Do Green Anoles need UVB? As diurnal predators that spend most of their time in the open, they definitely do need UVB. If they don’t get it, they get sick…
Last updated on March 16th, 2023 at 10:18 am
The answer to this question is yes, green anoles do need UV-B light. Being diurnal reptiles, the green anole requires UV-B light for its survival. They need UV-B to make vitamin D and also to make their immune system strong. When kept as a pet, they will die prematurely without UVB.
Do Brown Anoles need UVB?
Brown anoles and indeed all anoles need UV-B light. Unlike many reptiles, anoles are diurnal in nature. They spend most of their time outside during the daytime. That is when they are exposed to sunlight and UVB radiation from the sun.
They need UVB to synthesize vitamin D in their body. They then use vitamin D to metabolise calcium. UVB helps in regulating their day and night cycle. It also helps in keeping their immune systems in good condition. It is also needed for good digestion.
In the wild, they get UVB easily since there are in the sun most of the time. If kept as a pet, they would not get UVB at all since they are kept inside a tank in houses.
This can affect their very survival. You compulsorily need to provide them with UVB using UVB bulbs that can be installed in their tank.
How much UVB does a green anole need?
When you keep a green anole as a pet, you need to install lamps capable of delivering UVB light. Lights that give out light in the 290 to 320 nm range are ideal.
12 to 14 hours of exposure to UVB light is needed. This ensures your green anole gets the best benefits from the light and thrives well.
The UVB needs to be switched off in the evening, so your green anole has at least 10 to 12 hours of darkness in its tank. This ensures an environment similar to what the green anole has in the wild.
Do green anoles need a heat lamp?
Green anoles being reptiles are cold-blooded (poikilothermic, to be precise). Their bodies cannot generate heat and hence depend on the heat from outside.
Even if you provide UVB light, the light may not be sufficient to provide heat. While basking, the green anole needs a temperature of around 90 F.
At night they need a temperature in the range of 65 F to 75 F. To ensure these temperatures, it is best to provide a heat lamp for their tank. A 60W- 100W heat lamp should be sufficient, and the best option is usually a mercury vapor bulb (more on this in a moment). Get one with a ceramic socket and a dome lamp.
If your tank is larger than 24 inches, you may need two such lamps. Ensure the lamp is directly above the place where your green anole basks.
It is important that the lamp does not come into contact with the tank or cage mesh since your anole can get burns from direct contact.
How long can green anoles go without a UVB?
If you do not provide UVB light for your green anoles, it would impact their health. If they don’t get the lighting, they can fall ill and be susceptible to diseases.
A green anole without UVB is unlikely to live for long. You will be putting its life at risk by denying it UVB. Because they are small and have relatively fast metabolisms, Anoles can use up their available vitamin D and start to decline in health within a few weeks.
Long-term, lack of UVB can lead to metabolic bone disease, which is a fatal calcium deficiency.
Do anoles need calcium powder?
Anoles need calcium, which is an important nutrient needed for their health. To avoid problems, you can dust calcium powder (obtained from a pet shop) on the insects fed to them.
Dust the insects with calcium powder that also has a range of vitamins and minerals. This is ideal as it ensures your anole will be in good health and free from deficiencies. Often these products are labelled “calcium plus” (or something similar).
Do green anoles need heat lamp?
Yes, you can use a mercury vapor lamp to provide the heat your anole needs. It is the ideal type of lighting for reptiles and simulates heat that sunlight offers.
Green anole temperature and humidity
The green anole needs warmth throughout the day. In the wild, it gets warmth from sunlight. When kept in a tank, the tank needs a heat source to maintain the temperature. Daytime temperatures of around 75 to 85F are needed, with a basking spot at around 90F directly under the heat lamp.
At the night, the temperature should be around 70 – 75F. You will need a digital probe thermometer to check the temperature in the tank.
Use mercury vapor bulbs to provide heat as they are the ideal source of heat similar to sunlight. Depending on the tank size, you can consider providing two different sources of heat and light.
There must a gap of around 8 inches from the lamp to the basking area where your green anole spends time. This ensures there is no overheating or risk of burning.
When it comes to humidity, green anoles need a fairly high humidity level. 60 to 70% humidity is ideal. Misting the tank with a sprayer twice a day is the best way to ensure humidity. Get a hygrometer probe to check humidity levels, so you know when to mist the tank.
What type of heat lamps do anoles need?
A mercury vapor heat lamp is recommended for your enclosure with anoles. The light offered would ensure the temperature the anole needs and is similar to the warmth of natural sunlight offers.
Mercury vapor bulbs can give off heat and beneficial UVB/UVA. Always check the lagelling to make sure, though. The manufacturer should provide details on the levels of UV produced and how far it can travel.
For example, if your Anole has a habit of basking 10 inches below the top of its enclosure, then it needs a lamp that radiates good levels UV and heat to a distance of at least 10 inches.
For example, an 80watt Zoo Med Powersun UV bulb, would give an acceptalbe level of UVB, UVA, and heat for a Green Anole at a distance of 10inches. I don’t do affiliate links, but most reptile supply stores sell these now. You can also head over to the Zoo Med website to check out there information on choosing the correct UV lamp.
If you are one of the very lucky people who live somewhere with a subtropical climate, then your Anole won’t need heat, just UV. In this case, you can use a lamp that only provides UV rays, such as the Arcadia Prot5 Shadedweller. Obviously, this isn’t the case if you live pretty much anywhere further north than the tip of Florida!
Green anole tank setup
The tank for your green anole can be a vertical terrarium. You can get a 10-gallon tank and it would be sufficient to keep a pair of green anoles. Avoid keeping two males together. A vivarium that has a vented hood is an ideal choice to house your green anole.
At the bottom of the tank, you need to have a substrate with potting 1-2 inches of potting soil and bark mulch. You can also use peat moss as the substrate. The entire substrate needs to be changed once a quarter. Daily cleaning to remove waste is essential.
Ensure there are sufficient branches in the tank. The branches are where your green anole basks, and you need to have one at a sufficient height near your heating lamp.
Small plants and rocks can enhance the tank. There must also be foliage for your anole to take cover when it feels scared or nervous.
Can anoles live without UVB?
No anoles cannot live without UVB. It is essential for their survival and not providing UVB exposes them to the risk of early death. Diurnal animals like Anoles use UVB to synthesize vitamin D3, and in turn metabolise and use calcium.
The thing you need to remember is that mother nature hates wasting time or effort. Let me explain…
If a creature can get vitamin D3 from the sun, it won’t evolve an efficient way of synthesizing it from its food. Likewise, nocturnal animals don’t evolve to require vitamin D3 from the sun – neither of these scenarios would make a lot of sense!
What this means is that Anoles are not good at getting Vitamin D3 from their food, and can get sick if UVB lighting isn’t provided. They slowly lose calcium from their skeleton, and may eventually die from metabolic bone disease.
What temperature do anoles need?
Average temperatures of 75 to 85 F are needed for the anole during the daytime. The basking temperature should be around 90 F.
At night, a temperature of around 70 – 75F should be maintained. These are the ideal temperatures that will ensure your green anole thrives.
Green anole humidity
The green anole needs a humidity of around 60% to 70%. Place a bowl of fresh water to ensure humidity and to provide drinking water.
Use a probe hygrometer to check humidity levels. Misting using a sprayer twice a day should be enough to maintain humidity.
Spray early in the morning and at night. Avoid spraying in the daytime.
In case you stay in a place with a dry climate, you should consider getting a cool mist humidifier. With the right settings, it will help you maintain humidity in the anole’s tank.
Do green anoles change color?
The green anole has the ability to change its color from green to brown. Color change happens due to external changes in temperature and humidity.
Change in the green anole’s health or even mood change can lead to it turning brown. It has the ability to turn to different shades of brown.
FAQs relating to Green Anoles and UVB
What do anoles need at night?
Since anoles are diurnal, they sleep at night. You need to switch off lights, so the anole has darkness allowing it to sleep well. Also, a night time temperature of 70 to 75 F should be maintained. Provide vegetation or foliage in the tank as anoles prefer to sleep in dense foliage.
If your house gets colder than 70F at night, then you will need to provide night-time heating. This can be as simple as a heat mat stuck to the back of the tank, regulated by a thermostat with its probe stuck to the mat. Radiant heat panels installed in the top of the enclosure also work. Again, they need to be regulated with a thermostat for safety.
How do I make my green anole happy?
If you want your green anole to be happy, ensure the following;
- Provide it with a spacious tank with branches, logs, and vegetation.
- Ensure you feed it properly and offer drinking water. They like to eat variety of feeder insects, including crickets and roaches
- Ensure the right temperatures are maintained day and night times.
- Have a basking place and ensure the anole gets UVB light.
- Keep the tank clean, so hygiene is maintained and there are no chances of infections.
Do anoles need misting?
Misting is needed to maintain humidity. Mist the anole tank twice a day to provide the required humidity levels. You should try to mist close to dusk and dawn to mimic the time dew would be on leaves out in the wild.
Do anoles like to be sprayed with water?
Spraying water not only maintains humidity levels, but provides water droplets that the anoles drink from. Avoid spraying during day times and spray early morning and night. Some anoles do close their eyes and appear to enjoy being sprayed, but make the water is tepid, not cold.