Anolis marmoratus Duméril & Bribon, 1837. Experiences with care and breeding over several years.
In 2001 I bought a booklet entitled "Karibische Anolis" (Heselhaus & Schmidt, 1994). The cover featured a beautiful male Anolis marmoratus marmoratus with an orange head and an emerald body. Ever since I first saw this picture, I have wanted to care for and breed these beautiful animals. I have kept and bred several Anolis marmoratus subspecies, which produced about 100 offspring per year. I also made some observations of Anolis marmoratus during several visits to Guadeloupe in 2010, 2013 and 2018. Another article (see Hoogveld, this publication) in this special discusses the phylogeny, origin and different subspecies of Anolis marmoratus in more detail. As a breeder, my main focus is on the successful reproduction of these animals, but also on giving advice and answering questions that I am often asked about care. In this article I present my most important findings from keeping and breeding for fifteen years, and I answer the most frequently asked questions. Even now, after fifteen years, I believe that Anolis marmoratus is one of the most beautiful, exciting and interesting Anolis species in the terrarium hobby.
Anolis marmoratus is a medium-sized anole of the bimaculatus group, showing pronounced sexual dimorphism, both in colour and size. In my experience, males in my terrariums reach a SVL of 55-80 mm (150-260 mm TL), depending on the subspecies. Anolis m. speciosus and Anolis m. inornatus are the smallest subspecies, Anolis m. marmoratus is the largest. Females remain considerably smaller at 40-50 mm SVL (120-180 mm TL). The colouration of adult males is very diverse in base colour and pattern. The pattern varies from none, in Anolis m. speciosus, Anolis m. setosus and Anolis m. inornatus, to white spots or white marbling in Anolis m. pigeonnensis and Anolis m. girafus, black spots, partly all over the body in Anolis m. alliaceus, and to the orange stripes and spots on the head of Anolis m. marmoratus. Animals from overlapping ranges, such as the region around the town of Trois Rivières, exhibit a combination of these characteristics. For example, the animals from Trois Rivières are regarded as hybrids of Anolis m. alliaceus, Anolis m. marmoratus and Anolis m. girafus (Breuil, 2002). The basic colour is directly related to the climate in the area of origin. This can vary from dull grey-olive green, to bright emerald green and turquoise in males. In general, animals from wetter areas with lush vegetation are brighter in colour, and those from arid areas are duller (Munoz et al., 2013). The same applies to the females
as well. In general, females from arid areas are olive green to brownish grey in colour, while females from humid highlands are emerald green in colour. Females have a more or less distinct dorsal stripe, which fades more and more as the animals mature. In some adult females, this dorsal stripe is then completely absent. Females from southern Basse Terre sometimes have black spots. Females of the captive bred “Trois Rivières” -line sometimes have black spots all over their bodies. Young animals are basically brown-grey in colour and are therefore well camouflaged in the undergrowth and among the leaf litter.
The ability to change colour in adults is striking. When stressed, the animals can turn almost black within minutes. Other reasons for a colour change include time of day and state of arousal. As a rule, the animals in my terrarium, without external influences, alternate between their bright colour and a fairly dark colour several times an hour. Females begin to change colour at about four months old. Males do this at six months, and at about nine months they have the more or less mature colours. However, the colour continues to intensify until the age of at least eighteen months. This means that the males are only then really fully coloured, which is especially important for animals with black spots. Only then they are really adult. Some Anolis marmoratus "Trois Rivières" also develop "open" spots like a leopard, i.e. circular black spots with the green ground colour in the center. In general, I would say that even after about eighteen months of age, there is still some colour maturation, so the older a male gets, the more intense his colours become.
The dewlap of Anolis marmoratus is yellow and considerably larger in males than in females. The males may also erect a crest when excited. Males also have two clearly visible enlarged postcloacal scales and a proportionally larger head. In my experience, the expected average maximum age in the terrarium is about six years for males. Females often only live up to three years. This is probably caused by the physical exhaustion associated with laying eggs for a long time and frequently. As a rule, Anolis marmoratus are absolutely fit, have no behavioural problems and are usually still reproductively active until several months before reaching their maximum age. However, it can then be established that the animals begin to eat less within a few months, exercise less than before and slowly lose weight and body volume. It's always a pity to see this, as the old males are particularly beautiful.
Compared to other Anolis species, Anolis marmoratus is a rather shy species. Wild caught animals are generally less shy than captive bred animals, and females are less shy than males. However, the individual differences are big. There are animals that hide as soon as you enter the room and others that eagerly pounce on the food that is offered by tweezers.
Six, possibly seven, subspecies are currently recognised: Anolis m. alliaceus Cope, 1864, Anolis m. girafus Lazell, 1964, Anolis m. inornatus Lazell, 1964, Anolis m. marmoratus Duméril & Bibron, 1837, Anolis m. pigeonnensis Legreneur & Guerlotte, 2013 (this subspecies is not yet recognized by the Reptile database), Anolis m. setosus Lazell, 1964 and Anolis m. speciosus (Garman, 1887). In particular, two forms of Anolis marmoratus are widespread in the terrarium hobby: Anolis m. marmoratus and Anolis marmoratus “Trois Rivières”. These two forms are considered the most beautiful and the most colourful. In addition, Anolis m. alliaceus and Anolis m. girafus occur in captivity, but less often.
Anolis marmoratus occurs on Guadeloupe (Basse Terre and Grande Terre, as well as on the offshore islests of Îlets Pigeon). Due to the very different geology and topography of the two main islands, there are climatically different habitats for the anoles. Roughly speaking, there are drier zones with dry forest vegetation and humid zones with tropical rainforest and mountain rainforest. These different habitats have led to a number of adaptations in the anole, which are important for care.
The terrain on the limestone island of Grande Terre is mostly flat and half covered with dry to semi-damp forest, the other half with banana and sugar cane plantations. Basse Terre is geologically younger and it contains the highest peak of the Lesser Antilles (1,467 meters) with the active volcano La Soufière. The topography of Basse Terre is characterized by the inland mountains, which are usually cloudy with a height of more than 900 meters, and by the different climatic zones that result from the trade winds and the associated clouds. There is a tropical humid climate interrupted by a relatively dry season, especially on the windward side of the mountains and on the flat areas of the island. The higher areas are always humid and a few degrees cooler. Anolis marmoratus is widespread and common on Guadeloupe. In some areas, especially some coastal areas, parks, rows of trees and gardens, the population density is so high that anoles can be found on almost every tree. The presence of suitable trees and the amount of available food are the main conditions for their presence. In the cooler, wet and humid mountains of Basse Terre, Anolis marmoratus occurs up to 900 meters above sea level. There the animals are very rare or at least very hard to find. They are usually only seen in places where the forest is open and the sun penetrates to the ground. According to Lazell (1972), the animals in these areas are strictly arboreal and can only be found in the treetops.
The animals usually are living in pairs on a medium-sized tree. On very large trees you will occasionally find a male together with some young animals and several females. Bushes, walls, house walls and fences are also inhabited, if there are suitable escape routes. Anolis marmoratus can therefore be found in areas inhabited by humans. Males are very territorial and will not tolerate another male in their territory. If another male enters the territory, he is immediately intimidated and threatened with violent bobbing of the head, displaying the dewlap and lateral flattening of the body. If the intruder does not retreat immediately, a fight ensues with the opponents biting each other. This usually results in minor injuries to the mouth and head. Occasionally a tail is also lost in these fights. The territory is usually a free-standing tree, a house wall, a fence post, or something similar. Females are also territorial and will defend their territory, but without fighting. A dominant female usually chases the other females away and thus secures the tree for herself. In nature, Anolis marmoratus usually lives on vertical surfaces. This is not because they
obvious prefer it. It is more because suitable territories and habitats like tree trunks and house walls or low walls tend to be vertical. In the terrarium they show no special preference for vertical surfaces, but use all other oriented suitable places for them to sit on. My experience is that if they can choose, they prefer to sit horizontally or slightly at an angle.
In nature, the males are sitting head down at a height of about 1.5-3 meters on a tree trunk and watch the ground for food. They observe the soil and the environment very closely. They follow every little movement by moving their eyes and head. When they recognize possible prey, they quickly run to the ground to grab it. Then they usually run right back up the trunk, where they chew and swallow the prey. Females are found a bit lower on the trunk. Young animals tend to sit on the ground and in the undergrowth. Trees with fairly smooth bark, resembling the bark of the native European beech (Fagus sylvatica), are generally preferred. This smooth bark probably offers a better grip for the adhesive pads than a very rough, crumbly bark. In fact, many Caribbean trees have such bark, unlike our native trees. Escape routes up the crown are also important for tree selection. There is a preference for trees that branch at a maximum height of 5 meters and thus offer the opportunity to escape between the branches of the crown. The animals therefore rarely sit on palm trees or banana shrubs, although Hoogveld (pers. comm.) has regularly seen them on these trees. Because the males in particular are very territorial, there is a good chance that you will also find them days later in exactly the same place where they were previously seen.
If you approach an Anolis marmoratus, it will usually sit still until you come within its escape distance. The escape distance is about 3 to 5 meters. If you get too close to the anole, it usually runs to the back of the trunk and thus hides from view. If you approach the anole even further, on the other side of the trunk, the next direction of escape is upwards. In places where there is no possibility of escape upwards, such as on fence posts, the animals escape downwards into the undergrowth.
During the day, the animals change their location in the tree. In the morning from 6:00 am to 9:00 am, the animals try to warm up in the full sun. This is the best time to observe the animals. From 10:00 at the latest, it is too hot in the sun and the animals retreat to the shade. However, they prefer to occupy a spot on the trunk from which they have a good overview of the surroundings. They often stay in this favourite spot for minutes or even hours, or alternate between different preferred spots. In the afternoon the animals are relatively quiet and only become more active again towards the evening. Matings can be observed mainly in the morning and evening.
Keeping in captivity
Anolis marmoratus has been kept and bred in captivity for generations, and this is generally not difficult. The dimensions for a terrarium for the permanent housing of an adult couple are at least 50x50x80 cm (lxwxh), where they can show most of their natural behaviour. Larger terrariums are optimally used by the anoles, because they are quite active and visit different places during the day. The animals usually stay in the upper third of the terrarium, but they also go down, mainly for grabbing their food. However, also in much smaller terrariums of about 30x30x40 cm (lxwxh), the animals grow to adult size. But the natural behaviour in such small terrariums is greatly reduced, so that these dimensions can only be used for rearing juveniles.
The ventilation of the terrarium plays a limited role. A standard terrarium with narrow ventilation grilles at the front and top sufficiently meets the ventilation requirements. However, I recommend placing a larger mesh surface in the lid to be able to install the UVB lighting outside the terrarium.
Adequate lighting is very important for Anolis marmoratus. If the animals are kept too dark, they will not develop their full colour potential. I recommend basic lighting with high power LEDs, such as the Arcadia Jungle Dawn LED Bar in combination with a UVB metal halide lamp, such as the Lucky Reptile Bright Sun. For a terrarium of 50x50x80 cm I would recommend a 47 mm Jungle Dawn (22W) in combination with a 50W Desert or 70W Flood Desert. For larger, very high terrariums, the illumination must be adjusted accordingly. Lighting only with T8 or T5 fluorescent tubes or energy-saving lamps, at least one of which must have a UVB component, is also possible. However, full colour development is not to be expected with this low-quality lighting. I performed light measurements in the natural habitats with my mobile app "Light Meter". In the shade of large trees, where the animals stayed on the trunk during the day, I was able to measure illuminances of about 10,000 lux. In the direct sun that was about 100,000 lux. From this I conclude that a light intensity of at least 10,000 lux must be achieved in the terrarium, about 20-30 cm below the lamp.
My experience in keeping these animals in a terrarium is that a high light intensity helps them to acquire their full colour.
The temperature in its natural range differs between the coast and the mountains. This difference has to be taken into account in the care, and in my experience is also the only significant difference in the successful keeping of highland animals compared to lowland ones. In the lowlands, the daytime temperature easily rises to around 30-32°C. At night it usually does not cool down below 20-22°C, and in the morning hours the temperature quickly rises again. In the highlands, where the animals live up to about 900 meters above sea level, it stays up to 10°C cooler. These lower temperatures are not strictly necessary for successful care, but under no circumstances should you keep the highland animals too warm. Temperatures above 30°C are not well tolerated. When the temperature exceeds 35°C in my terrarium room on hot summer days, the mortality rate for my young highland animals from the Chûtes du Carbet (about 600 meters above sea level) is almost 100%. So especially those juveniles cannot tolerate this heat. The animals from the coastal region only seek shady places in the terrarium at temperatures above 30°C. The temperature can be kept between 22 and 30°C all year round, locally up to 35°C. In my terrarium room, however, the temperature fluctuates between summer and winter, so that it is about 22°C
over there in winter, while it can rise to 30°C in summer. Nevertheless, Anolis marmoratus reproduces throughout the year, although laying eggs occurs at greater intervals of two to three weeks in winter. In the summer an egg is laid almost weekly.
Humidity plays a limited role in successful keeping and breeding. According to my experiments and experience, Anolis marmoratus of all populations, including those from the mountain areas, can tolerate a wide variation in humidity. I therefore keep all animals in the same way at a humidity of about 50-90%. My terrariums are automatically sprayed once or twice a day for 30 to 60 seconds at a time. I use water from my reverse osmosis system.
Furnishing the terrarium
The design of the terrarium plays a major role in the well-being of the animals and can help to let shy animals get used to the caregiver. That is why I recommend organizing the terrarium with clear overview and not planting it too densely. The backside should be made of material they can easily climb on, such as cork, rocky material or similar. This is because the animals like to dwell on this wall. I do not recommend Xaxim or peat. The rest of the interior should consist of arm-sized branches, with smooth bark or stripped of bark. The branches should be positioned at different angles. A horizontal branch under the spotlight for basking, about 20-25 cm below the top of the terrarium, proves to be of value to them. I also add a long diagonal and a vertical branch that run from bottom to top of the terrarium. The planting should not be too dense to give the animals an unobstructed view and to allow them to observe their surroundings from an uncluttered place. The escape routes should be kept as free as possible from climbing plants such as Ficus pumila
and the like.
In general, I recommend housing a male with a female. This is the optimal setup for hassle-free, stress-free and successful keeping and breeding. It conforms to natural behaviour, as both males and females are territorial. This form of living side by side is therefore most common in the natural habitat. If you definitely want to keep several females together with one male, you should always have an extra terrarium in reserve to separate the females. Keeping multiple females works best when the females are raised together as a group. In smaller terrariums with more than two females, the females usually fail to form territories. With a bit of luck you can then keep several females permanently together without stress and injury. However, this does not mean that the reproductive success is necessarily greater. As a rule, not every female automatically lays fertilized eggs in such a combination, but often only one of them. When keeping two females with one male, one female usually dominates the other so much that the constant chasing will stress her out, usually causing her to hide in an inaccessible corner with a dark stress colour. It is less likely to eat and the prolonged stress often causes this repressed animal to lose weight and eventually die.
A combination with other reptiles and amphibians is quite possible. I have good experiences with combining with different poison dart frogs, if the terrarium is at least 100 cm high. Then the anoles can stay in the upper dry area and the poison dart frogs find a wetter area on the ground. Small Phelsuma or house geckos can usually be combined with Anolis marmoratus without any problems.
Major care issues
A common problem with keeping is the relatively timid behaviour of some males in particular, and the resulting frustration that you will never see them. There are several approaches to this problem. One method starts with raising the young animals. Individually raised young animals are usually shy. If you raise these males in a group (only males, preferably of similar size), they will be less shy later on. But if you have an adult, shy male that immediately hides, I recommend placing another male of a somewhat similar anole species in an adjacent terrarium so that the animals can see each other. This triggers territorial defensive behaviour, and both animals will try to defend their territory at the adjoining glass. As a result, the animals inevitably lose their shyness. It should be noted here that the snout can occasionally be damaged if the animals hit the window too hard. You should pay close attention to this and interrupt visual contact if necessary.
Another problem that is sometimes reported to me is that the animals are constantly dark in colour. It's usually because it's too cold and/or too dark. However, diseases, especially endoparasites, can also cause this. I often advise to increase the light intensity first. Endoparasites are common in wild-caught animals, but are tolerated by the animals as long as they are optimally cared for. There are a number of typical endoparasites in Anolis marmoratus such as nematodes, Digenea (parasitic flatworms) and hookworms (Dobson et al., 1992). Such parasites can quickly gain the upper hand in the terrarium. In particular, the larvae of the hookworm, which are visible as a thickening under the skin, are a clear sign of this. It is therefore absolutely recommended to use a small dose of Panacour Pet Paste deworming paste prophylactically in wild-caught animals. This deworming treatment must be repeated after a few days. It is not harmful to the animals. However, if in doubt, a vet should be consulted.
Another well-known disease is the forming of a goiter, for reasons that have not yet been definitively clarified. This is probably due to the injury of the hyoid bone, which stretches the dewlap (Mutschmann, pers.comm.). These thickenings of the throat do not occur in the wild. It can therefore be assumed that this is a husbandry problem. Shedding problems are less common. They always indicate a general health problem such as parasitic infestation or stress. Another rare problem can be an overly aggressive male. Although very rare, a male will sometimes be aggressive towards his female, biting her until she dies from her wounds. If such behaviour is observed, the animals should be separated immediately. Such males are not inherently aggressive towards all females. Often another female is accepted, even if the previous animal has been bitten.
According to my own observations, in nature, Anolis marmoratus eats various small and sometimes medium-sized arthropods and arachnids, catching them from the ground or directly on the trunk. As a basic food I feed house crickets (Acheta domesticus), which I enrich with nutrients through a varied range of different types of fruit and vegetables. It is possible to feed Anolis marmoratus exclusively on house crickets for a lifetime and raise it to adult size. Under certain circumstances, however, other food animals are later no longer accepted or ignored. I also feed nymphs of various cockroaches such as the Red Runners (Schelfordella lateralis) or the Dubia Roaches (Blaptica dubia), waxworms (Galleria mellonella) and rarely fruit flies, houseflies, Jamaican Fieldcrickets and mealworms. When feeding mealworms, care should be taken not to feed more than one or two mealworms as they are poorly digested and sometimes regurgitated. There are occasionally individual animals that refuse certain food animals. Especially Red Runners, house flies and Mediterranean crickets do not seem to be equally tasty for all animals. I think feeding meadow plankton is optimal, but I don't have enough time for collecting it. I am also concerned about introducing parasites into the collection.
I only feed most animals once or twice a week, giving about four prey animals per individual from a cup. By the end of the week, all prey animals have been eaten and the anoles fast for a few days. I almost always feed my darlings with tweezers. I dust the prey animals every time I feed them with a vitamin-mineral supplement. ZOO MED'S REPTIVITE (+D3) has proven itself for me over the years. This adheres very well to the insects. Water is drunk in the form of droplets that collect on the leaves when the terrarium is sprayed. I don't offer stagnant water, but I've seen animals drink from the centre of bromeliads.
Breeding in captivity
Reproduction takes place all year round. If a harmonious pair has been found, pairing takes place regularly. These matings usually take place in the morning or evening. The male slowly follows, with bobbing, excited movements of the head, the female, who nods back with quick movements if she is interested and remains static. The male then bites in her neck and, in the usual lizard fashion, curls around the female's body. Copulation lasts about 2-5 minutes. In experienced couples, the neck bite usually does not occur. If a female is added to a male, courtship behaviour and mating will occur immediately. Some long-term cohabiting couples no longer produce fertilized eggs. If the female first laid fertilized eggs and then begins to lay wind eggs, this is a clear sign that the male has not mated with the female for a long time. In my experience, in this case, the male doesn't seem interested in mating anymore, or maybe he's just too old. Then you must temporarily separate the animals and put them back together later on, or exchange the male.
Females lay about one egg every one to two weeks under optimal conditions. To lay her eggs, the female needs a slightly moist substrate that is easy to dig in. The female first digs a hole 3-5 cm deep with her front legs and head. Sometimes she also makes several pilot holes. Then she backs into this hole and lays a single egg at the end. Then the nesting place is covered with substrate and hidden in this way. Slightly higher places in the terrarium are especially popular, for example small flower pots in the back wall. The females often lay their eggs in the same spot over and over again. If you do not collect the eggs, the young will hatch in the terrarium and you will sometimes find 20 or 30 empty eggshells when clearing such places. When the young hatch in the terrarium, they should be caught as soon as possible, as many parents hunt their own young. However, there are also couples that do not eat their young, so that they can basically grow up in the same terrarium with the parents. If you have a densely planted terrarium, it is best to look for the juveniles at night with a flashlight. They sleep in the lower part of the terrarium on leaves or stems, or on the window pane.
If you prefer to look for the eggs, keep in mind that you only give the female one place to lay the eggs, which is only one place with moist substrate. I apply a substrate made of coconut humus, sand/loam and vermiculite about 5 cm high in a corner of the breeding terrarium, and keep it moist only there by directing the spraying system to that spot. You can also use a small flower pot with moist substrate as an egg-laying container. This is also found and used by the females. If you remove the eggs to hatch them outside the terrarium, they don't necessarily have to keep their orientation. You can also turn the eggs. I then place them in a cricket box two thirds full of substrate, and bury the eggs about 1cm deep in it. Then I incubate the eggs at room temperature, between 22 and 28°C. The young hatch after about two months and are individually housed in rearing containers immediately after hatching. I use converted 1250 ml PET jars ("Canada" Black, from Flaschenland.de). These are round, made of clear plastic, with a screw cap. I saw a large hole in the lid and melt fine stainless steel mesh into it with a soldering iron. I put the pots together in my breeding rack, which is lit with a 39W T5 5.0 UVB TL tube per layer. I think a sufficient supply of UVB light is very important, because otherwise symptoms of rickets can develop, such as a kinked tail or a bent spine. In addition, it is important to provide the female that lays eggs with UVB. If this is neglected, the young will hatch malformed and poorly developed.
Because I sometimes have to feed 150 anole offspring in 150 cans at a time, I only feed about ten properly sized insects once a week. Spraying is done daily. When the animals have reached a certain size after about three to six months, they are either sold or moved to a small terrarium. Attempts to raise several young animals together have unfortunately always failed. There were always losses, so that often only one dominant animal remained. However, rearing in groups can be possible if you only raise young animals of the same size and sex together in a large group (Fläschendräger & Wijffels, 2009).
It is possible to distinguish the sex of young animals from the very beginning, but it is not always easy. Even after many years of experience, occasionally young animals are so atypical that the wrong sex is assigned. The main distinguishing feature is the shape, colour, contrast and thickness of the dorsal stripe, especially in the neck area. In females, the dorsal stripe on the neck is almost white, slightly wider and contrasting very clearly with the dark sides. The stripe stops abruptly on the head. In males this is less pronounced, the dorsal stripe is slightly more brownish and narrow, and this changes on the back into a very light pattern. However, the dorsal stripe disappears more and more afterwards, when the animals start to attain their colour. Then the other, typical secondary sex characteristics are more suitable for sex determination. The most certain feature to me is the presence of the two enlarged postcloacal scales in males.
Anolis marmoratus females become sexually mature after only four months if kept optimally. This can be clearly recognized by the fact that a first wind egg is laid. At this age they are not fully coloured or fully grown. Males take about six months to reach sexual maturity. At this stage, males begin to change colour, from grey-brown to bright green tones. From this age on you can keep the growing animals together as a pair. Since the females regularly lay wind eggs from that moment on, there is hardly any extra stress for them to lay fertilized eggs instead. If no others are found after the first wind egg, it is probably because the female immediately eats her unfertilized eggs. It also happens that other anoles that are kept together with the female fight over that egg. When putting them together, make sure that the male is at least slightly larger than the female. If the male is smaller, the female will bite and chase him away. This often leads anole keepers to assume they don't have a pair or that the animals don't get along. However, this behaviour stops when the male is slightly larger than the female. If you want to combine a male with several females, I recommend only putting the animals together to mate and then transferring the females individually to a separate terrarium for egg deposition. The female can then lay fertilized eggs for several months afterwards.
Anolis marmoratus is a rewarding pet that is of interest to both beginners and experts. It is a long-lasting terrarium animal due to the fairly simple care and reproduction in the terrarium. Only the somewhat more pronounced shyness obscures that overall picture.
Apart from the established forms and subspecies such as Anolis marmoratus marmoratus, Anolis marmoratus “Trois Rivières”, and somewhat rarer Anolis marmoratus alliaceus and Anolis marmoratus girafus, little attention has been paid to the other subspecies in the terrarium until now. I would like to mention a special colour form here. Three years ago, a colour variant appeared by chance in my collection, which I have now been able to reproduce several times. These are leucistic Anolis m. marmoratus, that is, animals that lack green, blue and dark colour pigments. It is a recessive mutation. Both females and males have a grey/pink/yellow base colour, without the ability of forming dark colours. However, the orange-yellow spot pattern on the head is still present. Unfortunately, the animals are somewhat sensitive to light during the first weeks and are difficult to raise. I am currently in the process of establishing this mutation in my collection so that I can give a few animals to other interested caretakers. Another current project in my plans is to breed this mutation also among Anolis marmoratus “Trois Rivières” animals, to produce leucistic animals from this local form. There are many opinions about breeding colour variants, all of which are defendable. There will certainly never be as many morphs of Anolis marmoratus as there are of the Leopard Gecko, Bearded Dragon or Ball Python, but perhaps new colour variants will make this species more interesting to other terrarium keepers at some point. It should certainly be a goal - and there is no doubt about it - to further establish this wonderful species as a “standard” terrarium animal in our hobby, thus securing their future in our hobby.
Anolis marmoratus is one of the most colourful and colour-varying anoles. They have been kept in captivity for a long time and have been successfully bred over several generations. The subspecies or local forms most commonly kept in captivity are Anolis marmoratus marmoratus and Anolis marmoratus "Trois Rivières". In addition, these are also the most attractive variants in terms of colour. If you observe a few basic conditions, Anolis marmoratus is a rewarding terrarium animal. The author presents the most important experiences and tips for successful care and reports on his fifteen years of husbandry experience. He notes that all subspecies can be kept in the same way, with the exception of highland animals, which cannot tolerate high temperatures. Due to the mutual aggressiveness between animals of the same sex, they can only be kept together as a pair. For that reason, the juveniles are also reared separately, which does not cause any problems. After four to six months, the animals are sexually mature and begin to change colour. In fact, colour development, especially in males, is not complete until eighteen months of age. Anolis marmoratus loves warmth and light, which play an important role in the well-being and colour development of the animals. Reproduction takes place throughout the year. One egg is laid every one to two weeks. The female digs a hole up to 5 cm deep in the moist substrate.
The young animals also hatch in the terrarium, but must be removed immediately. Immediately after hatching, the sexes can be distinguished by the clear differences in dorsal markings.
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