Fun Green Anole Facts For Kids

Moumita Dutta
Nov 16, 2022 By Moumita Dutta
Originally Published on Aug 05, 2021
Edited by Luca Demetriou
Green anole facts are fascinating to read.

Green anoles belong to anole lizard species, native to the southeastern United States. The scientific name given to this creature is Anolis carolinensis.

Their scaly skin is of bright green color or brown and dark brown with a bright red or pink-colored throat fan known as a dewlap. Their ability to change the color of their species is a key feature of them that helps in preying and protects them from their predators.

They hide from their predators by blending in with shrubs and trees. The usual predators of anole species are snakes, birds, and wild cats.

However, their ability to camouflage is said to be much weaker and slower compared to a chameleon. The estimated green anole lifespan is two to eight years.

The green anole habitat is in woody and moist jungles. They are native to Nearctic and Neotropical regions. Their species lives in the trees and shrubs. In the wild this lizard prey on small-sized insects.

Their diet includes crickets, beetles, termites, and more. However, they can be good domestic pets as well. There are many American households where anoles are kept as pets.

To learn more, we have collected a set of interesting facts about this lizard for you to read. You can also learn more about fascinating wildlife by reading up more articles on Lava lizard and caiman lizard.

Green Anole Interesting Facts

What type of animal is a green anole?

A green anole (Anolis carolinensis) is a species of lizards, who mostly live on trees with green-colored scaly skin.

What class of animal does a green anole belong to?

Anolis carolinensis belongs to the reptile class of the Animalia kingdom.

How many green anoles are there in the world?

The green anole is a very common species, found in the southeastern United States and Caribbean islands. Thus, its population size is unknown, or one should rather say uncounted. However, biologists have spotted 425 species of Anolis carolinensis in total.

Where does a green anole live?

Anoles live in forests with high humidity, savannas, grasslands, and bushy areas of semi-urban towns. Their ability to camouflage gives them an edge and actively protects them from predators.

They can be found throughout the southeastern United States, extending their territory to the north via North Carolina, west to Texas, and south via Florida. Not only that, you can spot them in Cuba, the Bahamas, Guam, and on the Ogasawara Islands of Japan as well.

What is a green anole's habitat?

Anoles are considered arboreal lizards. They live on shade tree branches, in the bushes, and in tall grasses. Their natural habitat makes preying on small insects easier for them. Not only in the forests but green anoles can be found in urban or semi-urban areas as well. They are frequently spotted on fences, wooden posts, and dwellings.

Who do green anoles live with?

Green anoles can be spotted solo or in a group. Anoles are very protective about their territory, and male anoles often indulge in a fight. So a group of anoles more often consists of females with a single male.  

How long does a green anole live?

The average life span of an anole is two to eight years. If they are being kept in a cage like a pet, their life span can get shortened by a year or two. Their lifespan depends on their habitat and nutrition. In optimum conditions, an anole can live up to 10 years.

How do they reproduce?

A majority of male anoles practice polygamy. On the other hand, it is a bit out of character for females to do this, however. The warmer months are best suited for their reproduction. The gestation period of anoles is five to seven weeks.

Females lay one egg every two weeks which sums up to six to nine eggs a year. Females lay eggs on moist soil. They dig a hole and bury the egg there and leaves it on its own to hatch.

What is their conservation status?

They are listed as Least Concern (LC) species by IUCN and they are given no special status by CITES and US Federal List.

Green Anole Fun Facts

What do green anoles look like?

Like other lizards, a green anole (Anolis carolinensis) has an agile and slender body. They have a long pointy head and ridges can be spotted between the nostrils and eyes.

Females are shorter in body size comparing to a male, by 15 %. Their skin color is usually green, however, you can spot brown and dark brown anoles as well. They also have the ability to change color.

Men also have a throat fan, known as a dewlap, which can turn bright red on occasions. The dewlap of females is nearly three times shorter than of the males. When the males are under stress their dorsal ridge can extend behind their head.

Females have a special white stripe through their spine which is not so common among males. One can often spot scars on males' body which they received in their previous fights, as they are highly territorial.

The camouflage ability of a green anole is not like a chameleon.

How cute are they?

If you have watched the movie 'Tangled' then you are familiar with Pascal the lizard. There are no words to describe his cuteness, isn't it? Well, green anoles are no different, an infant anole resembles Pascal quite a lot.

How do they communicate?

Every green anole is born with certain communication signal features. It includes color variations, head movements, and movements of dewlap. A dewlap is a useful tool used in intergender communications, especially in breeding seasons. Interaction between anoles, especially between male anoles gets intensified with growing age, due to their highly territorial nature.

How big is a green anole?

An anole is on average 1.5-3.1 in length. They are small to medium-sized lizards with the males having larger bodies than females, as mentioned earlier. Both male and female anole has a long tail which is more than half of their body length.

How fast can a green anole run?

The recorded top speed of an anole is 0.001 mps.

How much does a green anole weigh?

An average adult anole can weigh up to 0.013 lb. Both heavyweight and lightweight males can be spotted in the same territory. The one, with the best physical attributes, becomes the dominant one.

What are their male and female names of the species?

There are no particular names given for male and female anoles. However, they are often referred to as American chameleon.

What would you call a baby green anole?

A baby green anole simply goes by the name young anole. You can always give any cute name to your pet anole though.

What do they eat?

Anolis carolinensis is enlisted as insectivores. Their diet includes a variety of insects. Basically, they can consume any insect which is smaller than the size of their head, including beetles, flies, some arthropods, and spiders. They can also feed on mollusks, seeds, and grains depending on availability. Their ability to change color helps them preying when on insects.

Are they poisonous?

No, green anoles are not poisonous. They are pretty much harmless creatures, and hence not dangerous.

Would they make a good pet?

Certainly, they will be good pets, especially for someone who is adopting a reptile for the first time. They are easy to maintain, inexpensive, and look adorable.

Did you know...

The throat fan (dewlap) is also used in courtship displays. Males have bigger dewlaps than a female.

The hemipenes of males are located at the base of their tails.

In higher temperatures, the gonads of both males and females can increase. Therefore they get a higher reproduction rate in warmer months.

The eggs of anole species are oval in shape and off-white or light tan colored.

They also go by the name Carolina anole.

Brown anoles, which also goes by their scientific name Anolis sagrei are considered as counterparts of green anoles.

Often two or more male anoles get involved in a fight over territory. Sometimes they can scar each other pretty badly, although facts about killing each other are not known.

In Guam, they are so frequently preyed on by Boiga snakes that they are at near extinction in that area.

Why does a green anole turn brown?

They turn brown at cold temperatures or when they are ill or under stress. An anole can turn brown when they wake up and can go bright green before they sleep. Their color changing can also depend upon weather, sunlight, and humidity.  

How to care for a green anole?

Green anole care is no rocket science. If you are adopting an anole as a pet, make sure you provide them with a healthy diet. Green anole diets should include two to five insects, preferably cricket, per day.

It is important to provide a shallow water dish for them to drink from and to provide them with a humid and warm atmosphere.

Here at Kidadl, we have carefully created lots of interesting family-friendly animal facts for everyone to discover! Learn more about some other reptiles including spotted salamander, or monitor lizard.

You can even occupy yourself at home by drawing one on our Green Anole coloring pages.

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Written by Moumita Dutta

Bachelor of Arts specializing in Journalism and Mass Communication, Postgraduate Diploma in Sports Management

Moumita Dutta picture

Moumita DuttaBachelor of Arts specializing in Journalism and Mass Communication, Postgraduate Diploma in Sports Management

A content writer and editor with a passion for sports, Moumita has honed her skills in producing compelling match reports and stories about sporting heroes. She holds a degree in Journalism and Mass Communication from the Indian Institute of Social Welfare and Business Management, Calcutta University, alongside a postgraduate diploma in Sports Management.

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