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Found Baby Anole In A Houseplant- Need Care Tips

Discussion in 'Help *General*' started by melissa92, Oct 10, 2017.

  1. melissa92

    melissa92 New Member

    Hi everyone, I'm new to the forums here and was hoping you all might be able to provide some care tips for a baby brown anole (I think that's what he/she is) that I found at my parents' house over the weekend. Here's the story:

    We live in Massachusetts and of course anoles/small lizards aren't native species here. Yesterday, I found what I thought was a shriveled up leaf in front of the sliding glass door at my parent's house. I picked it up and it was the tiniest little lizard I've ever seen! We initially thought it got in from outside and was some kind of native critter. After examining him (I'm calling it a boy for now), we knew he was not native and must have come from one of the houseplants. My parents' local supermarket just had an awesome sale on big houseplants ($6.50 per plant!) and they went a little crazy and bought about 10 of them. We believe the plants were grown in Florida and the little guy either hitched a ride or hatched in one of the plants. They've had the plants for about a week, and we aren't sure how long they were at the store before that. The little guy is about 1.25" long- not sure how old that would make him.

    Anyway, we knew putting him outside meant certain death and I doubt any of our local shelters would take him. I have some experience with reptile care, since I take care of a bearded dragon and two red-eared sliders at work (I work at a boys and girls club and one of my coworkers brought them in to live at the center after she could no longer care for them), so I told my mom I'd bring him home with me.

    I have him in a 10-gallon tank with a UVB bulb and the basic habitat fixtures. The temp is ~80 degrees during the day, ~65 at night, and humidity around 65-70%. I bought some flightless fruit flies for him but I'm not sure he is eating them. Any suggestions on what else to feed a baby that size- pinhead crickets or apricot baby food? I am also not 100% that he's a brown anole (that's what they thought at Petsmart when we brought him in to pick up supplies). There's two pictures of him here. Any help/suggestions are appreciated- looking forward to getting some good info here!

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  2. Qwerty3159

    Qwerty3159 Elite Member

    Cute little anole, looks like a brown anole. There is an excellent caresheet here on the site. Green Anole | Reptile Forums - Information

    How are you measuring the temperatures and humidity? Also what brand is the UVB bulb and is it a coil type of a fluorescent tube?
    The 10 is fine for the baby but the flightless fruit flies might be able to climb up the glass and through the screen. If you notice this happening it may be a good idea to keep it in a plastic tub with a well fitting lid instead. Flightless fruit flies are a good food source as well as pinhead crickets if they're small enough. You could offer the baby food in a small cap but I doubt the anole would really eat it that much, maybe a lick or two. Lower wattage bulbs are better for a small lizard in a small tank, its easier to kill these guys with too much heat than too little.
  3. melissa92

    melissa92 New Member

    Thanks! The care sheet had some good info.

    I have a reptile thermometer and hygrometer that we picked up from the pet store to gauge humidity and temperature. The UVB bulb is the 13 watt Exo Terra tropical UVB bulb- it's a coil-type.

    Thanks for the tip, I have seen the flies climbing up the sides of the tank, so I'll keep an eye on it and check to see if any escape. I'm going to look around and see if I can find a site to order pinhead crickets from, since none of my local stores sell them. Any suggested brands for a low wattage heat bulb? Thanks again for all the help! We bought him some branches and artificial vines and he seems super happy with all the new hiding spots and is settling in nicely.
    Qwerty3159 likes this.
  4. Qwerty3159

    Qwerty3159 Elite Member

    I'm sorry it took me so long to reply.
    The thermometer hygrometer is a gauge, correct? Those are quite inaccurate and you'd be better off getting a digital with a probe or even a temp gun. I use mostly these ZooMed bulbs. : Zoo Med Reptile Basking Spot Lamp 25 Watts : Pet Habitat Lights : Pet Supplies
    Unfortunately the coil bulbs aren't really that great and have minimal UVB output. I recommend using a ZooMed Reptisun T5 HO linear tube bulb. Once you get the right measuring equipment and bulb check the temperatures again and you may also find that the UVB bulb offers enough heat for the tank. Not sure if I mentioned this already but they won't drink standing water in a bowl so the cage wall or some of the decor should be misted so it can drink the droplets.
  5. melissa92

    melissa92 New Member

    No problem, thanks! I will look into getting a digital one. I've added some sphagnum moss and more live plants to his tank, which seems to be helping the humidity. I mist two or three times a day and he drinks the droplets each time. He's also interested in the water dish (very very shallow water level) and sometimes takes a quick dip in there or lets his tail/feet hang in.

    It's been a little over a week and he seems to be doing well! I still have yet to actually see him eat, but his stomach looks nice and plump, and I did catch him running around like crazy chasing fruit flies this morning, so I'm guessing he just eats when I'm not around. He goes on alert mode when I go near the tank, so I'm trying not to peer in for too long and stress him out. I ordered some pinhead crickets for him to try. Should I dust them with a calcium/vitamin supplement prior to offering them to him?

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