People love the vibrant color of green anoles, and their cost-friendly maintenance makes them excellent beginner pets. But one of the first things people want to know about these small tree-dwelling lizards is: Do green anoles bite? And how much do their bites hurt?
Green anoles bite defensively. They bite when they feel threatened or don’t like how they are handled. These lizards are tiny, so their nip is weak and can hardly break the skin. Most people report feeling a mild sting or tolerable pain unless they have sensitive skin.
Tamed, captive-bred green anoles will likely bite much less than their wild counterparts. Read on to learn if you should worry about bites from a green anole.
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Why Do Green Anoles Bite?
Being tiny and almost at the bottom of the
Green anoles are not naturally aggressive toward humans. They will bite, however, when caught or picked up and handled, as they instinctively perceive these actions as predatory.
It is best to tame them to help them develop a calmer and more trusting temperament around you.
Do Green Anoles Have Teeth?
Green anoles have 50 teeth per side of their skull. However, their dentition is so tiny that people don’t even see or feel their teeth.
Their jaws are also very weak, so their bites don’t carry much force. As such, green anoles aren’t feared for their bites.
Tip: Wanna learn more about green anoles? Read our green anole care guide!
How Much Do Green Anole Bites Hurt?
Some say their bites sting, while others hardly feel it. Pain is subjective, so it depends on a person’s sensitivity.
The bite force, and therefore the pain, depends on how large the lizard is. But as lizards go, green anoles are pretty small, only reaching a maximum length of 8 inches (20 cm).
Generally, bites by this green lizard don’t hurt very much, rarely break the skin, or draw blood. The pain is tolerable for most people unless they have sensitive skin.
Ask Steven Colbert when he “entered the sting zone.” Watch this hilarious episode on the Late Night Show featuring the famous wildlife educator Coyote Peterson.
Did you know? For laughs, some people allow these lizards to bite their earlobes and wear them as earrings! See the video below!
Are Green Anoles Venomous?
Green anoles have glands that produce venom. But don’t worry. Their venom is so weak that it does not harm humans. It doesn’t hurt dogs or cats, either.
Green anoles also don’t exude toxins or poisons from their skin. From this perspective, these lizards are harmless.
They do, however, have the potential to transmit disease. Although the risk of transmission to humans is low, green anoles can be a possible source of salmonella, a harmful bacteria.
That is why it is essential to soap and wash your hands thoroughly after handling or interacting with your pet lizard.
What Should You Do When A Green Anole Bites?
Since this lizard is easily alarmed, be prepared for the possibility of your lizard biting you during an interaction.
It would be best if you didn’t startle easily when this happens. Accept the bite calmly to avoid suddenly pulling your hand or finger away.
The jaws of green anoles are so fragile relative to our strength. We can damage their jaws by forcefully pulling away our fingers during a bite.
You may wait for it to let go or gently wiggle your finger slowly out from its mouth. Then place it gently back in its enclosure.
Remember to wash your hands thoroughly afterward.