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Captive Housing for your Pet Anole

Anoles can be kept singularily in a cage or within groups.
Generally, males should be kept alone or in the company of two or more females.

Minimum tank size for a group of two adult anoles would be a tall 10-gallon tank. Three or four (one male and up to three females) anoles may be kept in a 20-gallon tall aquarium (48" x 13" x 20"). The more lizards there are, the more hiding places and basking areas needed, so tanks must get correspondingly larger.

Minimum Requirements
Despite their relatively inexpensive price tag, anoles are not "cheap" lizards. The basic captive environment requires:

  • 1 Vitalite (or other UVB-producing fluorescent) - 12 to 14 hours a day
  • 1 basking light
  • 1 nocturnal heat light, as needed to maintain night time temperatures
  • 1 undertank heating pad (human heating pads are appropriate)
  • 2 thermometers (cool end and warm end; ideally, a third should be placed in the basking)
  • Sterile peat moss potting soil over 1 inch of pea gravel, OR 1 to 2 inches of potting soil covered with bark mulch
  • Several 2-inch potted plants, which help maintain humidity and provide cover and shade from the UV and basking lights (Sansevierias are good, as are bromiliads, philodendrons, ivys, orchids and vines and groundcovers)
  • Logs or branches for basking (essential for arboreal lizards!)

Not appropriate for anoles:

  • hot rocks
  • heat tapes
  • heated caves
  • sand or gravel substrates

Basking area: 85F to 90F available in daytime only
Overall thermal gradient: 75F to 80F days, 65F to 75

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