Breeding, sexing and incubating anoles In this thread, I will be discussing the aspects of anole breeding, talk about how to determine gender of anoles correctly as well as incorrectly, and describing how to incubate anole eggs. Breeding anoles is rather easy as long as you have a proper enclosure set up for them. Usually anoles will mate without any assistance. If they are not breeding, then you can simulate a cooling period by lowering the temperatures and offer less food from October up into February. Then, over the next few weeks, offer much more food to simulate Spring. The key is not to make these changes too sudden. You are trying to stimulate Mating by simulating Nature. During Sexual intercourse, the male anole will Display his dewlap a few times and chase the female anole around. He will then Bite her neck to hold her still and insert his tail under the female anole’s tail to deposit his sperm. Females can hold sperm for up to 7 months if she is not satisfied with the current conditions in the tank. Once the female is gravid, the female will be more susceptible to diseases and stress from the environment and other anoles. She will also need large amounts of Calcium. Without a continuous supply of Calcium, the female will begin to develop deformed, soft bones and will eventually die from lack of Calcium. Proper calcium can be provided by a working UVB bulb that extends the length of the enclosure. The UVB bulb is a MUST for all anoles. You should also be dusting crickets with a powdered calcium supplement WITH vitamin D3. After a successful mating, the female will start laying one egg (sometimes 2) in 2-3 week intervals until she lays as many as 10 to 12 eggs during the entire year. The egg laying process will be sometime during the day for about 15 minutes or so. If the female does not have an appropriate substrate, while holding an egg, she may become egg-bound and die. Preferred substrates are organic potting soil or coconut fiber bedding. There are many names for the same type of product out there. Ex. “Bed-a-beast” or “Tropical Soil” *Different species of anoles CANNOT mate with each other to produce viable offspring. They are not genetically compatible with each other and will therefore, not reproduce. That means Brown anoles (Anolis sagrei) and Green anoles (Anolis carolinensis) cannot reproduce. Here is a picture of sexual intercourse between two Green anoles: When sexing anoles, there are right and wrong ways to do it. There are many misconceptions and myths about sexing anoles. Wrong Ways Dewlap test. It is said that only males have dewlaps. This is totally incorrect. Both males and females have dewlaps. The males is more colorful and vibrant that the female’s dewlap. The White stripe test. It is said that only females exhibit the white stripe going down an anoles back. This is a false statement. Both Males and females may exhibit this line known as the mid-dorsal stripe. Most juvenile anoles have the white stripe but most males lose it as they mature. This is not always the case though. Some males DO show the white stripe (like my male green anole) and to make it even more complicated, some females never show a white stripe. Head Shape test. It is said that males have a larger head than females. This statement is partially true. Most males do have a proportionally larger head than females but it does not help identify immature anoles. It is overall, variable between sexes. Right ways Post anal scale test. It is said that male anoles have two parallel post anal scales on the underside on their tail. This is a very reliable test. Males have two enlarged scales near the vent of the anole, at the base of his tail. You may need magnification for this. Hemiphenal bulge test. Mature males have two identical bulges near the base of the tale to keep the his reproductive organs Veterinarian test. This is the most accurate test. Get a reptile specialized vet to determine the sex of your anole. Brown anoles are much easier to sex though. The two sexes can be distinguished easily by their difference in coloration. Females have a diamond shaped pattern running along her back while males have irregular splotches or patterns on his body. Here is a picture of post anal scales on a male green anole: *The post anal scales are colored differently to help distinguish. They are not purple naturally. After a successful mating, the female will start laying one egg (sometimes 2) in 2-3 week intervals until she lays as many as 10 to 12 eggs during the entire year. Keep in mind, Female anoles can store sperm for up to 7 months so you may have a gravid anole even if you purchased one. *Do not roll or flip the eggs. It can drown the embryo When incubating eggs, you can either put them in an incubator or you can leave them in the tank. If your enclosure is under the proper conditions, it will be able to incubate the eggs. IF you do incubate in the tank, other anoles may attack and eat the eggs. If you do not want them to be incubated in the enclosure, you can put them in an incubator. You can either make one or buy a commercial one. You can make an egg incubator by filling a small, plastic container half full of MOIST vermiculite and place the egg on top of the mixture. You can then, place the container back into the anole enclosure where it can be kept warm at temperatures around 75-90 degrees Fahrenheit. Make sure not to keep the vermiculite too moist or too dry. If the eggs are incubated in the cage, they will hatch in about 40-45 days. If they are incubated in a commercial incubator set at 85 degrees Fahrenheit, they will hatch in 35-40 days. If the eggs are found dented or on top of the substrate, it may likely be infertile and may not grow. Anole eggs are small. They are about the size of a Tic-Tac. If they hatch, separate them from the adults. Baby anoles are small, only about 1.25 inches. Adults, including the mothers, may eat baby anoles or they may not let the baby anoles eat. They can eat flightless fruit flies, pinhead crickets, Small leafhoppers, and small roach nymphs.