Also known as the Bahamas anole, the Crested Anole is native to the islands off of North America. These anoles have similar care to other anoles, and are easy and fun to own.
Like their name says, the crested anole has a large crest running from the top of their head, down their back. They are generally green or brown and are about 7 inches long. With the right care, crested anoles can live over 3 years old.
Anoles are extremely jumpy and do not respond well to human interaction. Crested anoles should be handled only when necessary, and when you try to hold them, they will try to escape.
Crested anoles are insectivores and need a primary diet of crickets. Hatchlings and juveniles need to be fed as many crickets as they will eat in 15 minutes daily. Adults only need to be fed every 5 days. Remove any extra crickets from the cage. The length of the cricket should be equal to the width of your anole's head to prevent choking.
Dust food items with calcium and vitamin D3 supplements. Crickets need to be gut loaded. This means filling them with nutritious food because what goes into your crickets goes into your anole.
Crested anoles only need a 10-gallon enclosure to live comfortably. With each new anole, add 5 gallons of room. Do not house males together because they will fight. When considering an enclosure for your anole, aquariums with a screen lid work well. Height is an important consideration, because crested anoles will spend much of their time off of the ground.
If you are looking for the perfect setup for the Crested Anole, then you might want to check out the Full Glass 10 Gallon Reptile Terrarium 12 x 12" x 18 sold at ReptiZoo. Our company is not affiliated with ReptiZoo but will receive a small referral commission. Click the image below for more details on this beautiful enclosure.
Simple substrates like paper towels and newspapers can be used. If you are looking for a more natural substrate, some options are bed-a-beast, potting soil or coconut fiber. Avoid any substrates with pine because it is toxic to reptiles, and sand does not hold humidity well.
Shelter can be provided in the form of foliage. Give your crested anole a lot of branches, vines, plants (fake or alive) and rocks to climb around and hide in. Two ground shelters can also be provided for extra security. If there are not enough hiding places throughout the enclosure, the anole will become very stressed, and may stop eating, which will lead to more problems.
Crested anoles can live comfortably at room temperature, and do not let the enclosure exceed 85F, or your crested anole will overheat. If extra heat is required, a 30-watt light bulb works well. Heat pads do not work well with this species because they are rarely on the ground.
Crested anoles require UVA/UVB lighting for proper digestion and to receive enough vitamin D3 that they would get in the wild. A UV bulb should be within 10 inches of your anole, and needs to be replaced every 6 months.
Humidity/Water Being from a tropical climate, high humidity is required for this species. Keep the humidity at 70% during the day to avoid dehydration. Spraying down the enclosure multiple times a day or using an automatic misting system can achieve this. Crested anoles do not require a water bowl because they will drink water droplets off of the glass and foliage in the enclosure.
Replace simple substrates when soiled and loose substrates every 3 months. Spot clean daily, and clean the entire cage every 6 months.
To breed crested anoles gather a group of four females and one male, all fully mature, in a 25-gallon enclosure. This group can stay together year-around if you want the females to continue to produce eggs. Mating will occur in the springtime and females will begin to develop eggs. After a month, a female will lay her first clutch of two eggs. If you keep the group together, each female will lay eggs throughout the summer.
It will take 60-90 days for eggs to hatch. Some keepers keep the eggs in the enclosure and remove the hatchlings when they are out of the shell, while others incubate them in an artificial incubator.
Hatchlings will eat after their first shed, and need to eat daily as they grow. Keep them on paper towel or newspaper substrate so they can be monitored for problems, and keep their enclosure humid. They can be kept in a 5-gallon enclosure or a critter keeper. The rest of their care is the same as the adult's, just smaller.
The crested anole is fun to own, even if they cannot be held. They require very humid environments, and love to chase crickets. Remember, do your research before buying any pet so that it can live happily and healthily.
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Leisa Plattenburg - July 3, 2012
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