Tennessee, United States
Posted May 29, 2013
A few years back, my husband came home from work with a fascinating little creature in a makeshift container. The creature was a little, green lizard with a beautiful color and stature as it eyeballed us from the white bucket with an air vent in the top. My girls had a fit over the lizard and wanted to keep it and as with a lot of the pets they had brought home or found, I had no idea how to care for it.
I had an old aquarium in storage which I dug out and cleaned up for the little guy to get him out of the bucket he was in and as I stared at the lizard through the glass, I knew I had to find more information about him so I asked my husband where he found it.
My husband works in an industrial woodworking company and as my husband was working with a stack of pine boards he found the little lizard between the boards appearing squashed because it was lying flat. The men my husband worked with realized it was alive and were trying to aggravate the little lizard so it would flare out a red flap on its chest and with my husband being like me and not wanting to hurt animals he made the make shift caravan out of a bucket to bring it home in.
Sitting down on the computer, I did research to find out what type of lizard this was and I found out it was a Green Anole. Green Anole lizards are about 4 - 8 inches long and have a long nose. Of their total length, their tails comprise a major portion of their size. The male anole lizards are bigger than the female lizards when they are fully mature and their snouts are longer as well. The lizards are green all over, except that the males have a flap under their throat which turns into a fiery red color during territorial displays or when courting a female for mating. Another factor that distinguishes the males from the females is that the male lizards also have two sets of bigger scales at the point where their tail starts. These lizards are known to shed off their tails and grow a new one in its place and they also shed off their skin during the shedding season and proceed to eat it.
This lizard can be a very expensive choice for a pet. Its average life span in captivity is known to be around 4 - 10 years and in its natural surroundings, the anole lizards are known to live in singularity as opposed to in a group. But in captivity, the lizard can be kept in twos or as a single entity. If one wants to keep two lizards as pets, then the best choice to make is that of two females because, if two males are housed together they will end up fighting, and a male and female pair might breed.
These lizards are carnivorous in nature and their food consists of small bugs and insects, such as cockroaches, crickets, spiders, and moths. When in captivity, the lizard must be fed daily with crickets, bugs, moths, and other insects as well. Another choice for its feed is that of wax worms. The wax worms should be used rarely because they contain too much fat. The crickets and other insects that you feed the anole must be dusted with vitamin powder to maintain their nutrition. An anole will not consume anything that is bigger than its head, so keep the prey size to about 1/4th of its head and do not feed them fireflies because they are toxic. Always be sure that the insects you feed them have no chemicals on them-like bug spray and remove any leftover food or droppings from the tank because this can be extremely toxic.
The thing that caught my attention the most was the fact that when anole lizards are happy and relaxed, they display a dark shade of green; but if the anoles are stressed, threatened, or ill, they change their color to different shades of brown which turn into darker and darker shades of the same color, depending on the severity of stress that they are going through. Woody which I was calling this little lizard because he was found in a stack of wood was turning brown. His skin was half green and half brown which told me he was stressed and I can't say that I blame him. If I was a lizard all stretched out in a stack of wood and relaxing and someone threw me in a bucket, I would be upset too.
Luckily, my husband's best friend is a herpetologist who took little Woody in and gave him what he needed to live a stress free life. Woody is still residing with my husband's friend and has for a little over three years now. With a little luck, Woody will live to be the ripe old age of 10 (anole's lifespan) with someone who understands when Woody wants a little privacy to stretch out and take it easy on a stack of wood.