Wondering what reptile (or animal) you can add to your anole’s tank? Curious about what’s compatible with anoles? Considering getting MORE anoles for the same enclosure?
Green anoles are fine as solitary creatures and will do perfectly fine on their own.
In the wild, you may find them in clusters of a single male with multiple females. But this is often difficult to reproduce in the household terrarium.
They’re communal in the sense that mating pairs stay together. This is why they’re equipped with social gestures like head bobbing, dewlap flaring, etc.
Therefore, it leaves many reptile owners down to the question of keeping a single anole or adding more reptiles to the tank.
But before doing so, it’s important and imperative to consider the consequences of resource avaialbility, temperatment, and compatibility.
This guide aims to give the reptile keeper points to consider before making any moves, but is NOT offering professional advice. Consult with your veterinarian before taking action.
What other lizards can live with anoles?
Okay, so let’s start with the basics and get this out of the way:
For beginners who aren’t experienced: NEVER combine anoles with other species of any kind. This can end up killing or injuring the livestock. NEVER house two male anoles together. NEVER overcrowd a small tank with multiple females, whether you’re putting a male in there or not.
If you’ve never housed reptiles or don’t have much experience in their temperament, lightning-fast reflexes, or unpredictable demeanor, you can’t be confident and say you know what you’re doing.
This is why simply NOT “experimenting” is best.
For those that are experienced, yes, it’s possible to house multiple anoles together. Even anoles with different reptile species!
Some other reptiles that have successfully been housed with green anoles include:
- Brown anoles (Bahaman anoles)
- Knight anoles
- house geckos
- Long-tailed lizards
- Fire belly toads
- Aquatic invertebrates (fish)
- Generally any other anole species
Do NOT house with:
- Snakes (any type)
- Predatory reptiles
- Solitary reptiles
- Dominant reptiles
But before you go off making a reptile blender out of your tank, there are many variables you need to consider first.
As you know, even the most docile reptiles that “get along” with each other can become stressed or suddenly change their behavior out of nowhere.
That’s why it’s important to proceed with caution when working with different species because you don’t know how they’ll interact. It’s almost like mixing two random liquids in science class.
Anoles are generally passive, submissive creatures and don’t actively hunt down prey. When you put them together with an active hunter, you risk a fight between the species.
You must do your own research, due diligence, and ensure that you have confidence in what you’re doing. This guide is NOT to be used for advice. It’s for entertainment purposes only and none of the material should be used as a substitute for professional advice from a licensed veterinarian.
So let’s cover some things you should consider before combing green anoles with other species.
Yes, the most important issue is different species trying to eat each other.
The simplest rule is that as long as they’re both big enough and outside of the “how big of a food can my reptile eat?” zone, it should be OK.
But this doesn’t account for one reptile killing the other and then eating on its body. Orbiting off its tail end. Or its leg. Yikes.
Choosing two reptiles that are large enough to stay out of each other’s mouths is a good start. But beyond that is a dice roll.
Green anoles spend their time vertically up in foliage that’s tall. They’re arboreal.
To minimize competition for space, you can consider combining anoles with other reptile species that spend their time on land (terrestrial).
This way, the green anoles can share their tank with some other species and they don’t infringe on each others’ territory.
A simple example?
Green anoles and fish. If you have a water feature in your tank, it’s possible to house fish in there with the lizards. Anoles hate water and will generally stay out of it while fish obviously can’t get out unless they jump out.
This way, both species spend their time in their own environment and won’t get in the way of each other.
The problem with this setup is that the fish will have a small environment to swim in unless you have a few gallons of water in a breeder tank going sideways.
Additionally, the anole may drown if a gently sloping gradient onto land isn’t provided. But this is just an example of how it can work.
If you have a small waterfall feature, perhaps tetras or minnows may work. Expect your anole to chase the fish and possibly eat them. Remember that they eat anything they can fit between their eyes.
Another thing to think about is the active periods of green anoles and whatever other species you want to house them with.
Green anoles are diurnal (active during the day). If you can pair them with a nocturnal species, then they may “share” the tank’s resources. This brings up the popular house gecko, which is commonly seen raised in the same enclosure as anoles.
House geckos are nocturnal (active at night), so they roam around when the anoles are sleeping. Green anoles will roam around while the house geckos sleep.
This way, they don’t get in each others’ way and you can simultaneously share resources for both of them- they can eat from the same food dish, water pool, and the anole can bask in the day without disturbing the gecko if it has a suitable place to hide.
One of the most overlooked things to consider is pathogen transmissibility. Housing different species in eh tank can expose them to different pathogens, viruses, bacteria, etc. that they wouldn’t normally get if housed with the same species.
For example, if amphibians and reptiles were mixed together, this can pose dangerous consequences. Amphibians are known to absorb toxic pathogens easily, which may be picked up from reptiles.
Plus, amphibians aren’t super tidy either. They also release their own round of pathogens, which are taken up by the reptiles. So it’s a cycle that they end up hurting each other time.
And you can’t see it happening until one starts getting stressed, does’ teat, or starts hiding all the time. This is extremely complex but is something to note.
Other than mixing green and brown anoles, when you add some other species, bacteria, viruses, and other pathogens are an issue.
Taking the fish example: If you put tetras in a small waterfall, they release ammonia into the water as a waste product. If anoles drink this or swim in it, it can hurt their eyes and digestive tract. If anole waste gets into the water column, it can hurt the fish. As you can see, pathogens are important.
Similar care requirements
Next, you should think about the care similarities and differences between the two species. They should have similar needs in terms of temperature, humidity, tank layout, water, hides, etc.
This will make it easier to take care of both of them at the same time. If they have vast differences in temperature, for example, it’ll be hard to provide two different zones with two different temps. You may also get the anole going to the wrong zone.
Or finding a “cool zone” for the anole when there are two “hot zones.” Or maybe the heat diffusion from the hot zone has a perfect middle zone for the other species you’re putting in there.
Do you see all the possibilities?
That’s why you should stick with species that are the same or very similar in housing requirements. Or you’re just making it hard on yourself.
Ensure that all the members of the tank have access to heat, water, humidity, and a place to hide. If one species is dominant and hogs it all up, the others will become stressed.
This is why housing two spaces with opposite active periods (diurnal vs. nocturnal) can help because they rotate themselves in and out of activity. Or choosing species that have different environmental preferences so they minimize space competition (terrestrial vs. arboreal).
Avoid housing species together that use the same space, resources, etc. This is just a beginner for trouble!
Do anoles need a companion?
Green anoles are solitary lizards and prefer to be alone. Males will chase each other off and should not be housed together. A single male may be housed with multiple females if enough space is provided.
Otherwise, raising a single anole on its own will be ideal. They don’t get “lonely” and prefer to have the light, food, and water all to themselves.
They’re not social creatures and only nest together in the wild when they mate. If you don’t plan on mating or breeding anoles, there’s no reason to put multiple ones inside the same tank together. Keeping a single lizard will make it easier for him/her and you- less money, fewer headaches, fewer variables to worry over.
If you MUST put more than one anole together, consider housing with other anole species.
For example, a Bahaman anole with a green anole. Or a brown anole with a green anole. Anoles are anoles.
They’re all very similar to each other and should ignore or get along with each other if resources/space is adequate.
Will anoles kill each other?
Anoles can seriously injure or kill each other if they’re forced to inhabit the same enclosure.
Even if you provide them a huge tank (60 gallons or more), anoles will become territorial and defend their territory by fighting.
Male only tanks
If two males are placed in the same tank, there’s a high chance they’ll fight each other, no matter the tank size.
This is why you should never put two male anoles together. The dominant one will continue to harass the submissive one and can injure, kill, or stress it until it doesn’t eat or is constantly brown/black.
Female only tanks
The same goes for females. Although multiple females can be housed together, if space is limited, they may fight over territory or resources.
There must be ample space to accommodate multiple female anoles being in the same tank. Additionally, every female member must NOT be territorial and compete for resources.
You can sometimes gauge whether a female is territorial by looking for warnings signs like flaring the dewlap, chasing other females away, or being perched on the highest point watching other lizards. If you see any signs of danger, separate or remove the dominant female from the tank.
Note that even though if a pair of females have always been OK being housed together, one may suddenly become territorial or defensive if it’s stressed, pregnant, hungry, or seemingly for no reason at all.
So just because they’ve always been okay with each other doesn’t mean they’ll stay that way.
If you introduce a male alter on, one female may get pregnant and this can turn her into an aggressive little lizard. So be careful of that. Any random variables may change the behavior of your lizards that are tank mates.
Males and female pairs
Lastly, for male and female pairs, the same precautions should be taken.
When introducing them together, watch for signs of fighting or defensive behavior. The male lizard will likely show dominant behaviors in front of the female and claim the tank. After that, they should be good to go.
You may see some behaviors like chasing the female away, keeping watch from a perch, or even hogging up the basking spot.
This is to be expected, but if the male gets the females tressed because of this, you should separate the two. If the female doesn’t have access to the basking spot, water, or food, they should be separated as well.
Male with multiple females
If you’re keeping a single male with multiple females, repeat the process.
Watch for any fighting or constant territorial behaviors between the male/female or females amongst each other. Any submissive lizards should be removed from the tank so they can get access to food, water, heat, light, etc.
Or if the members are fine with each other but there’s one annoying one that’s dangerous towards others, remove it from the population and separate it.
How many green anoles can live together?
For a standard 10 gallon tank, it can house a maximum of two anoles. They should be both female or opposite sex. Any more may result in territorial fighting or stress.
Green anole tank compatibility
There are many reptiles you can pick up at the pet store, so it’s easy to get curious over what you can put in the same tank. If you‘re wondering about what can live with green anoles, here’s a good list for starters.
Note that you should avoid combining amphibians, animals, and/or reptiles together in the same tank. Don’t mix and match different species. This poses a pathogen risk.
Brown anoles can make good companions with green anoles, provided that they get along with each other.
Since they both have similar housing requirements, you don’t need a complex tank setup. But they will compete for space, food, water, light, heat, and hiding places, so don’t overcrowd your tank.
Leopard geckos (leos) are very different from anoles. They have different humidity, temperature, and UV requirements, which makes them a bad choice to cohabitate together.
There have been some people who have kept blue-tongued skinks with their anoles in the same vivarium. Though, this doesn’t seem like it’s easily done. Note that skinks prefer the same arboreal environment as anoles, so they may compete for space. They also both feed on insects.
Crested geckos could be a suitable mate for anoles, but they need their own special setup. Cresteds (cresties) prefer semi-arboreal environments, while anoles are fully arboreal. Crested geckos can also be very submissive, which can lead to the anoles pushing them out and competing for resources.
Similar to crested geckos, mourning geckos (day geckos) may be suitable tank mates with anoles. Be careful of the day geckos fine skin, as it can easily be damaged by an anole’s bite. They also may compete for basking sites, UV light, or heat.
These are way too big and should never be placed with anole lizards. They can eat a green anole whole with their wide mouths. Bad choice.
If there’s one complementary reptile that you can keep with a green anole, it’s the house gecko. House geckos are active during the night, while anoles are active during the day.
As mentioned prior, this lets the two species complement each other and split their resource usage without competing for them.
Provide adequate hiding places for house geckos, as they prefer to be in tight crevices rather than vertically perched like anoles.
See this video:
It’s best to only put anoles with anoles
As you can see, the simple rule of thumb is that green anoles are solitary species and prefer to either be alone or housed with the opposite sex (one male to two females).
Never combine anoles and other lizards, reptiles, or animals together in the same tank. Never put two males together.
And never overcrowd the tank with females. This can result in serious injury or a lethal fight between the anoles, so avoid at all costs.
Unless you absolutely have to put more than one anole in the same tank, you should avoid it.
For housing different reptiles in the same tank, you must consider resource availability, pathogens, day/night cycles, territory, behavior, space available, etc.
It’s difficult and much more complex than seeing if they “get along” with each other. It’s nuanced.
Do you have any questions about anole compatibility? Just leave a comment to ask us!
If you’ve successfully housed green anoles with other lizards or reptiles, share what you’ve learned with other readers.
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