The brown anole is active and hardy and they make a great pet lizard for a beginner. They are considered a starter lizard for beginners who want a lizard as a pet. They are a lizard that likes to be looked at but not handled.
The brown anole likes insects and they will climb the plants and branches you put in their tank. During the day you will find them basking in the sun. They can climb walls and windowpanes.
Other species of anoles can change color from deep brown to bright green. Some anoles are often confused with chameleons. Anoles and chameleons are not at all alike. The brown anole is not capable of changing colors like other species.
The brown anoles available at pet stores are wild collected in Florida. They will live 5 to 8 years in captivity. The females are 4 to 5 inches long and the males are 6 to 8 inches long.
When anoles are in the wild they like to perch low on a trunk or fence post by day usually in a head down vertical position and sometimes they will do this in their terrarium. They often put themselves in a head down position on the glass near the top of the tank or on a vertical or diagonal limb or cork bark. Brown anoles often move in short spurts. They go just far enough to catch a cricket or mealworm. If frightened they can move fast and are good at escaping.
Your anole should have the largest possible well-ventilated terrarium. A minimum of a 30-gallon high terrarium works well for a pair or trio of anoles. A wire cage of the same size is also acceptable.
Your anole needs branches and plants for climbing. The branches and plants will also give your anole places to hide so he will feel secure. The terrarium temperature should be between 82 an 94 degrees during the day. It can be several degrees cooler at night. You should keep one end of the tank cooler so the anole can choose the temperature he wants. You will need to provide them with full spectrum lighting. You will need to put a substrate of leaves on the bottom of the tank. The male anoles will fight each other so never put two males together in the same tank.
They eat a large variety of insects like small roaches, mealworms, baby silkworms, crickets and wax worms. They like a vitamin mineral fortified honey fruit mixture. To make your honey fruit mixture you will take 1/3 pureed apricot baby food, 1/3 honey, 1/3 water and a few drops of liquid bird vitamins. Add a very small amount of calcium-D3 powdered vitamins.
Anoles will seldom drink water from a dish. They prefer to drink droplets of water from the leaves, branches and glass sides. You must mist them with water once or twice a day. Do not over do it and saturate the tank.
Brown anoles do not like to be handled and if you try to hold them, they might bite you. Just let your anole stay in his terrarium and admire him.