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REPTILE / new pets

A Set-up Guide for Your New Pet Anole

Tips for home, health and fun


5 things to know about your anole

  • Anoles can live up to 5 years
  • They can grow to be 8 inches long
  • They love to climb
  • Male anoles are very dominant and territorial
  • They’re a good choice for beginner reptile parents

Your anole’s home

Your anole can live alone or in groups — but there should be no more than one male per tank. Males are territorial and will display their dominance by bobbing their heads and flaring their dewlap, if they encounter other males (sometime even if they see their own reflection).

Choose a terrarium that’s a minimum of 10 gallons for one lizard and increase the size if it’ll be housing more. Because anoles are climbers, the terrarium should be relatively tall, with a screened lid.

What to put in their habitat

  • Line the bottom of the terrarium with 2 to 3 inches of coconut-fiber or bark bedding. Add moss to the bedding to help raise humidity in the terrarium, if needed. Scoop the poop at least once a week and change out the bedding completely once a month.
  • Add a rock or wooden place for hiding on one side of the terrarium (this will become the habitat’s cool side).
  • Provide live plants and lots of branches so your anole can climb closer to their heat source.
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Heat & light

  • Anoles are diurnal, meaning they’re active during the day. Install a UVA/UVB light bulb in the terrarium to mimic sunlight for about 12 hours daily.
  • At night, switch to a night-specific bulb so you can watch your pet with minimum disturbance.
  • The terrarium should have a warm side and a cool side. By day, the temperature should be between 85 and 90 degrees Fahrenheit on the warm side, and between 75 F and 85 F on the cool side. At night, the whole tank should be 60 F to 75 F.
  • A heat bulb or ceramic heat emitter will keep the warm side at the right temperature and a thermometer at each end will help you regulate the habitat overall.
  • Habitat humidity should be between 60% and 80%. Use a hygrometer — a device that measures humidity — to keep track.
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Feeding your anole

Anoles are insectivores. This means that they mostly eat insects.

  • Anoles should be fed between two to five crickets daily
  • Monitor the habitat for uneaten crickets. If you notice remaining crickets adjust the amount of crickets that you feed.
  • Anoles need supplemental calcium in their diets to help with bone growth. Dust crickets two to three times a week with supplemental calcium to provide the nutrients that they need.
  • Mealworms, waxworms and hornworms can be offered as a treat a couple times a week, but should not be their main diet.

Help keep your anole healthy

Try not to handle new anoles for three or four days to give them a chance to get acclimated to their new surroundings. Whether your anole is new or settled-in, be sure to contact a vet if you notice any of these symptoms of illness or distress:

  • More time spent hiding
  • Eating or drinking less; weight loss
  • Discolored skin
  • Swollen joints
  • Discharge from the eyes, nose or mouth
  • Runny droppings for more than two days

PETSMART CARES: Pets purchased at PetSmart are part of our exclusive Vet Assured™ program, designed by PetSmart veterinarians to help improve the health and well-being of our pets. Our vendors meet a high standard in caring for pets and screening them for common illnesses. This program also includes specific standards for in-store pet care.

The PetSmart Promise: If your pet becomes ill during the initial 14-day period, or if you’re not satisfied for any reason, PetSmart will gladly replace the pet or refund the purchase price.