For many reptile keepers, their journey starts with a very simple animal: simple to keep, small size. And that certainly, for me, was the green or brown anoles. These are very common animals in the pet trade. I hesitate to say they're disposable, but sometimes with the lack of proper knowledge, animals don't make their journey.
So, green and brown anoles are simple to keep because of their small size. They're insectivores, so it's a lot of fun to watch them eat. You keep them in maybe a 10-gallon fish tank. They need very minimal light, but they love to eat those insects. So, watching the feeding time is certainly a lot of fun in the household when dad comes home with a bag of crickets from the pet store. The anoles look almost like Velociraptor when they come out of their trees.
They are arboreal by nature, meaning they stay up in the air of the terrarium. They are in the leaves. They are hanging in the lid of the tank. Sometimes you can't see them very well. But when the crickets come out, they come diving down like the little dinosaurs they look like and, wham, they've nailed the crickets one after the other.
So, I can think of a lot of people who are professional herpetologists that have started their journey in their lives by catching green and brown Anoles in the Southeast or by buying them at the local pet store. This is the one that's about under $10 to start with. Again, we want to stress that people do their homework before they buy a pet such as this.
Unfortunately, it's a very short-lived animal. Three to five years is its entire lifespan, so you can't get too upset after a few years of having the anole if it meets its demise. If you're smart enough to get a pair of them, a male and a female, you'll find that they are very simple to breed. They'll lay eggs in the substrate and sometimes you'll see Junior popping out of the bedding after a couple of months.
So, green Anoles are one of our starter animals in the reptile world. We love these. They are animated. You do not have to spend $500 to get into the hobby. It is an excellent little pet, particularly for families with young children. The brown and green anole.