzzy-mammal lover, and this was NOT his type of pet.)
We ended up moving across the US about 6 months later, taking with us the cat, a dog, and 2 big boxes apiece on the plane. I had no choice but to give Che to an employee, and I understand he only lasted another 2 years (which is short for them). It was likely a perfect storm of not-so-great things for poor Che, and I feel bad that I wasn't able to give him a better life. I think he had great potential, but in our household already full of other time/energy demanding dogs and a cat, as well as our awful work hours, it just wasn't meant to be. At the very least, I was able to provide him with a HUGE home, great food, and lots to watch during his day, since he was near the front door where all the action happened.
I have lost my photos from that time-period, so a public photo is attached. He wasn't THIS green, but he was more green than brown..
From LuckiLara Feb 3 2014 11:27PM
Stunning, but grumpy
I have always loved the looks and personality of the green anole, so when I saw an opportunity to purchase a knight anole I went for it. Unfortunately the knight anole is a bit like a green anole on steroids. 10x the size and 10x the attitude!
My Knight anole is strictly a display only animal, and since I've not heard of anyone breeding them in the UK, is most likely wild caught. He is an amazing lizard to look at - some of the brightest greens I've seen on a lizard, but he's also very defensive and feisty. Most reptiles will defend themselves, then flee, when threatened by something much larger (me!) but my Knight anole is quite happy to make the first move and try to chase me off. This makes even cleaning out his enclosure a bit of a challenge.
Because of his attitude I've put him a large enclosure, 4ft by 2ft by 4ft and just let him get on with life - he seems happy in there. He has large branches, live plants, heat lamps and UVB lighting. He spends his day basking and climbing, and occasionally threatening people through the glass. Stunning display and interesting to watch for sure - but I'm not sure this species would make a good traditional pet..
From Athravan Jun 15 2015 3:58AM