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Green Anoles and Bahaman brown Anoles (Anolis carolinensis and A. sagrei)

U.S. & Bahamas

Anoles are diurnal lizards that rank among the best display lizards for tropical vivariums. Even the common green anole is a delight to own, showing a high degree of alertness and intelligence for its size.


Male anoles tend to be larger and with larger heads than females. They also have a thicker tail base caused by the inverted hemipenes. They have larger and more colorful dewlaps (throat fan).

Social Groups

Except in larger setups, 48 inches or more long, it is best to limit males of a given species to one per enclosure, combined with several females.

Housing and Care


You can keep up to three green or Bahaman anoles in a 10 gallon tank with screen top. A larger enclosure is even better.

Naturalistic Vivarium

Because anoles require a moderate to high relative humidity, they are best kept in naturalistic setups with a moist peat moss or coir based substrate mix.


Dried wood and cork bark will provide climbing areas. Because anoles cause little damage to plants, a wide range of species can be used to decorate a vivarium but care should be given not to oveclutter setups and leave about two thirds open space. Good proven plant species include pothos, spineless bromeliads such as neoregelias, dracaenas, calathea, sansevieria, and various Ficus.

Heat and light

Many anoles, including the common green anole, will fare well with just an overhead incandescent bulb as a heat source placed over basking branches. The temperature at the sites closest to the bulb should reach 90° F Although a UVB source is recommended with some anole species such as the chameleon anoles (Chamaeleolis), it is not required with green and Bahaman brown anoles, as long as their insect diet is dusted with a vitamin/mineral supplement containing vitamin D3.

Water and Feeding


Anoles will not readily drink out of a dish but rather from misted droplets that reflect light. Use a hand sprayer and mist the enclosure once a day. Using purified water will prevent the accumulation of unsightly mineral stains on the sides of the tank.


Anoles will readily feed on vitamin/mineral dusted insects of the right size (cricket length about equal to the width of the head). Feed three to four times a week as much as they will eat per sitting.