The green anole is a species of a lizard.
Other common names include the Carolina anole, American green anole, American anole, American chameleon, and red-throated anole.
This species is native to North America, where it is found mainly in the subtropical southeastern parts of the continent.
Green anoles are most abundant on the Atlantic Coastal Plains in North Carolina, South Carolina, Georgia and Florida, and on the Gulf Coast in Alabama, Mississippi, Louisiana, and Texas.
It is a primarily arboreal lizard. Within natural habitats, green anole is found most often on shaded tree branches. Its positioning within a tree is known as its perch height and is dependent on the proximity of both predators and prey.
Green anoles have a lifespan ranging from 2 to 8 years, determined largely by predation. Lifespan in captivity is similar to that in the wild, approximately 4 to 6 years, and dependent on proper care and conditions.
The green anole is a small to medium-sized lizard, with a slender body. Adult males are usually from 12.5 to 20.3 cm (4.9 to 8.0 in) long, with about 60-70% of which is made up of its tail, with a body length up to 7.5 cm (3 in) and can weigh from 3 to 7 g (0.11 to 0.25 oz).
The head is long and pointed with ridges between the eyes and nostrils, and smaller ones on the top of the head.
Green anoles have enlarged finger and toe pads that are covered with microscopic hooks. These clinging pads, together with sharp claws, enable them to climb, even over a smooth surface, with great speed and agility.
Color varies from the richest and brightest of greens to the darkest of browns and can be changed like many other kinds of lizards, but anoles are closely related to iguanas and are not true chameleons.
They can drop their long tail as a defense against predators in the wild. It’s not a good idea to hold them by the tail. When an anole drops its tail, it will usually regenerate but will not look the same as the original. Green anoles are skittish and shy, but with consistent and gentle handling will become somewhat tame.
The green anole is diurnal and active throughout the year, peaking in spring and fall. Winter activity is dependent on sun and temperature.
A green anole’s diet consists primarily of small insects such as crickets, grasshoppers, spiders, flies and other arthropods. Although they have been observed preying upon smaller reptiles such as juvenile skinks, this is not thought to be typical behavior.
Male anoles are strongly territorial creatures. Some have even been witnessed fighting their own reflections in mirrored glass.
The typical breeding season for green anoles starts as early as April and ends in late September. During this time, the males patrol their territory and the most brilliant displays of these creatures can be seen. The female can produce an egg every two weeks during the breeding season, until about 10 eggs have been produced.
The eggs are left to incubate by the heat of the sun, and if successful, will hatch in about five to seven weeks (30–45 days) from late May to early October. The hatchlings must fend for themselves as they are not cared for by either parent. The young hatchlings must be wary of other adult anoles in the area, as well as larger reptiles, birds and mammals, which could eat them.
The green anole has long been one of the most widely available species of lizard in the pet trade.
Green anoles are fun to watch, as they are active during the daytime and love to climb. One of their best attributes is their willingness to interact with their human owners; many are willing to eat from their owners’ hands.
Green anoles can live in a 75-liter (20-gallon) or larger terrarium, with numerous plants lining the back and sides of the cage.