Do Green Anoles need UVB?

Anole eggs: when are they laid, where, and how many?

Anole eggs are tiny, but if you can find them they’re pretty easy to hatch. Keep reading to learn about where, when, and how these lizards lay their eggs…

Last updated on February 1st, 2023 at 09:23 am

Anoles lay small, white, leathery eggs in moist soil. Often, they are deposited near the base of the tree or plant the female Anole lives on, or in the shade near her favorite patch of terrestrial territory. Female Green and Brown Anoles both lay one egg at a time.

Where Do Green Anoles Lay Their Eggs?

Anoles lay their eggs anywhere in their habitat. The only consistent criterion is that the place has to be moist.

So Anoles in forests will choose the moist portions in the soil or damp logs to lay their eggs in. In urban environments, they can lay eggs in similar places in parks and gardens.

Anoles raised in captivity will lay eggs in their tanks or any other exposed soil, like potted plants. Since their eggs are small we often do not see them even if they are right in front of us unless we are looking for them.

anole eggs

Do Brown Anoles Bury Their Eggs?

Brown Anoles do generally bury their eggs to keep them humid during incubation. They lay their eggs on the ground or in other places which are damp.

There is usually high canopy cover to prevent desiccation of the eggs. This is why they often lay eggs in plant patches in the gardens of urban environments.

They prefer the shade as the eggs can face a large natural temperature variation based on the location. Nests in urban habitats can get up to 6 °C hotter than forest habitats, making survival for them harder.

anole eggs
Male Brown Anole (Anolis sagrei) displaying its dewlap to ward off rivals

How Often Do Anoles Lay Eggs?

Anoles lay eggs during their four-month breeding season. This is only a single stretch of time each year.

Unless you breed your Anole in areas with extreme weather you will find that they start laying eggs in the summer. In the breeding season, the female Anole takes around a week to get sexually receptive.

Once she is receptive, she finds a male which is easy as they have elaborate courtship displays. After mating, she lays a weekly clutch of a single egg.

anole eggs

How Do Anole Eggs Look?

The Anole usually lays tiny white eggs. Because of their size and location, they are very difficult to locate.

The white eggs can often have specks of brown on the shell. This helps to camouflage them during their incubation period on the ground.

Since the eggs are not always buried, their tiny size is another asset when it comes to avoiding being eaten by animals. The egg is only 6 mm long with a circumference of about 14 mm.

Do Anoles Lay Unfertilized Eggs?

Anoles can lay unfertilized eggs, but it’s not common. You probably won’t see an unfertilized egg unless you breed them on regular basis, for example. In fact, they have a very interesting adaptation to prevent this from happening.

Anole females can store the sperm after each mating for a considerable duration of time. If she does not mate in a sexually receptive period, she uses stored sperm to produce fertilized eggs.

Everything you need to know about Anole eggs!

How Many Eggs Does A Anole Lay?

A female Anole will lay eggs every year from its birth till it dies. Every year, for the four months in the summer she will become sexually active and lay about 14 to 18 eggs.

The female Anole has an average clutch size of approximately 1. Only rarely does she lay more than an egg, but never more than two.

Anoles lay eggs once every 1 or 2 weeks in their breeding season. After laying a single clutch, it takes about a week for her to get sexually receptive again.

How Long Does It Take For Anole Eggs To Hatch?

Once the female Anole lays eggs, she does not provide any further maternal care. The eggs are naturally incubated and may take up to 5 to 7 weeks to hatch.

The soonest the Anole eggs can hatch after being laid is about two weeks, though this would be unusual. The incubation duration results from external factors that include temperature, humidity, and oxygen.

Do Green Anoles need UVB?
A Green Anole (Anolis carolinensis)

What Do I Do If I Find An Anole Egg?

If you find Anole eggs in fairly safe places, then you can leave them there to be naturally incubated and hatched. If you want to give them a better place to hatch at home, then you have to put in a bit of work.

Anole eggs require 70% humidity or more, so you have to keep the egg in a humid incubation medium like vermiculite or even coco coir. It’s best to place them in a small plastic container, like a deli cup to keep this moisture in.

Anole eggs should be kept out of direct sunight, and put somewhere with a stable temperature of 80-85F (26-30C). If you can’t find a warm enough place for them, you can always buy an incubator, or even make a DIY one. (check out this video by Dav Kaufman on the subject: DIY REPTILE EGG INCUBATOR (How to build your own)

How To Tell If Anole Egg Is Fertile?

Anole females usually do not lay unfertilized eggs. In fact, they store up sperm and use it in cases when they can’t find suitable mates during their breeding season.

Even then a few eggs may turn out to be non-fertilized, and they will as a result be non-viable. You can tell that no embryo is developing by shining a light through such eggs, which is known as candling.

In this process of candling, healthy eggs will appear pink, with blood vessels and a mass of cells present inside the egg. But an infertile egg will appear yellow upon candling even after several days have passed.

Fertile eggs:Infertile eggs:
– have a pink patch inside– are solid yellow inside
– have a network of veins– have no veins
– are pure white in color, sometimes with brown flecks– are off-white in color and look rubbery
anole eggs
A beautiful Brown Anole perched on a rock. Brown Anoles are more terrestrial than their green cousins

How Do You Befriend Wild Anoles?

If you want to befriend a wild Anole you have to let it feed from your hands. If it approaches you it gets positive reinforcement in the form of food and over time this builds trust.

In this way, it can learn that you are not dangerous, and you will always bring food if it comes to you. You can buy crickets, maggots, mealworms, and cockroaches from a pet store to feed the Anole.

But it is not very picky and will eat any wild insects like grasshoppers if you can catch them.

Everything you need to know about Anole eggs!

How Many Eggs Do Anoles Lay?

Anoles stay sexually active for their entire life span which can be up to 7 years. During each of these years, they breed for the 4 months of summer.

Although they can lay 1 or 2 eggs each week, they usually do not lay more than an egg in a clutch. In fact, two clutches can be as far apart as two weeks. 

The average number of eggs produced each breeding season by an Anole is about 14 to 18. So in its lifetime, the female can end up laying 100 to 120 eggs.

Everything you need to know about Anole eggs!

Frequently Asked Questions

When it comes to pet lizards, Anoles are among the simpler ones to breed and keep. But you surely have many questions which still need answering.

Don’t get nervous wondering if you can keep up with the needs of your new Anole. We have answered the most common questions people ask about Anoles as pets right here.

Go through them, and you will have no problem keeping a happy and healthy Anole in your home.

Can Anoles Lay Eggs Without A Male?

Anoles can store sperm from a mate and use it to fertilize subsequent clutches. What this means is if a female Anole cannot find a mate, she will use sperm from a previous mating to lay eggs.

So, yes for a single instance of laying eggs, a female Anole does not need a male. But a male must have provided the sperm at some point in the past, otherwise, it would not be a viable fertile egg.

How Often Do Anoles Have Babies?

Anoles mate roughly once every 1 or 2 weeks in the breeding season. After each mating, the female produces a clutch of a single egg. Sometimes there may be two eggs in a clutch. But overall, in the mating period of 4 months, the female will lay 15 to 18 eggs.

How Long Is An Anole Pregnant?

On average eggs are produced once every two weeks during the mating season by a female Anole. This period also includes the time taken to find a suitable mate, besides the time for successful mating and pregnancy. The quickest clutches can be produced is a week apart if the mating partner is readily available. So pregnancy is about 5 to 7 days for Anoles. Though we often say pregnant, the correct word for a lizard carrying eggs is gravid.

How Do You Take Care Of An Anole Baby?

The eggs of Anoles need humidity and heat to successfully hatch. Once they do you get 1-inch-long babies which also need similar conditions. Clean the bedding once a week and provide them with artificial UV lighting for 12 hours each day. Besides, this they need plenty of food, which can be store-bought lizard food or insects you catch.

Key Takeaways

  • Anoles mate in the spring and summer
  • In the mating period, females lay up to 15 to 18 eggs
  • Males have elaborate courtship displays,
  • Females produce an egg in each clutch a week or two apart.
  • Anoles eat various types of insects including store-bought ones.
  • They are good pets but need artificial light cycles and humidity.

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