How to Care for Your New Knight Anole
Aqualand's inside scoop on Anolis equestris
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Cage: Knight anoles grow fairly large. They enter the retail market at about a foot in length. You need the equivalent space of a 29-gallon enclosure.
Not Good Mixers. You’ll want to keep your knight anoles separate, because they like to argue and fight. They’re big enough to injure themselves and other lizards. Or give them plenty of room.
Tree Stuff. Add some branches for your knight anole to cling to, clamber over, and climb upon. They have sharp claws (not as sharp as an iguana’s claws) but sharp enough to grab onto rough surfaces. They also have adhesive pads on their feet to help them cling to smooth surfaces.
Temperature: Keep your knight anole at 80o to 90o degrees during the day. Keep him 10o cooler at night. When the temp falls below the low 70s, he’ll probably stop eating. Those cold snaps in Florida kill lots of knight anoles. Some consider this a good thing, because they’re an invading exotic species – much like spring breakers.
Temperament: Think of your knight anole as almost shy. You are a big monster that stresses him when you pick him up. He’ll rare up, flare his dewlap, and open his mouth incredibly wide to try to scare you off. He’s mostly bluff but he might bite.
Maximum Size. In theory, knight anoles grow as long as 20 inches. Most of the rascals mature at a much shorter length.
Sexing: Male knight anoles have an unmissable pink dewlap that they flare to ward off other males and attract females. He rares up ready to fight like the “knight” in his name. If you keep your male and female together, you’ll stress her a great deal. Best to keep them separate except at breeding time (warm summer). Add him to her cage so he does not get all confused and start defending his territory.
Foods: Most insects will
fill the bill. Gut load your
crickets with nutritious foods. Knight
anoles will also swallow smaller lizards.
Supplements: If you don’t gut load your crickets, you’ll need to dust them. Careful. Do not over-vitaminize.
Lighting: Knight anoles need full-spectrum light and appreciate a regular day and night schedule. Make sure your lizard cannot reach any bare heating bulbs.
Water: Give your knight anole a large water bowl. They drink water from a bowl, unlike our native green anoles. Put a rock in it to keep your crickets from drowning and fouling their water. Change it frequently.
Limit Handling: As mentioned earlier, knight anoles do not enjoy being handled. If yours darkens when handled, you are stressing the heck out of him. Stress makes him susceptible to disease.
Last Word: Always wash your hands thoroughly after handling any reptile. LA.
Carrieri, February 3, 2006
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smaller guys starting to show up.
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