The Cuban Knight Anole is the largest member of the anole family, a diurnal lizard that can grow up to 17” inches long.
They’re known for their bright green coloring, large eyes, and long tails. In captivity, a Cuban Knight Anole can live upwards of 7 years.
Thanks to a reputation for biting, the Cuban Knight Anole isn’t the most popular lizard in the pet trade. But as long as you keep handling to a minimum, the Knight Anole can make an excellent display pet.
Terrarium Size For Cuban Knight Anole
Cuban Knight Anoles are larger lizards, sometimes measuring up to 17” long, and they love to move around. For these reasons, the Cuban Knight Anole needs a large terrarium.
Ideally, a Knight Anole should be housed in a terrarium measuring 24” L x 24” W x 48” H or larger. Bigger is better when it comes to housing, so provide your Cuban Knight Anole with as much space as possible!
The Cuban Knight Anole likes to sit above the ground, so prioritize height over width and depth.
It’s generally recommended that you avoid housing Cuban Knight Anoles together.
The males can be highly territorial and larger Knight Anoles have been known to eat their smaller counterparts. Two female Cuban Knight Anoles can get along, but a male and a female are very likely to breed.
Do Cuban Knight Anoles Need UVB?
Yes, the Cuban Knight Anole does need a UVB lamp. Anoles are diurnal reptiles and are active during the day. They love to be in the sun, so you need to provide them with plenty of light.
The UVB light should be on for roughly 13.5 hours during summer, and 11 hours during winter. This will simulate the conditions of their natural habitat.
A UVB lamp will also provide the vitamin D3 your Knight Anole needs to be healthy.
Use a medium-strength UVB lamp alongside a fluorescent grow light and a heat lamp. Make sure the UVB lamp isn’t blocked by plastic or glass.
Basking Temperature For Cuban Knight Anole
Cuban Knight Anoles require a basking temperature of roughly 90 to 95 degrees Fahrenheit. The cool end of the terrarium should be around 70 to 80 degrees Fahrenheit.
In one part of the enclosure, place two heat lamps to create the basking spot. Halogen heat lamps are best for Cuban Knight Anoles, as they effectively emit heat.
Use a digital probe thermometer to maintain the temperature. Overnight, the heat lamps should be switched off. The nighttime temperature should measure around 65 to 75 degrees Fahrenheit.
For optimal conditions, place the UVB lamp away from the heat lamp. This will allow you to create a cooler area of the terrarium, as the UVB lamp emits minimal heat.
Humidity Levels For Cuban Knight Anole
The Cuban Knight Anole requires a high humidity level, between 70% and 80%. This can be checked with a digital probe hygrometer.
Place the probe in the middle of the terrarium, for the best reading. Humidity levels are likely to fluctuate but avoid allowing them to drop below 60%.
Frequent misting should be used to maintain this high humidity level (and provide a source of drinking water). Use a sprayer to mist the terrarium once or twice a day — in the morning and the evening works well.
Don’t hold back when spritzing the tank. The decorations should be dripping.
A quick way to check the humidity level is to place your hand on the substrate. If it’s damp, the humidity levels are good. If it feels dry, then you need to start spritzing.
Substrate For Cuban King Anole
The Cuban Knight Anole is an arboreal reptile, so it likes to spend most of its time off the substrate. However, the right substrate is necessary for maintaining humidity levels and recreating the natural environment of the Anole.
The best substrate for a Cuban Knight Anole is one that resembles tropical soil. Cypress mulch and coconut fiber are both good choices, as they hold onto moisture and can provide comfortable bedding.
The substrate should be layered 2 inches deep, with daily spot checks to keep it clean. Roughly every 3 to 4 months the substrate should be completely replaced.
Terrarium Decor For Cuban Knight Anole
As an arboreal creature, the Cuban Knight Anole needs plenty of things to climb. The terrarium should be full of trees, branches, and foliage, allowing the Anole to keep climbing throughout the day.
Your Cuban Knight Anole will also enjoy dense planting with big leaves, as they tend to drink the mist that collects on the leaves.
Knight Anoles are reasonably heavy lizards, so your decoration must be able to support them as they climb.
Feeding A Cuban Knight Anole
In the wild, the Cuban Knight Anole primarily feeds on live insects, although they will occasionally supplement their diet with small vertebrates and fruit.
The Cuban Knight Anole should be given feeder insects once a day. Only provide as much food as the Anole can eat in 10 minutes.
Feeder insects include dubia, discoid, and red runner roaches, crickets, silkworms, mealworm beetles, and superworm beetles.
Dust the food with calcium powder daily, and with a multivitamin once a week.
For the most part, a Cuban Knight Anole will get its water from the daily misting. However, a water dish provides an extra source of hydration and keeps the humidity levels high.
The water should be changed daily, and the bowl disinfected weekly.
Handling A Cuban Knight Anole
The Cuban Knight Anole does not enjoy being handled and they are known to bite their owners. The majority of Cuban Knight Anole lizards are wild caught, and distrustful of humans.
Those born in captivity are less likely to bite, but they still don’t enjoy being handled.
The Cuban Knight Anole is relatively easy to care for, even if it doesn’t like being handled (see also “Green Anole Care Sheet“). These attractive lizards love to climb through the trees and are voracious eaters, which makes them great fun to watch.
Make sure to follow this care sheet (see also “Frilled Dragon Care Sheet“) carefully, and your happy Cuban Knight Anole can become an excellent companion.