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How Long Can Green Anoles Go Without Food?

How Long Can Green Anoles Go Without Food?

Did you just get a green anole and want to know their nutritional needs? Green anoles are highly adaptable in their food requirements. Anoles can go for an extended time without food.

So the next question is how much time can they go without sustenance before it affects them negatively? Let’s explore this question further.

Healthy adult green anoles can go without food for 4-6 weeks. Juvenile green anoles can go without food for 2-6 weeks. How long they can go without food largely depends on their age, health, and even on their environment.

Baby2 weeks3 weeks
Juvenile4 weeks6 weeks
Adult4 weeks6 weeks
Here is how long green anoles can go without food.

However, many other factors may influence how long they can go without food. In this article, you will find exactly what those factors are and what you need to know to care for your little bright green baby properly.

Factors That Determine How Long Green Anoles Can Go Without Food

Your green anole’s needs vary based on age, health, weight, stress, habitat, and shedding habits. Your green anole is unique to its species and will process food or respond to their environment differently from other lizards.

These factors determine the amount of time your anole can go without eating.   

Age Affects the Anole’s Dietary Needs

how long can green anoles survive without food?

Age has been established as one of the main factors determining how long a green anole can go without food. Babies need their food and cannot last long without it. Adults are better able to cope with less food.

Babies need two meals a day to help them grow healthy and strong. Juveniles can get by with one meal daily, and adults can get by eating every two days.

 An anole’s appetite may vary based on the following:

  • Activity level
  • UVA/UVB availability
  • Calories in the food
  • Condition of the lighting

Green anoles eat insects, including spiders, crickets, flies, and beetles. However, like humans, they like variety, and the occasional mealworm is a welcome treat.   

Tip: Read our Green Anole Care Guide to learn how to take proper care of these beautiful lizards!

Pregnancy Changes Their Nutritional Needs

Pregnancy changes the anole’s nutritional needs, and they will require more nutrients. Pregnant anoles should be dusted with calcium supplements and vitamin supplements.

Note: Usually, anoles should have calcium added to their food two times per week.

D3 is also significant to pregnant anoles, as it helps with egg formation. UVB lighting encourages the production of calcium and vitamin D3.

You can tell an anole is pregnant if her belly gets more prominent on the side. Her weight and belly will likely grow very quickly. 

The gestation period of the green anole is about five to seven weeks. However long the pregnancy lasts, the lizard will need more nutrients.

When the Anole Brumates, They Slow Down

When the anole is brumating, it is usually slow and inactive. They do not eat, but they do need to keep themselves hydrated. Brumation protects them from the lack of resources that occurs during the winter.

Insects and plant life become scarce, and their bodies naturally slow down. The caloric intake of the anole during this time is sparse. Anoles typically brumate for two to three months starting in the fall.

In the spring, they become active, and their metabolism returns to normal. You can set the scene for your captive anole to brumate by reducing the temperature to 65 to 70 degrees Fahrenheit.

The temperature should be decreased to about 60 degrees at night. This temperature ensures that they will brumate and want less food. The light should only be available to them eight hours a day. 

Health Can Be a Dealbreaker

green anole no food

If your anole is sick, do not allow them to go without food. It will only make matters worse. Your anole may not even want to eat.

However, that is no excuse not to try and feed it. Some of the various health conditions that your anole may be experiencing that can exacerbate a poor appetite:

You can tell if an anole is sick if they have discharge from their eyes, nose, or mouth. They may also have trouble shedding their skin. The good news is that anoles do not often get sick. 

Weight is More Than Just a Number

Female anoles are usually smaller than males. There are heavy weights and lightweight anoles. In general, adult anoles typically weigh between two to six grams, while babies weigh about 0.27 grams when they are born.

These babies are miniature versions of adult anoles; what these little anoles lack in size, they make up for it in cuteness.

The larger the lizard, the longer it can go without food. The more active the anole is, the more food it needs, as active anoles may be smaller in weight.

Shedding Precipitates Decreased Appetite

Green anoles shed their skin several times a year. On average, they tend to shed every four to six weeks. During this time, they usually stop eating one to three days before shedding.

In preparation for shedding, the anole will change color. They go from dull to bright green once the shedding is over, and they may not eat for a day or two afterward. 

Stress Can Affect Their Food Needs

how long can baby green anoles go without food?

At some point during your anoles’ life, you may see that their normally vibrant green color turns brown. This transformation is a sign of severe stress.

Stress can cause them to not eat for a long time. However, your anole should eat to help maintain a healthy immune system and restore damaged cells.

The energy from the food can help them to cope better with stress. Some of the most common triggers of stress in anoles:

  • Changes in temperature
  • Poor lighting
  • Overcrowding
  • Lack of food and water

Another sign your anole is stressed is if they shed their skin excessively or hide for an extended time. In severe instances, stress can even cause death.

Keep your anole healthy by offering them enough food and giving them enough water.

Habitat Dictates Nutritional Needs

Whether the anole is in the wild or captivity makes a big difference in how long they can go without food. In general, wild anoles can go longer without eating, especially during certain times of the year.

Captive anoles require more nutrition as their bodies are used to eating food.   

When the weather is cool or colder, wild anoles conserve their food and energy and can go longer without eating.

Anoles that live in captivity do not get a cooler period, as we tend to keep them warm, and they are more active, which means they must be fed regularly.

When these little green darlings become pets, hunting for food is not an issue, and they become acclimated to eating frequently.

They do not need to worry about where they will get their next meal. Food availability also determines nutritional needs.

If the anole can get their food easily, they are more likely to eat but can go for longer without eating when food is scarce.

Another factor to consider is that green anoles do not eat if their habitat is not properly heated. Anoles are cold-blooded, and they need supplemental heat to be able to digest their food correctly. 


Green anoles are extraordinary and resourceful creatures. They can go for more extended periods without food if certain factors affect their need for sustenance.

Age, habitat, health, weight, stress, and shedding habits often affect how long they can go without food. Remember, if your green anole is pregnant, it will need more nutrients.

Anoles also do not require as many calories during brumation, which is similar to hibernation in that they slow down.

However, if your green anole demonstrates stress or discomfort, you should contact your veterinarian for guidance. 

Pierre And The ReptileCraze Team