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Cuban Knight Anole Care Sheet
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Cuban Knight Anole

Anolis Equestris

A.K.A: Cuban Anole, Knight Anole, Giant Anole

 

Housing & Substrate:

The minimum size enclosure for a Cuban Knight Anole is a 4ft tall 2 ft wide and 2ft deep this is roughly 120 gallons. Until they are adults they can be housed in a 55 gallon aquarium. Once they are older they will need a larger enclosure and one adequate for climbing. Remember to get a locking lid for the enclosure. To line the enclosure you will want to choose the one that best works for you. These are some appropriate bedding options; paper towels, newspaper, reptile carpet, AstroTurf, shelf liner, tile, organic soil, or compressed coconut fiber. Other options such as sand, gravel, reptile bark should be avoided.

 

Humidity & Water:

The humidity can be maintained by misting the enclosure at least 3 times daily, providing a reptile fogger, reptile mister, or water drop mechanism. The ideal humidity should be kept between 70% and 80% to low or two high can cause medical problems. Do not let the humidity fall below 60 or be over 80. Your Anole will drink up the droplets left on the leaves and decorations in the enclosure after misting. You also need to provide a large but shallow water dish for shedding, drinking, and bathing. Replace the water daily.

 

Temperature & Lighting:

The enclosure needs to be kept between 82˙F (28˙C) and 86˙F (30˙C) during the day and between 75˙F (24˙C) and 80˙F (27˙C) at night and a basking temperature (near the heat light) of 90˙F (32˙C).  Like with all other diurnal (awake during the day) lizards. They will need a UVB producing light. This light needs to be on for 10-12 hours a day. During this time, the light will provide enough UV rays for proper digestion and release appropriate amounts of vitamin D3 to allow for calcium absorption. Without a UVB light it is extremely likely for your pet to get a medical condition called MBD. This stands for Metabolic Bone Disease which is fatal if not caught early enough.

 

Feeding and Supplements:

Juveniles and adults can eat a staple of crickets (no bigger then the space between their eyes) with a variety of butter worms, super worms, silk worms, and earth worms. The adults can also eat pinkie mice, and small lizards like Green Anoles and House Geckos.  The adults should be fed at least every other day and juveniles daily. Dust the crickets and other food items with a calcium/multivitamin supplement. This is crucial to your pet’s health and needs to be done to all food items every other feeding. Dust the insects with a calcium/D3 supplement at least once a month.

 

Gender:

Males will have a dewlap (flap of skin under the chin that expands to look like they are puffing their throat) it’s a pale pink shade and is extended when felt threatened or used as a demonstration to attract a mate. Females can have them too but its not often you see a female Cuban Knight Anole with a dewlap and when you do they never get as big as the males. Once they are adults you can tell by the two pores on the underside of your pet near the vent. Males will have these little bumps and the females will not.

 

Shopping List / Minimum Requirements:

 

  • You will need a large enclosure (see above for dimensions)
  • Plenty of fake plants and branches logs and items to climb on. (real plants will get broken and damaged easily by your Anole)
  • A UVB producing fluorescent light
  • A heat light or ceramic heat emitter (this basking light should be outside so the Anole does not get burnt
  • A digital Hygrometer (humidity gauge)
  • A digital Thermometer (the stick on plastic dials can be up to 20 degrees inaccurate )
  • A reptile mister (spray/mist bottle for water) or a water drip mechanism
  • A large but shallow water dish
  • Substrate (above)
  • A nocturnal/red heat bulb if you are not using a ceramic heat emitter to maintain night time temperatures

 

Not Appropriate:

There are many items that Cuban Knight Anoles should not have. Heat Rocks and Heat Caves can severely burn your lizard’s stomach and feet and should be avoided for all lizards. The only advantage to using a Heat Pad is to keep the substrate warm for humidity purposes they use over head heat not ground heat to stay warm. Do not use any Sand, Gravel, or Repti-Bark substrates.  Do not feed mealworms, their hard exoskeleton can easily cause impaction they are also very low in nutrients and aren’t healthy.

 

Other Information:

These lizards are arboreal and they spend most of their time in the trees and up to15ft high. They don’t spend much time on the ground and are not all too active.

The normal color is a green with yellow patches and one white stripe under the eye on another on the shoulder going to the middle of their back. When they are dark green to brown they are usually stressed or unhappy. This is when you should leave them be and make sure the temperature and humidity is correct. They can also change to a reddish green if in the territorial or aggressive mood. This is when you know to take a step back. During their sleep and at night they will become a light/pale green.

Anoles used to be called “American Chameleons” long ago but there is no relation between the Anole species and the Chameleon species.

Cuban Knight Anoles are aggressive, they won’t tolerate being handled and can leave a nasty bite. Occasionally there will be a docile one in a hatch but its not often. They should be housed alone unless you are an experienced breeder.  Never house two males together and try to avoid housing a male with a female as it can also be dangerous. They can and will fight to the death if they don’t get along.

These Anoles are not good pets for children of any ages. They are not for playing with or handling. They are very fascinating and amazing reptiles but definitely not for children.

More information on Cuban Knight Anoles: