What's the little lizard from the lunchroom?
November 9, 2007 10:58 PM   Subscribe

What is this diminutive reptile? What do I feed him?

He was found in the break room of my husband's office in San Francisco (which is the native habitat to no reptiles I know of). I was sure he was an anole given the picture and the description of him. Now that I see him in person however, he's SO tiny.

He changes color from green to brown like an anole (currently green). He hasn't eaten the tiny fruit fly we popped in his tank (a jar from the pantry with a lid with holes poked into it that still looks huge for him). He drank still water (which I thought anoles didn't do). He's got sticky feet that cling to the side of glass like nobody's business.

IANA herpatologist, but figuring he's a reptile no matter what, I'll get him a heat lamp, some bark for the bottom and a plant to climb on once the pet store opens tomorrow.

Any ideas what the heck he is? Anything I should do other than standard gecko care (mist, crickets, plants, heat)?
posted by Gucky to Pets & Animals (11 answers total)
Thats an Anole. They love crickets, you can buy them at any pet store.
posted by sanka at 10:59 PM on November 9, 2007

I fed my anole mealworms. It sure ate the hell out of them!
posted by aubilenon at 11:27 PM on November 9, 2007

This guy looks too small for mealworms or crickets (unless you can get the tiniest pinhead size) You should be able to find flightless fruitflies, PetCo sells them where I live.

Everything else, (mist, heat, plants, basking place)... the aquarium should be heated from the bottom and have a heat source that he can control the distance from on the top for basking.

It is very difficult to keep these guys alive at that size, you may need to supplement the water with vitamins and mist him with that. Anoles do need water that runs, something to do with their vision I think. I usually spray the plants and my anoles run to the plants to drink off the leaves. But in that jar, I'm sure he had no problem seeing it, and I'm sure he was parched!

Anoles are like mood reptiles, green means he happy and not under stress or upset. If you fall in love and want to get him a friend, make sure it's a same sized/species anole and don't overcrowd the aquarium, especially if they are males they need to claim their territories.
posted by Jazz Hands at 5:29 AM on November 10, 2007

oh, when I said "mist him" I didn't mean spray directly onto him, you shouldn't chill him with the spray.
posted by Jazz Hands at 5:31 AM on November 10, 2007

Probably NOT an anole, hard to tell from the picture (but he is very cute). There are native lizards in the Bay Area, such as the Western Fence Lizard. Best thing would be to release the little guy; it's illegal to collect native animals as pets.
posted by OlderThanTOS at 6:35 AM on November 10, 2007

Warning about mealworms:
Most lizards do NOT take the time to chew what they eat, and mealworms only need their faces to survive. Many lizards have died because mealworms that were eaten w/o their heads being crushed chewed their way back out of said lizards.
posted by TomMelee at 7:26 AM on November 10, 2007 [1 favorite]

It's a baby anole. It probably came into the office in the soil of a houseplant and hatched. I found one in my livingroom just like that and took it to the petstore for identification. It fit on my thumbnail.
posted by reidfleming at 10:40 AM on November 10, 2007

You called it. He's changing colors like an anole, but frightened off by crickets (they're too big), so we'll try wax worms and grab flightless fruit flies down at the corner store.

The office he was found in has organic houseplants brought in on a regular basis. The best we figure is that reidfleming is dead on.

Thanks, all.
posted by Gucky at 10:59 AM on November 10, 2007

TomMelee, please take this information: "mealworms only need their faces to survive. Many lizards have died because mealworms that were eaten w/o their heads being crushed chewed their way back out of said lizards" back out of my head. Thank you.
posted by theredpen at 6:05 PM on November 10, 2007

It's the truth---I used to have a Beardie, and saw it happen to other beardie's and especially veiled chameleons. It's horrible.
posted by TomMelee at 6:19 PM on November 10, 2007

We had a baby anole fall out of the plants at our office. Poor thing died because it was too cold. Make sure you keep it sufficiently warm.
posted by captaincrouton at 11:29 PM on November 10, 2007

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