Reptiles/Green Anole


One just showed up in my office.  The first month I didn't do anything but watch, then I started misting the ivy plant it lives in and feeding it crickets every other day.  I respect wild animals and won't try to touch it or anything.  He has been in my office now about 4 months.  Any tips to keeping it healthy in this environment.  It lives in an ivy plant on a window sill.  It rarely leaves the sill.  I did put paper towels down to keep it a little warmer from the metal sill.

What size crickets in comparison to the lizard's head? The standard is not more than 1/2 the width of the head, and the smaller the size the safer. This is also a pretty tropical lizard, so I would place a small saucer of water there as well among the plant to give him someplace to soak in relative privacy.

He's come in for winter to retreat. This is common this time of year for small geckos and anoles in Texas. If you don't know how to hibernate a reptile, then the only thing you can do, is do what you can until Spring arrives and after last frost let it outside. This would be best for him, as he can't live that way in your ivy long term, but to let him out now would not give him good chances that he gets situated before the next hard freeze. I'm only a couple of hours north of Dallas, and despite the warm trends here and there, it's still too soon to turn him out.

Take care that he has plenty of shade from the Ivy or a little hide box, as sunlight through a window will magnify the heat and on a warmer day it could cause the lizard to go into heat stroke if it can't retreat. Also, he will be UVB/vit D deprived being held this long without unfiltered sunlight, so I would recommend that if you are going to allow him to remain there, that you dust the crickets with a SMALL amount of vit D3 calcium dust. Normally I wouldn't advise a D3 calcium supplement, because it's not as safe as a UVB lamp and overdose because it is a fat soluble hormone can be a problem if you use it excessively...but unless you want to buy him a UVB linear lamp to mount to the side of the sill LOL...

Is the surrounding otherwise safe? You don't have janitors that might shoo him out or accidentally step on him, or office cats do you? I'd appreciate attachment of a couple of pictures of the plant and the lizard to have a look.

Alternatively, it might be safest for him to go to a terrarium for safe keeping until spring, but this will involve you buying a few things. There's a tradeoff here. He's probably happy there, but also I would assume he's at some risk in an office environment, being a little lizard, and he's probably very badly wanting out through that glass as a reason he stays there. He might initially be a little more stressed out being confined, but it's a question of where he would be've got a good 2 months to go, at least, before he's going to be safe to go outside again, so I would just worry that being exposed in an indoor environment, more than likely something bad is going to happen before Spring gets here.  


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YOU WILL GET A REJECTION OF YOUR QUESTION IF YOU FAIL TO FOLLOW THE INSTRUCTIONS TO QUESTIONER IN FULL!. I am primarily here to assist with health concerns. I am here for the more difficult questions. Not for questions that you could research & easily find the answer yourself. My standards are that you provide DETAILED and RELEVANT background history on your pet before you ask me any question about it other than GENDER or ID. The requested information is in the instructions to questioner. Failure to answer each of those questions to provide that background, will result in your question being rejected. I can answer questions related reptile husbandry, identification (esp. in Texas and the SW), legal aspects, and advanced level medical care. I am the director of Wichita Falls Reptile Rescue (TX), a wildlife rehabilitator specializing in reptiles, a founding member of The Society for Horned Lizard Preservation, a subscriber to the International Veterinary Information Service,, educational content contributor to, and a Dept of State Health Services accredited animal control instructor (CE) for reptile handling. I do most of my own veterinary care in-house, including minor surgery and necropsy. I am most experienced in Chelonia with box turtles and common smaller tortoises; and in Squamata with everything from Anoles, Geckos, Beardies, and Monitors, to venomous snakes. I am most known for my expertise with horned lizards (Phrynosoma). With snakes, my primary expertise is in Crotalids (rattlesnakes), but I can answer a broad range of questions about various species. I am not aware of any reptile related question that I would not be able to provide some reasonable answer for. I have a direct style and may tell you something you did not want to hear; but the welfare of the animal comes FIRST with me, and I will always reflect that position in my answer, despite how it might make you feel.


I am a non-academic herpetologist with 25+ years reptile experience, and I am an accredited Texas Dept of State Health Services Animal Control Instructor for Reptiles (CE). I am a reptile rescuer, reptile wildlife rehabilitator, and subscriber to the International Veterinary Information Service, wikivet, and article/journal content contributor to Lafebervet. I have medical and scientific resources available, and I perform in house reptile veterinary care for my rescues. I am not a vet, but I read from the same materials and have had to correct quite a few in the past. The average vet is not well versed with reptile physiology and medical treatments.

Animals that I am currently caring for, or have significant rehabilitation and husbandry experience with: Horned Lizards (5 species); Eastern and Western Box Turtles; Painted, RES, YBS, Soft-Shell, and Cooter aquatic turtles; Russian Tortoises; Fire Bellied Toads; Fire Bellied Newts; Ornate Horned Frogs; Green Iguanas; Desert Iguanas; Spiny Lizards; Long Nosed Leopard Lizards; Anoles; Racerunners; Collared Lizards; Bullsnakes; Eastern Ratsnakes; Great Plains Ratsnakes; Kingsnakes; Gartersnakes; Cornsnakes; Boas; Pythons; Bearded Dragons; Water Dragons; Massasauga Rattlesnakes; Western Diamondback Rattlesnakes; Leopard, Mediterranean, Golden, Indo-Pacific, African White-Spotted Geckos; Savannah Monitors; Jeweled Curly-Tailed Lizards; Long-Tailed Grass Lizards; Fox Squirrels; Deer Mice; Hispid Cotton Rats; Merriam's Pocket Mice; Eastern Cotton-Tails; Blue Bar racing pigeon; Budgies; Asian Forest Scorpions.


Co-Founder & Director: Wichita Falls Reptile Rescue

Founder: The Society for Horned Lizard Preservation

Publications contributor. The Horned Lizard Husbandry Manual - self published 75 pages of care information on genus Phrynosoma.

Wikipedia entry "Horned Lizards" - contributed to a majority of the content., and various reptile related forums and email lists under the handles "fireside3" and PhrynosomaTexas".

My hands-on field, rehabilitation, and captive husbandry experience beats a PhD any day of the week. I am also a state accredited animal control instructor for reptile handling.

Past/Present Clients

I was requested to provide my care manual on the Desert Horned Lizard (Phrynosoma platyrhinos), for the Montreal zoo. My manual is also used by several other zoological institutions in N. America. I also teach reptile education to summer camps, and instruct wildlife rehabilitators on live saving and rehab techniques with reptiles.

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