Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Have you heard about Anoles before as a pet

Anoles are small lizards that can be mistaken for chameleons or geckos. Most types of anoles are able to change their color in response to their environment like chameleons. They are also able to climb walls like geckos. However, they are most closely related to iguanas. Anoles can make good pets for the first time lizard owner. They are small and hearty creatures with a lifespan of approximately seven years in captivity.

Green anoles are the most common anole in the US. If you are looking for one as a pet, they are fairly easy to find in pet stores and can even be found at state fairs in the South. While the animal itself is inexpensive, generally $4 - $10, their actual cost is deceptive. Anoles require a very special habitat and diet in order to stay happy and healthy.

Anoles are, on average, between three and seven inches long. They require much more space than their size indicates. In the wild, anoles mark out a territory of three square yards. In captivity anoles require at least a ten gallon tank, but a larger space is preferable. Their tank must have ventilation; many people prefer an aquarium with wire mesh on the top. One side of the tank should be kept around 90 degrees Fahrenheit in order to create an optimal basking environment, while the other end should be about ten degrees cooler. The tank should have about two inches of substrate, preferably of sterilized organic potting soil or a speciality reptile bedding. There should also be plants, real or artificial, in the tank with branches strong enough for the anole to climb on.

Anoles are insectivores and flourish on a diet of crickets. These crickets need to be smaller than an anole's mouth, so it is better to buy a few at a time rather than allow them to grow at home. Anoles will typically eat three to five crickets a day. These crickets should be fed a vitamin-rich diet and dusted with vitamin powder before being fed to the anole. Mealworms, butter worms, and silk worms are also acceptable anole feed, but crickets are by far the best dietary choice. Anoles don't need a water bowl. Instead, mist their cage a couple of times a day. This not only keeps the humidity up, but also provides the anole with its source of water; it licks the condensation off the leaves and walls of his tank.

Anoles are beautiful lizards that are very interesting to look at, but they are not to be handled unless absolutely necessary. They are not lap lizards and should only be handled when you have to remove them to clean their cage (a bi-monthly affair) or take them to the vet. Handling anoles unnecessarily is very stressful and can lead to sickness. Also, when you have to handle your anole, be careful of its tail. Anoles' tails break off very easily and will wriggle independently for minutes after detachment. This is a survival mechanism called autonomy but is obviously stressful to the animal.

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