Green anoles can be cute and interesting pets. They are particularly suitable for children and beginner reptile keepers as they can be fed by hand and aren’t too complicated to care for. When it comes to their diet, they have some specific considerations to take into account to ensure they remain healthy.
Green anoles are only interested in moving prey. Adult green anoles should be fed a variety of live insects such as crickets every other day and juveniles every day. It’s also important to be aware that pet green anoles will only drink water from misted plants in their tank.
In this article, we’ll go through everything you need to know about feeding a pet green anole such as:
- what do wild and captive green anoles like to eat
- can green anoles eat vegetables and plants
- how often to feed a pet green anole
- how to keep a pet green anole hydrated
- possible reasons for a green anole to stop eating
- what to do if a green anole stops eating
Let’s get started!
Table of Contents
What Do Green Anoles Eat In The Wild?
Wild green anoles can be found in the southeastern united states, the Caribbean, and the pacific islands where they hunt moving prey.
Wild green anoles spend their time basking in the sun and are usually opportunistic when it comes to meal-time. The proportions of different insects they eat depend on what’s available in their habitat but usually includes insects such as:
What Do Green Anoles Eat In Captivity?
Did you know that a green anole’s eyes can move independently of each other? This helps them look for food even without moving!
It’s good to try and replicate a wild green anole’s feeding routine as far as possible for a pet anole. This helps them maintain a good appetite and keep healthy.
In this section, we’ll go through everything you need to know about feeding your pet green anole.
A Short Food List Of The Most Common Foods
The following foods are suitable for a pet green anole:
- Dubia roaches
- Black soldier fly larvae
To reduce the risk of deficiency diseases, don’t forget to dust a green anole’s food with a calcium supplement and vitamin D3.
If you want to give your green anole a treat, you can give them mealworms or waxworms. Although they’re very tasty for your anole, they aren’t very nutritious, so don’t feed them too often!
Be sure to only feed your green anole insects which have been commercially prepared for use as reptile food. Feeding your pet wild-caught insects can cause them to become sick. You can buy suitable insects from a reptile pet store.
How Often Should I Feed My Green Anole?
Feeding a green anole can be especially fun as it’s possible to get them to eat from your hand!
Feed an adult green anole 2 or 3 prey items every other day. To keep things interesting for your pet, feed them a variety of insects according to their size. A young green anole can be fed every day.
You should feed insects that are roughly half the size of your green anole’s head or smaller than the space in between their eyes. Feeding too large prey can result in digestion difficulties.
Always remember to wash your hands before and after handling your green anole or touching any of its tank components.
Do Green Anoles Need Water?
Green anoles like to drink their water by sipping it from the leaves of plants. They are very unlikely to drink from a water bowl, so it’s important to mist their tank regularly to ensure that there’s always plenty of water on the plants.
It’s not necessary to give your green anole a water dish and it could even cause more harm than good.
This is because green anoles find it hard to escape from water (especially deep water) and they can even drown.
However, if you really want to put a water dish in your green anole’s tank, use a very shallow one and put a branch or stick inside to help them escape if they fall in.
Can Green Anoles Eat Vegetables, Fruits, And Plants?
Green anoles theoretically can eat fruit and vegetables, but they much prefer insects. They are classified as insectivores and are usually attracted to moving prey such as insects.
You can offer them small pieces of fruit or vegetables, but don’t be worried if your green anole doesn’t eat them.
How Long Can Green Anoles Survive Without Food And Water?
Adult green anoles can go without food for around 4 to 6 weeks and juveniles for between 2 to 6 weeks. The above depends on factors such as:
- health status
- their environment
- whether they’re wild or a pet.
You can read more about this topic in our article ‘how long can green anoles go without food?’.
Like all animals, green anoles will become sick if they don’t have enough food and water.
Pet reptiles such as anoles also have particular needs as they often require extra supplementation in captivity to reduce the risk of diseases such as hypovitaminosis and metabolic bone disease.
Is Your Green Anole Not Eating? Here Is Why!
As in most species, loss of appetite (inappetence) can be a sign of disease. Inappropriate husbandry conditions are often a cause of illness in pet reptiles.
If you notice that your green anole isn’t eating, the first thing to do is to check that the parameters inside its tank are appropriate.
Don’t forget, green anoles are ectotherms and rely on the outside environment to adjust their internal body temperature. Always make their tank has an appropriate temperature gradient and humidity level.
We’ve listed suitable tank conditions for a green anole below:
- temperature gradient – 85 to 90 degrees Fahrenheit in the warm area and 75 to 85 degrees Fahrenheit in the cooler area, decrease the temperature by around 10 degrees Fahrenheit at night
- basking area – with a special reptile heat lamp giving a temperature of around 90 degrees Fahrenheit
- humidity level – between 60% and 70% measured using a hygrometer in the center of the tank
- UV light – 8 hours per day using a reptile basking bulb (replaced every 6 months)
- suitable substrate – such as coconut fiber or bark
- elevated tank position – green anoles usually live above ground level so prefer to live higher up if possible
- suitably sized terrarium – 10 gallons is fine for one green anole.
Tip: Learn more about green anoles in our green anoles care guide!
As we already discussed, green anoles will only eat live moving prey. This means that insects which don’t move enough or at all, are unlikely to be eaten by a green anole.
Be sure to offer meals as close to their natural diet as possible, to help keep them interested in their food.
Aside from a loss of appetite, the following signs can indicate a health problem in a green anole:
- diarrhea or weight loss
- changes in behavior
- material exiting or surrounding the eye, nose, or mouth
- changes in skin color
- difficulty shedding.
Disclaimer: please refer to the above list as a guide only. If you think that your pet green anole might be unwell, contact a reptile veterinarian immediately.
We hope you’ve enjoyed reading about how to feed a green anole. Feeding your anole the correct diet and keeping their tank conditions optimal, helps keep your pet healthy and ensures they live a long happy life.
If you’re interested in green anoles, read our other articles such as:
- How to tell that your green anole is pregnant
- Do green anoles bite? does it hurt?
- Can you handle and tame green anoles?
- The 6 best tank mates for green anoles
Have you had a particularly memorable experience related to feeding your pet anole? Tell us about it in the comments below!