There are many features and characteristics that make anole lizards stand out, and while one of these is their incredibly small and distinct appearance, another is the very particular diet that they follow.
Many people, especially those who have never cared for a reptile before, will decide to care for an anole because of how low-maintenance and quiet they are.
However, it’s crucial that you know what to feed them, otherwise, they can quickly develop some unpleasant health issues.
The good news is that gathering food for an anole lizard to enjoy is very easy, and they also don’t require very big portion sizes, which is another reason why they have become so popular as pets.
Therefore, we’ve got the full breakdown of their diet right here so that you know exactly what to feed an anole when it starts getting a little irritable and hungry.
What Diet Do Anole Lizards Follow?
Since lizards are so widespread as a group, with there being over 7,000 known species, it means there are also plenty of different diets that they can follow.
However, while a lot of lizards are classed as either carnivorous or herbivorous, anole lizards are instead, insectivores, meaning that most of their diet is made up of insects such as crickets, grasshoppers, and small flies.
The excellent color vision possessed by anole lizards means that they rely on their sight to catch moving prey, so insects that tend to remain stationary when in the sightline of a predator can usually escape from an anole lizard without being harmed.
Insects provide all the fat, protein, and extra nutrients that an anole lizard requires to remain happy and healthy, while any other food should always be considered a treat alongside their primary diet.
Other Food That Anole Lizards Enjoy
On rare occasions, anole lizards will happily snack on really any type of fruit, however, the fruit they love more than anything else is bananas.
If you do serve bananas to a pet anole though, make sure that they are always mashed, otherwise, the lizard is going to have a very hard time eating it, and will probably just end up licking it before leaving the fruit alone.
Any time you treat your anole lizard to some fruit, it should always be broken down so that it becomes edible, so for apples for example, you would need to serve it in the form of a puree since individual chunks will be far too big.
While anole lizards will receive a healthy dose of vitamins and minerals when enjoying some fruit, including magnesium and potassium, you’ve also got to remember that most fruit contains a moderate amount of sugar which is no good for lizards.
Fruit should therefore only be a treat that the lizard can enjoy on rare occasions, rather than being a main part of their diet.
What To Feed A Pet Anole Lizard
Crickets are often considered the go-to insect to feed anole lizards, so they should be what you end up feeding them the most.
With that being said though, because anole lizards need to be fed multiple times a day, don’t be afraid to mix things up and offer them some other gut-loaded insects too such as mealworms, slugs, ants, and termites.
Remember that anole lizards will only be able to detect prey that is always on the move, so you will want to avoid any insects that freeze in place as a survival tactic.
This means that any dead creatures will not be picked up by the anole lizard, so all their food needs to be alive to be noticed as food.
This is why flies can be annoying to feed to an anole lizard, but if you instead buy some flightless fruit flies, they will scuttle around a lot more due to not being able to escape fast enough through flight, making them much easier for the lizard to catch.
You will also want to make sure that all the insects you feed them are coated in a calcium supplement since anoles need extra calcium and vitamin D due to their lack of exposure to the sun.
How Often Should You Feed An Anole Lizard?
If the anole lizard has grown to its full adult size after 6 to 8 months, then it will have reached maturity and should be fed 2 to 3 food items every other day.
Young anoles on the other hand need a lot more food to facilitate their growth, so you should feed them 2 to 3 food items every day, but if they are still acting irritable and excited, there’s no harm in throwing in one more insect or some mashed up fruit for them to enjoy.
How To Keep An Anole Lizard Hydrated
While roaming around in the wild, anole lizards will typically lap water from leaves after there has been a rain storm, so they won’t usually find still water in a bowl very appealing.
To keep them hydrated, try misting the terrarium’s leaves or walls, and let them consume it at their own pace.
You should do this once or twice a day to make sure they remain hydrated, but this doesn’t mean you should throw out the water bowl entirely.
Instead, try to keep a shallow pool of water in the bowl at all times, just in case the lizard doesn’t detect the misted water and needs an alternative to keep them cool.
A partially filled water dish will also help to increase the ambient humidity within the enclosure which can help to stabilize the heat so that your reptilian buddy can feel as comfortable as possible.
So that they can receive all the nutrients and vitamins needed to help them grow and be healthy, anole lizards need to stick to a very particular diet which is almost entirely comprised of small insects, along with a few bits of mashed-up fruit.
This has made anole lizards renowned for being incredibly easy to care for, even while they’re still young.
So, if you are interested in caring for a lizard, but you’re a little hesitant because of a lack of prior experience, you’ll have a very easy time with a small and loveable anole lizard.