Anole Facts You’ll Never Forget

Anole facts tell us that they have small heads and can change their body color.

An anole is a lizard which has the ability to change its skin color owing to bright light, temperature, and humidity conditions of its surroundings. This characteristic is more profound in a green anole, scientific name Anolis carolinensis. Although a green anole is not a chameleon in the true sense, it is nicknamed the American chameleon. An anole lizard is known to regulate the heat of its body and its reproduction peaks in the summer seasons. These lizards, especially the green anole species, are most active during the day.

A green anole is native to various parts of the United States, while other species like the blue anole are native to Cuba. They are highly territorial, especially the males. Males of the green anole species have been seen to vigorously guard their territory, and sometimes kill other anole lizards. They survive alone within a small territory in the wild. The most common predators of anoles are tree snakes, feral cats, and birds.

You may also check out the fact files on a frilled lizard and lava lizard from Kidadl.


Fact File

What do they prey on?

Moths, flies, and insects

What do they eat?


Average litter size?

10 eggs

How much do they weigh?

0.02-0.3 lb (8 g-137 g)

How long are they?

5-18 in (12.7-45.7 cm)

How tall are they?


What do they look like?

Brown or green body, with a dewlap on the males and certain species sport light color stripes

Skin Type


What are their main threats?

Predators and habitat loss

What is their conservation status?

Green anole: Least Concern Barker's anole: Vulnerable Bearded anole: Near Threatened

Where you'll find them

Rainforests and deserts


Cuba and the United States





Scientific Name

Green anole: Anolis carolinensis Blue anole: Anolis gorgonae Emerald anole: Anolis evermanni





Anole Interesting Facts

What type of animal is an anole?

Anoles are types of lizards which have numerous species within their family. The green anole lizard is the most common type, and it is also called American chameleon.

What class of animal does an anole belong to?

Anoles are lizards which belong to the Reptilia class. The Anolis carolinensis is the most commonly found lizard from this family.

How many anoles are there in the world?

The exact population of anole lizards is unknown. Green anole lizards are the most abundantly found lizards from this family. They have a huge population size, but in certain countries like Guam, their population has reduced. These lizard types are often confused with the chameleon species.

Where does an anole live?

The range of these lizards is enormous and they can be found in a variety of ecosystems. They are found in mountains, deserts, and even in gardens. The various species of these lizards prefer different range types. The green anole lizard is most commonly seen occupying trees of moist forests. On the other hand, the blue anole can be found in urban areas and forests. This lizard is also seen living in coconut palm trees.

What is an anole's habitat?

An anole is a lizard which has its range across many areas. The green anole is most common in southeastern United States in states such as Florida and Louisiana. The green anole species is also prominent across the coastal plains in northern Carolina and South Carolina. The blue anole is native to the Colombian islands, especially in the Gorgona island, while the Dominican anole is native to the Dominican island, as the name suggests.

Who do anoles live with?

The anole lizard species are solitary creatures.

How long does an anole live?

Almost all the lizard species have an average lifespan of two to eight years in the wild. In captivity, their duration of life depends on the care given to them. In pet care, the anole lifespan is about four to six years. Anole lizard care is easy, and anole pet will survive for longer with proper care.

How do they reproduce?

These lizards have polygynous mating behavior, and in one mating season, the males mate with one or more females. Their mating season begins at the start of April and continues to September. The males become very territorial during this season, while the females prefer to mate in enclosed areas. The males of the green anole species bite the neck of their female counterparts during mating. In a single season of reproduction, the females can produce up to 10 eggs.

The females lay these eggs in the hollow of a tree or in any soft soil and even in rotting wood. These eggs are left on their own, and they incubate by taking heat from the sun. During the warmer months, the excess heat increases the size of gonads. This leads to a higher proportion of reproduction during these months.

What is their conservation status?

An anole is a type of lizard which is highly territorial. It has numerous species within its family and each has been tagged differently by the IUCN Red List. A green anole is labeled as Least Concern, while a Barker's anole is tagged as Vulnerable. Another anole lizard from the same family, named bearded anole, is classified as Near Threatened. The main threat to anoles is from various predators. These include different species of snakes, cats, and skinks.The most common predator of a green anole is the tree snakes of Guam.

Anole Fun Facts

What do anoles look like?

An anole lizard can be small in length, but certain species can be pretty large too. In most of these lizards, it is the males which develop a dewlap, and many lizards from this family have the ability to change their body color to camouflage. Green anoles from this family have a slender body, a pointed head, and a long tail. There are small ridges on top of its head. They have a scaly skin type which is green under bright light. From time to time, their skin may turn brown too. The brown color is a display of their lack of energy or stress.

A green anole has dewlaps which they use to communicate.

How cute are they?

They are not very cute to look at. These lizard species are small and have the ability to shift their body color.

How do they communicate?

An anole is a type of lizard which communicates through head movements. Green anoles communicate by flapping their dewlap and by changing its color. If a green anole feels threatened by other males of its species, it will puff out its dewlap. During the breeding season, they extend their dewlaps to call out females.

How big is an anole?

Concerning the length of the body, the range of an adult anole varies from 5-18 in (12.7-45.7 cm). The size of an adult green anole is between 1.6-3.1 in (4-8 cm). An anole is half the size of a Malagasy giant chameleon.

How fast can an anole move?

The exact speed of these lizards is not known. A green anole is known to run a top speed of 6 mph (9.7 kph).

How much does an anole weigh?

The weight of an adult anole has a wide range. It varies from 0.02-0.3 lb (8 g-137 g).

What are the male and female names of the species?

There are no separate names for the males and females of these lizards.

What would you call a baby anole?

A baby anole is called a hatchling which comes from anole eggs.

What do they eat?

Insects form the diet of most anoles. They are omnivores and prey on anything that essentially fits in their mouth. A green anole is a carnivore or insectivore which preys primarily on larvae, crickets, flies, and even spiders. Their diet in captivity includes maggots, grubs, and small mealworms.

Are they dangerous?

No, these lizards are not dangerous. They sport a bright dewlap and are a favored pet in many households. They may bite other anoles during a fight, although no killing instance has been witnessed.

Would they make a good pet?

Yes, an anole is a perfect pet and anole care is very easy. They are the most preferred pet for most first-time reptile pet-keepers. Among all the reptile species, these lizards, especially green anoles, are most docile.

What are the different types of anoles?

There are more than 400 species of lizards or anoles that have been identified to date. Of this family, the Anolis carolinensis or green anole is the most common lizard. Green anoles inhabit most parts of America and is nicknamed the American chameleon. A green anole is not a chameleon in the truest of senses but is given the name owing to its ability to change its body color. This color-changing phenomenon is dependent on factors like temperature and humidity. This ability is seen in other anoles too.

Certain other anole species include the brown anole (Cuban anole or Florida anole), which is very agile. There also exists the arboreal knight anole, water anole, the Martinique anole, which also goes by the name savannah anole.

Did you know...

Some fun anole lizard facts include that they are lizards that have the ability to maintain their body temperatures and they have a long sleek tail. Anole facts also include that almost all anoles, especially  green anoles, are diurnal  which means they are active during the day.

Why do anoles turn brown?

A green anole, when active, is green in color. These lizards are known to have the ability to shift their body color, but there are many times when the anole species turn brown in color. This brown color of a green anole indicates that they are cold. This brown color of green anoles also suggests that they are under stress and might be frightened as well. There are species like brown anole lizards (also Bahaman anole) as well. However, unlike green anoles, these lizards cannot change back to green. They can shift their body color to black or gray. The body color of green anoles or any other anoles from this family is reliant on the temperature or light of the environment.

How to pronounce anole?

The anole species is a family of animals. This family includes lizards and anole pronunciation is 'uh-noh-lee.'

Here at Kidadl, we have carefully created lots of interesting family-friendly animal facts for everyone to discover! For more relatable content, check out these sand lizard facts and Gila monster facts for kids.

You can even occupy yourself at home by coloring in one of our free printable Anole coloring pages.



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