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Side profile of Knight Anole found in Miami Beach

-  Knight Anole -  Anolis equestris :

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia


The Knight anole (Anolis equestris) is a species of lizard in the Polychrotidae family, and the largest species of anole. Other common names include Cuban knight anole. It grows to a length of 13 to 20 in (33 to 51 cm) including the tail. A few specimens have reached up to 24 in (61 cm).

Scientific classification :








Species:A. equestris

Binomial name :

Anolis equestris
Merrem, 1820

Knight anole

Geographic range :


Knight anoles are native to Cuba, but have been widely introduced into South Florida, where they reproduce and spread readily. They cannot withstand freezing temperatures; in winter freezes in South Florida, they drop semiconscious from tree canopies. In its native Cuba, this large anole is called chipojo.


Behavior  :


It is fiercely territorial. Aggressive to anything that enters its territory, the knight anole will face almost any intruder it perceives to be a threat (from a distance). During its display, a lizard will sit high on all fours, gape menacingly,

turn green, and perhaps bob its head. The male will extend its dewlap (a reddish-white flap underneath the chin), and both females and males will "puff themselves up" with air.


Captivity :


In captivity, the anole's aggressiveness seems to lessen to a certain degree, if it is raised from the time of its birth and handled, it is common for it to become tame enough to be held. In communal terraria with other species of lizards, it rarely attacks smaller lizards unless the other reptile intrudes on its territory. It may be hand-fed with caution, since it has a strong bite and many small, sharp teeth.


Habitat :


Knight anoles are arboreal although during the day are known to warm on asphalt, rocks, or sidewalks. These lizards are diurnal predators.


Diet :


Its diet as a young anole consists mainly of insects. As an adult, it eats larger prey, such as tarantulas, other anoles, geckos, and even adult birds and mammals.[1]

Knight anole in Miami

A. equestris at Museum of Science, Boston

Wild A. equestris

Detail of head

Knight Anole displaying dewlap

Knight Anole on a pole

Knight Anole on a branch


Knight anole on tree

For the external links , refrences  click here to read the full wikipedia article 

Video :

Cuban Knight Anole (Anolis equestris) Prague Zoo אנולה קובנית

Care Articles :


1- How to Care for Your New Knight Anole

courtesy to :,%20Knight%20Anole.htm

Aqualand's inside scoop on Anolis equestris


Knight Anole Factoids:

Origin : Cuba originally.  Now Florida.

Temperature  : 80 to 90 degrees days.  10 degrees cooler at night.

Sexual Difference : Pink dewlap on male

SizeTheoretically : 20 inches

Age 15 years : Substrate

Immaterial : Security

Arboreal : ScheduleDiurnal

Foods  : Crickets, mealworms, fruity baby foods

Supplements  : Best to gut load your crickets

LightingSee below

Origin:  Knight Anoles originally came from Cuba.  But no one smuggles them in these days since they now grow wild in Florida.  They live in the trees.  You can easily pick these guys up.  A nice cool day would make them easy to capture.



Knight anoles have no trouble climbing on their glass walls.

Cage:  Knight anoles grow fairly large.  They enter the retail market at about a foot in length.  You need the equivalent space of a 29-gallon enclosure. 

This knight anole is trying to communicate with us.  Nice teeth, eh?

But not all are as irascible.

These guys got along fine during shipping.

Not Good Mixers.   You’ll want to keep your knight anoles separate, because they like to argue and fight.  They’re big enough to injure themselves and other lizards.  Or give them plenty of room.

"Claws that catch" similar to Lewis Carroll's Jabberwok.

And sticky toe pads like those on a house gecko.

Tree Stuff.  Add some branches for your knight anole to cling to, clamber over, and climb upon.    They have sharp claws (not as sharp as an iguana’s claws) but sharp enough to grab onto rough surfaces.  They also have adhesive pads on their feet to help them cling to smooth surfaces.


Temperature:  Keep your knight anole at 80o to 90o degrees during theday.  Keep him 10o cooler at night.  When the temp falls below the low 70s, he’ll probably stop eating.  Those cold snaps in Florida kill lots of knight anoles.  Some consider this a good thing, because they’re an invading exotic species – much like spring breakers.

Even with the finger in his mouth, he still does not bite.  Don't count on it.

Temperament:  Think of your knight anole as almost shy.  You are a big monster that stresses him when you pick him up.  He’ll rare up, flare his dewlap, and open his mouth incredibly wide to try to scare you off.  He’s mostly bluff but he might bite.


Maximum Size.  In theory, knight anoles grow as long as 20 inches.  Most of the rascals mature at a much shorter length.

With one of these iguana harnesses, your knight anole can't run away.

Sexing:  Male knight anoles have an unmissable pink dewlap that they flare to ward off other males and attract females.  He rares up ready to fight like the “knight” in his name.  If you keep your male and female together, you’ll stress her a great deal.  Best to keep them separate except at breeding time (warm summer).  Add him to her cage so he does not get all confused and start defending his territory.

He's saying he wants some peach flavored baby food.

Foods:  Most insects will fill the bill.  Gut load your crickets with nutritious foods.  Knight anoles will also swallow smaller lizards.  They love Madagascar hissing roaches.  And oddly enough, they like a wee spot of baby food occasionally – for nutrition and moisture.  Try dribbling in one of the fruit flavors when he gapes his mouth at you to scare you off.


Supplements:  If you don’t gut load your crickets, you’ll need to dust them.  Careful.  Do not over-vitaminize. 


Lighting:  Knight anoles need full-spectrum light and appreciate a regular day and night schedule.  Make sure your lizard cannot reach any bare heating bulbs.


Water:  Give your knight anole a large water bowl.  They drink water from a bowl, unlike our native green anoles.  Put a rock in it to keep your crickets from drowning and fouling their water.  Change it frequently.

"Leave me alone.  See ya later, much later."

Limit Handling:  As mentioned earlier, knight anoles do not enjoy being handled.  If yours darkens when handled, you are stressing the heck out of him.  Stress makes him susceptible to disease.

He'll turn green again -- as soon as you leave him alone.

Last Word:  Always wash your hands thoroughly after handling any reptile.  LA.

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